Young photographers scoop top prize
15 September 2012
An eight-year old boy’s breathtaking image of a chaffinch, its feet and wings spread dramatically as it lands on a garden bird feeder, has beaten thousands of entries from across the UK to become a winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2012.
William Briggs (8) of Groombridge in Kent won the under-12’s category of the annual photography competition, which was sponsored by the RSPB’s Wildlife Explorers – the junior membership of the RSPB - to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.
William spent over an hour sat perfectly still in his kitchen to capture the winning shot of the chaffinch landing on his garden bird feeder on a snowy spring day.
Inspired by his father, Martin Briggs a professional wedding photographer, William has been experimenting with wildlife photography, learning to set up a shot and focus a camera. He said; ‘It’s fun taking photo's, especially on film as you don't really know what you’re going to get. I wanted to try something new and try and take a nice picture for my bedroom wall. Photographing wildlife is great and I like sea-life best. Someday I’d like to take pictures under the sea.’
Mark Ward, Editor of the RSPB’s BIRDS magazine and one of the competition judges, said; ‘Chaffinches are regular visitors to gardens, in fact the RSPB’s summer garden wildlife survey Make Your Nature Count revealed that more than half of gardens surveyed this year had chaffinches in them. But a really great photographer can turn the ordinary everyday things into something really special and that is exactly what William has done with his winning photo. The vivid colours and the detail of the wings and claws allows us to see this little garden bird in an exciting new way, and that’s an extraordinary skill to have at such a young age.’
The RSPB also sponsored a 12 to 18 age group, won by Ashley Butterworth of Lymm in Cheshire, with a photo of two arctic terns in the air. Ashley said; ‘I like the unpredictability of photographing nature. You can go out for hours at a time and not get anything, but you can also go out for ten minutes and get extraordinary pictures.’
More than 4,000 photos were entered into the junior categories of the competition. William and Ashley’s images have been published in the new book ‘British Wildlife Photography Awards: Collection 3’ and will be displayed along with winners in all twelve categories of this year’s competition in a travelling exhibition that starts at The Mall Galleries in London from 17 to 22 September. It then goes on a tour of other venues across the UK including ones in Bedfordshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Wales and Yorkshire.
Find out more about helping young people get to know nature at www.rspb.org.uk/youth
More information about the British Wildlife Photography Awards can be found at www.bwpawards.co.uk
Mall Galleries, London 17 to 22 September, 2012
Nature in Art, Gloucester 9 October to 25 November, 2012
Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire 3 November to 16 December, 2012
Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset 2 February to 17 March, 2013
Luton Museum, Bedfordshire 19 January to 31 March, 2013
Penrhyn Castle, North Wales, April and May, 2013 (exact dates TBC)
BWPA Sponsors SKY+HD, Canon, RSPB Wildlife Explorers, The Wildlife Trusts, WWF, Sparsholt College, Visit Woods.org.uk, Countryside Jobs Service, Wildlife Extra, Countryside Council for Wales, Buglife and Outdoor Photography Magazine.
BWPA Supporters National Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Natural England
The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Find out how to get involved in ‘Stepping Up for Nature’ at www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup
RSPB Wildlife Explorers is the junior membership of the RSPB. It is the largest children’s environmental club in the World with more than 195,000 young members.