British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017

BWPA Awards

For years I’ve been entering the BWPA Competition in the hope that one day I could take my place at the opening night exhibition, rubbing shoulders with my peers. Well this year that dream finally became a reality, but it wasn’t through any fault of my own. No, my invite arrived as a guest of my 12 year old daughter Hannah! Her shot of a Tawny Owl, taken at the British Wildlife Centre, received a Highly Commended in the Under 12 Category, and this was my ticket into the event, hanging on to my daughter’s coat tails! Hell, I’ll take it any way I can get it.

This was in fact her second consecutive year to make it into the book. Last year Hannah got two images into the book, one of a fox taken at the British Wildlife Centre, and another of a beautifully backlit rabbit taken locally at the Basingstoke Canal Centre. The fox image was also later used as a double page spread/poster in the RSPB children’s magazine. So whilst Hannah begins to make it look easy, every year I struggle to make it beyond the shortlisting round!

Hannah BWPA book 2016

No matter, it was great just to be there, and to catch up with a couple of photographers in the shape of Phil Selby and Chatainya Deschpande, both of whose work I greatly admire. All the prints looked fantastic up on the wall, some truly stunning work. My particular favourite was Ben Hall’s shot of a Wren during a harsh frost, stunningly beautiful.

Hannah with her Highly Commended entry

Tawny Owl, Highly Commended, Under 12 Category

With a new publisher the printed book has, in my view, taken a leap forward this year. The design is much improved and it’s printed on a beautiful matt stock. Available here.

You can see a full list of the winners here.

Congratulations to all the winning and commended entries, and maybe, just maybe, next year will be my year!

The Day the One Show Came

At the desk

I had a very exciting message a little while ago…

Message from Richard

Now it’s not every day you get a request to appear on television to talk about your photographs, and despite being of a shy disposition, I felt this was just too good an opportunity to miss. The request came from Richard Taylor-Jones, a filmmaker whose work I’d long admired. His films are always beautifully shot and very emotive and thought provoking. He shoots regularly for Springwatch, Countryfile, the One Show and Coast, indeed the only wildlife cameraman to have worked on all four. So it was a real privilege to be given the opportunity to take part in one of his films.

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Landscape Photographer of the Year 10 Years Special Edition

I’m delighted to be included in this beautiful collection to mark 10 years of the Landscape Photographer of the Year. The book is larger than the usual LPOTY year books, and I was glad to see the quality of the print vastly superior. It’s very nice to be in amongst some very esteemed company. It has over 250 photographs, including all overall winners and adult category winners plus a selection from each of the 10 years of the competition so far.

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Woking Peregrines on ITV London

We’re now into the second year of the Woking Peregrine Project, and so far things have gone extremely well. Two new cameras were installed, one looking along the ledge where the nest box is located and the other viewing the birds’ favoured spot on the North End. This has given us some great views that really add an extra dimension to the experience. Last year’s pair have remained on top of Export House and are now into the breeding season. They have produced 5 eggs, which is something of a rarity, and this has stimulated quite a bit of interest.

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The Woking Peregrine Project

Woking Peregrine Project

Peregrines have been regular visitors to Woking since as long ago as 2001. There were breeding attempts in 2005 and 2006, which unfortunately failed due to flooding of the eggs laid on an exposed roof recess. Over the past two years a new pair of peregrines have been visiting Export House, the tallest building in Woking, and so a number of key partners have sponsored the installation of a nest box in January 2016, with an internal web cam to record developments.

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Surrey Life Calendar Competition 2016

I’m proud to say that for the third year in a row I’ve made it into the Surrey Life Calendar. My image of a rather aggressive looking Red Deer Stag taken during the annual stag rut last year has been selected to represent November. The theme this year is ‘Icons of Surrey’ and features such locations as Newlands Corner, Mayfield Lavender, Box Hill, Denbies Vineyard, Winkworth Aboretum and Frensham Little Pond, helping to highlight some of the great locations we have here. Richmond Park, where my shot was taken, is of course not actually in Surrey, but it is part of the ‘old Surrey’, and Surrey Life retain it firmly in their remit, with a large number of their readers from this area.

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The Surrey Hills Website

At the beginning of 2014 I made a resolution to get out into the Surrey Hills more with my camera. The Surrey Hills is a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty, and forms part of the North Downs Way. Newlands Corner, Box Hill, Leith Hill and far more besides offer fantastic views that stretch for miles, and there are many photogenic hotspots in between. I’ve spent a fair amount of time photographing at Newlands Corner, and a little at Denbies Vineyard and the Hogs Back, but beyond that I hadn’t really done it justice.

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Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014

I’d always been of the opinion that when you get shortlisted it’s better to keep it under wraps. After all, it’s not as if you’ve actually won anything at this stage, and you wouldn’t want to ‘jinx’ the result by telling everyone only to end up empty handed.

But the longer I go on, and the more competitions I enter, the more my attitude is changing. As the level in competition pushes ever higher, the harder it is to get through, so to make it to the shortlist is in itself an achievement.

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Surrey Life Calendar Competition 2015

I’m proud to say that for the second year running I’ve made it into the Surrey Life Calendar. My image of  a backlit tree taken in the Valley Gardens at Virginia Waters earlier this year has been selected to represent March. Rather fitting as that’s my birthday month! (Tenuous I know). A total of 35 winning and selected entries will once again be exhibited at Denbies Vineyard in Dorking from Monday January 19th until Sunday January 25th, so plenty of time to pay a visit.

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Richmond Park, Stag Rut 2014

Red Deer Stag

It’s that time of year again, the annual Red Deer Stag Rut, and as I missed it last year I didn’t want to miss it this year. I met up with Daniel Hannabuss, a photographer whose website I’d built a couple of years ago, but had never actually met in person. So it was good to finally meet up and go out taking shots together. We met up outside Richmond Gate at 6.30 and walked in to be greeted by some nice mist and a group of hinds with a large Stag to the left. The sun hadn’t yet come up, and after staying a little while we headed toward Pen Ponds.

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