Army Photographic Competition winners announced
The Army Photographic Competition winners have been announced today with Army Photographer Corporal Tim Jones (pictured left) taking the Photographer of the Year crown with his professional portfolio of images portraying military life during the past 12 months.
Winners were announced today at a ceremony held at the Imperial War Museum, London, where a display of the winning images is being hosted.
Tim, aged 31, who’s based at Army Headquarters in Andover, was surprised to win and said: “It’s pretty groovy to be honest. I take photos for my job and at the end of the year look through my archive and pick out my favourites. I wasn’t expecting it; it’s cool.”
From Tim’s portfolio, the most striking image is that of a Fijian soldier wading through deep water in the jungles of Brunei (pictured top). Tim says: “We were in Brunei to capture the unit training in jungle warfare and I thought we should set this scene in the water. We found a little stream and the unit were more than happy to do it. It’s my personal favourite.”
Pictured: 1st Pro Portrait - Army Boxer, by Corporal Paul Shaw.
'Different style of image'
Best overall image was taken by Huddersfield Army Photographer Corporal Paul Shaw, aged 31, (pictured alongside Tim) who captured an atmospheric photograph of a boxer from 3rd Battalion The Rifles in training. The same photograph also topped the best professional portrait category.
“It feels great to win it [pro portrait] for the second year in a row,” said Paul, whose portrait of a Sierra Leonean soldier won the category last year. Reflecting on how the boxer shot came about Paul said: “I went along to photograph their training and document it, and I wanted to capture a different style of image.
“We had all the lighting set up and this guy was practicing his skills. I started talking to him, getting him to imagine his up-and-coming fight and so he got into the mind-set and looks focused on the fight. I got the emotion on his face.”
New for this year was the professional story category, and photographers were required to submit a small selection of images to tell a story. Winner of the pro category was Sgt Rupert Frere, who last year claimed most of the top categories. His story about the guards was the judges' favourite.
Pictured: 1st Pro Story - All Change, by Sgt Rupert Frere.
Judge Ben Birchall, of the Press Association, said of the quality of entries: “It’s pretty outstanding. Not just the professional categories, which you would expect of Army Photographers, but the amateur categories have just been superb.”
The online image, as chosen by the public in an online vote on Facebook and Instagram was ‘Big Hugs' (pictured right) by Scotland-based photographer Mark Owens, based on a combination of votes on both channels.
As the popularity of video has grown over the past few years, the Army Photographers have been developing their videoing skills. Sergeant Russ Nolan, aged 38 of Exmouth in Devon, took the top prize in the video category with a short film on caving in the Yorkshire Dales.
In collaboration with Sgt Gary Kendall, Russ produced the heart-stopping video to show off some of the Army’s adventurous training antics.
“One of the things we liked about it was its complexity to film,” said Russ. Location also helps. When you’ve got guys abseiling in a massive open crevice 40 or 50 metres down into a cave it’s always a good opener. I think what people association with it, is how it makes them feel if they were there in that tight space and in the darkness. It could be quite emotional.”
'Really tough competition'
Winner of the amateur portfolio category is Glasgow Reservist Bombardier Murray Kerr for the second year running. He said: “When I learned I’d won the portfolio category again I was really pleased, really excited. It’s a really tough competition to get anything in, so I’m very pleased with myself.”
Command Master Photographer WO1 Will Craig said: “I’m hugely impressed with the standard of imagery this year, there was a lot of debate when it came to the judging. The insight the images gives us of the day-to-day life of a British soldier is unique.
“This year’s seen the highest amateur entries we have ever had. We had soldiers using their phones and larger formats cameras to capture some really great images. The professionals had to work a little bit harder this year in some of the new categories, which have challenged the most experienced.”
Winner of the best Multimedia was Sgt Jamie Peters with his short film of the Queen's Own Yeomanry live firing from the RWMIK Land Rover (below).
The professional soldiering category winner was Corporal Pete Brown, who has been a professional Army Photographer for a year. His image of a soldier mid-battle on exercise was one of his first after joining the photographic trade.
Pictured: 1st Pro Soldiering - Spread Out, by Cpl Pete Brown.
Best Short Online Video
Winner of the short online video was Sgt Gary Kendall with his insightful video about an Army Luge competitor in the winter sports competition (below).