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The photo took me about six weeks to get, laying night after night in the damp earth in the poly tunnel after all the pickers had left. I even got watered by the automatic irrigation system!Frances Browne'Strawberry Hare' photographer
Michael Strand, our Community Fundraising Manager, explains the changes he's made to this year's hotly contested Photography Competition:
For any competition to remain relevant and of interest, it must evolve over time, with the host listening to, and learning from, societal and cultural changes and shifts from a range of sources. That is why at the beginning of the year we took several bold steps to continue to make our Annual Photography Competition as appealing to the widest audience possible.
The first step was recalibrating the category options to include three separate young people’s age groups which dovetail with our learning strategy (which aims to get everyone closer to nature). We’re proud to say we have yet to find another wildlife photography competition in the country which promotes our younger nature lovers in this way.
However, ‘proof is in the pudding’ and this year we received more images from under nineteen year olds than ever before, with the Under 11’s category being particularly hotly disputed. To reach out to a broader community, we have brought back a mobile device category and introduced ‘Wilder Perspectives’ for those with a keen artistic bent. Whether you are interested in urban wildlife, marine organisms, or capturing people in nature there is an option for you, and we still afford space for classic shots of birds and bees.
We’ve always tried to rotate our judging panel each year to put your photographs in front of different sets of eyes. Our second step for 2021 was to look outside of those who work professionally within photography, imagery or design and instead bring fully into the fold individuals who represent communities outside of a traditional mainstream but who have a deep sense of nature connection. With professional and long-term supporter of the Trust, Kevin Sawford acting as non-partisan ‘wildlife photographer guru’ and guide to our panel to help identify those images that seek to side-step the rules and less experienced eyes, the shortlisting and judging process was as impartial and educational as I’ve ever seen since organising the competition. Felix Alred sent in this email. ‘Being a judge this year was a new and exciting experience for me. Not only did we get to look at excellent images taken throughout East Anglia, but we also got to share our opinions on what makes an image stand out. The competition offers a variety of categories, and it does not matter if you are an expert, hobbyist or complete novice, this competition is open to everyone’.
Fifty percent of those selected as winners or runners up were first time entrants to a photography competition.
The third step was to make the competition sustainable and robust. For that we brought the webpage and submission form in-house, working with the Wildlife Trust’s nationally to build a platform the whole movement could have access to. We know that rewards are important and despite fundraising challenges have maintained a substantial cash first prize of £200 amongst others. With the uncertainty of Covid 19 hanging around, we have set plans to hold the awards evening online in early December where the Overall Young Persons Winner and the Overall Competition Winner will be announced.
We want more people acting for nature and for the environment. What better way to help create this impact than showcasing images through a competition that welcomes and celebrates involvement from everyone. We hope you enjoy and respond positively to this year’s winners and look to enter your own in 2022 when the competition will reopen sometime around Easter.
If you have ideas on how we might continue making our competition relevant to you and others, please email email@example.com
Our Photography Competition is back with a bang for 2021!
This year's Suffolk Wildlife Photography Competition culminated in a lively and upbeat awards evening.