Winning Shots Unveiled

Large_winning_entry_damselfly_smothered_in_jewels_rob_ault_Winner! 'Damselfly Smothered in Jewels' (Rob Ault)

Alien-esque close-ups, furry frames and serene scenes were just some of the amazing shots Surrey Wildlife Trust received from amateur photographers across Surrey, who took part in its Wildlife Photography Competition!  The range and quality of the pictures submitted was astounding and the Trust would like to thank everyone who joined in.  

Rob Ault from Woking, Bass Clarinettist in the orchestra of English National Opera at the London Coliseum, wins the adult category for his damselfly 'Smothered in Jewels', taken on Boldermere Lake at Ockham Common (which SWT manages on behalf of SCC). 

Rob enthused: “As a supporter of Surrey Wildlife Trust I was keen to contribute to the Wildlife Photography Competition and I was thrilled and surprised to receive a phone call notifying me that I had won! I have a keen interest in damselflies and I hope my photograph will help to highlight the existence of this fascinating insect, which can be found on several of SWT's reserves."

Heather Angel, who judged this year’s entries, says: "This is a great macro shot - well exposed and composed.  Greater impact has been gained by avoiding a bright sunny day and by getting in really close.  You can see how some of the water drops have enlarged the facets of the compound eye by functioning as mini close-up lenses!"


Max Brown, age 17 from Upper Halliford who attends Hampton School, wins the junior category for his 'Cranefly at Sunset'.

Max says: “I am extremely happy to have won the junior category of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s photography competition, it was a genuine surprise to me. This particular photo was taken during dusk on a warm summer evening when the craneflies were out in abundance, getting low and having the sun in the frame was the tricky bit and it took a while to sneak up and to get into a good position. I have always loved wildlife and in particular insects ever since I can remember. Being able to capture them in a photo forever is an incredible experience and there is nowhere I would rather be than out photographing wildlife. I hope in the future that I will be able to inspire others to get out there and enjoy nature!”

Heather says: "This was an innovative composition taken at a tricky time of day and he has captured a wonderful atmosphere without the insect being bathed in light yet it is still recognisable as a cranefly."

Rob’s picture will adorn the front cover of the spring issue of SWT’s members’ magazine ‘Surrey Nature’ and both he and Max have won a day out with a SWT ranger, for a personalised tour of one of the Trust’s reserves (not normally open to the public), for insider-information and access to otherwise difficult-to-spot wildlife.

Tim Dawes from Redhill, achieves second place in the competition for his 'Coots Mating' and wins a digital camera, kindly donated by Sony.

Tim says: “I am fortunate enough to live within a couple of minutes walk of a Surrey Wildlife Trust Reserve. When free time and weather allow I tend to take my camera for a walk on the reserve. The day I took the picture of the coots I was particularly lucky. In the space of just two hours I was also able to photograph a fox hunting rabbits (unsuccessfully) and a heron fishing and then getting mobbed by crows that I assume must have had a nest nearby.”

Heather says: "This is a technically good shot showing an essential part of coot behaviour for them to start a family."

Karen Glover from Wokingham, Technical Assistant in the oil and gas industry, achieves third place in the competition for her 'Robin on South Downs Way sign' and wins photography equipment vouchers kindly donated by Raymond Reid Photo in Haselmere and Jessops in Guildford.

Karen says: “I am truly delighted to have won 3rd place in SWT’s Wildlife Photography competition - my first ever photographic competition. My husband, Keith, and I are keen long-distance walkers and the photography aspect is a very important part of our walks. This result has already inspired me to keep clicking and enter more competitions!

Heather says: "'Robin on North Downs Way sign' has captured a fun, fleeting moment.”  

View a selection of the entries on SWT’s Flickr slide show and keep your eye on this and its Twitter and Facebook pages for details of regular photography competitions being launched over the coming months.

Date published: Wednesday 25 January 2012