Suffolk Wildlife Trust photography competition launched

Colin Barley's stunning image Backlit Hedgehog - the public vote winner, the judges' winner and the

Colin Barley's stunning image Backlit Hedgehog - the public vote winner, the judges' winner and the Eastern Angles category winner in last year's Suffolk Wildlife Trust photography competition. Picture: COLIN BARLEY - Credit: Archant

Cameras at the ready for ever-popular nature image contest

Colin Barley, centre, the big winner in last year's Suffolk Wildlife Trust photography competition,

Colin Barley, centre, the big winner in last year's Suffolk Wildlife Trust photography competition, with category-toppers Kevin Pigney, left, and Nicholas Hurst, at the contest's awards evening. Picture: JOHN GRANT - Credit: John Grant

The endless photographic opportunities presented by nature have been well and truly seized by scores of amateur photographers who have taken part in Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s ever-popular photography competition over the years.

Now the trust has launched its 2018 competition and wildlife in all its splendour and diversity will once again be the inexhaustible subject matter for a contest now in its 19th year.

Trust community fundraising manager Michael Strand, the competition organiser, said the annual event was proving to be increasingly popular.

“The competition is always a really easily accessible way of connecting with wildlife,” he said. “The thrill of watching wildlife can be so in-the-moment, you never know what you might find or what might happen in front of your eyes. Capturing that in photographs can be so rewarding and so creative.

“We would encourage anyone to get out there and give the competition a try - you don’t have to be an experienced photographer. In fact, it is quite noticeable how many newcomers, how many first-time entrants, have done very well in the competition over the years.”

This year’s contest had attracted a new sponsor - LPG supplier AvantiGas, which in Suffolk has its headquarters at Shepherds Grove Industrial Estate, Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds. The company had also joined the trust as a corporate member, said Mr Strand.

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Nine categories would feature in the 2018 competition, with one - Comedy and Photo Fails - being introduced for the first time. The full list of categories is:

Young Photographer, Under-12 - featuring British wildlife

Young Photographer, 12-18 years - also featuring British wildlife

Comedy and Photo Fails - who can make the competition judges laugh the most? Comedy moments captured on purpose or because of some misfortune on the part of the photographer, equipment or situation

Simply Suffolk - photoscapes that capture something new to portray the uniqueness and distinctiveness of Suffolk’s natural beauty (including, but not exclusive to, farmland, urban, marine, nature reserves, coast and estuary)

Strictly Come Wildlife - wildlife in action (particular attention will be given to portraits or other images framed to suit a front cover or full-page main feature of a wildlife supplement)

Eastern Angles - wildlife structure and forms, patterns and textures from an abstract or illustrative viewpoint, or wildlife from an artistic perspective

Unearthed - wildlife requiring soil, sand, rock or other substrates from which to live, grow or obtain its nourishment

Out-Of-Sight Suffolk - revealing wildlife normally hidden to the human eye due to its size, obscurity, popularity, life cycle or habitat

On The Doorstep - image taken within 300 metres of where you live, celebrating the wildlife that plays a part in your day-to-day life.

Judges so far signed up to the competition are acclaimed Suffolk photographers Kevin Sawford, Jamie Hall and Sarah Groves and Taffy Smith - the trust’s learning officer at its Foxburrow Farm nature reserve at Melton, near Woodbridge.

They will choose a winner and runner-up in each category, with all chosen images being shown in an online gallery. A public vote will decide the overall winner, with the photographer winning a Suffolk mini-break holiday at Upthorpe Lodges, Stanton. The judges will choose their own winner, who will receive £500.

The closing date for entries is October 29.

For more information, visit https://www.suffolkphotography.org/register/

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