British Wildlife Photography Awards
A stark but stunning image of a damselfly in silhouette has landed its creator with the title of British Wildlife Photographer of the year. The shot, of the insect clinging to a dew-flecked reed, won photographer Ross Hoddinott a prize of £5,000 in the inaugural British Wildlife Photography Awards. It was competing against an array of dazzling images which included a flock of birds amassing above a service station canopy and a deer bathed in golden dawn light.
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Judge Sue Herdman, editor of the National Trust Magazine, said of the winner’s work: ‘We were looking for a winning image that stood out as the most memorable and striking. ‘Almost monochrome in tone, this beautiful silhouette is both intriguing and haunting, with a delicate composition and admirable clarity.
‘Droplets of water shimmer on the wings; a fuzz of hairs bristle from the body and, perhaps most fascinating of all, the photographer has caught the “face” of our fly which holds, in profile, a curiously human look. ‘No one viewing this photograph, we concluded, could fail to find it anything other than compelling.’
The awards recognised the efforts of amateur and professional photographers. A shot of a red squirrel peeping from behind a tree in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, landed 14-year-old Will Nicholls the under-18s award and a £500 prize.
Dalmally Primary School in Glenview, Dalmally, Scotland, took the School Youth and Community Group Award for a series of studies. The school was awarded £1,000. An exhibition of around 80 images, including all the winning and commended entries, opens at the Hooper’s Gallery in Clerkenwell, London, tonight and a year-long tour of the exhibition will follow throughout England, Scotland and Wales.