Springwatch presenter Chris Packham is calling for young people to get snapping during the school holidays and enter their photos into the RSPCA’s Young Photographer Awards.
Whether it’s a bug, a bird or a big, beautiful mammal, it’s a fun way to spend some time during the holidays, photos of any kinds of wildlife and animals are welcome.
And for the first time there will be a prize given for the best photograph taken on a mobile phone.
In 2016, Lily Edwards, from Bangor, caught the heartwarming moment a piglet snoozed in amongst its siblings – earning her a runner-up place in the Farm Animals category. Naming the image ‘Nap Time’ she said: “I took this photo at a local farm. As I was taking a photo of the piglets sleeping, one opened its eyes. It looks so peaceful and happy.”
TV star Chris will once again be part of the judging panel. He said: “If you’re under 19, why not head out into the countryside and snap some wildlife? Or you could get a great shot of your pet, whether it’s your dog, cat or even your hamster.
“Photographs of any animals can be entered into the competition. We see some incredibly beautiful images and this year I’m hoping to see fantastic pictures of animals taken with devices like mobile phones and tablets as well.”
Chris added: “But make sure you send your photos in by the deadline of Friday 18 August.”
The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards are a chance for young budding photographers to win amazing prizes. From the top prize of a weekend photography break ‘Seal Spectacular’ from Natures Images, to up to £800 of photographic vouchers from Wex Photographic.
There are 5 categories: Under 12 years; 12-15 years and 16-18 years; Portfolio and new for 2017, mobile phone and devices. Entrants can enter three categories with a maximum of 25 photos.
The new Mobile phone category will provide a fresh challenge, reflecting the important photographic role played by mobile devices in our lives today. Any mobile device can be used in this category, which is aimed at all skill levels, from beginners to complete pros.
Last year’s winner was Kyle Moore from Suffolk. His photo of a fox on an urban street at nighttime particularly impressed the judges.
Kyle says: “The school summer holidays are such a great time to go out with your camera because you’ve got more time to plan your pictures.
“I would really recommend entering this competition. It’s fun taking photos and trying to find a new angle on an animal you might see regularly. Why not see what comes through your garden or look under rocks in parks.”
The judging panel for 2017 will include long standing judge, wildlife expert and BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, alongside leading wildlife photographers, Jules Cox, Andrew Forsyth and Elliott Neep. Also in the judging line up will be aspiring professional wildlife photographers and former winners Catriona Parfitt (2005 and 2010) and Kyle Moore (2016) .
The judging panel will also include sponsors Ellie Rothnie (wildlife photographer and Natures Images representative); Mark Sisson, Natures Images and Philip Warner from Warners Printers Midlands.
Professional wildlife photographer and former RSPCA chief photographer Andrew Forsyth from Brighton, East Sussex said: “It’s an honour to be on the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards judging panel again this year. And I’m so pleased that mobile phones and other devices have also been added as a category.
“We always see so much talent when we are judging this competition. It is great to see so many young people taking pictures of animals and the new category may encourage even more to have a go.”
The closing date is 4pm on Friday 18 August. Hopeful entrants can find out more about the competition and submit their images online at www.rspca.org.uk/ypa/17
Winners will be presented with prizes at an awards ceremony hosted by Chris Packham at the Tower of London in December.