A dramatic photo of a gull on a stunning ridge of ice was today revealed as the overall winner of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2010 (YPA10), sponsored by Olympus and Warners Midlands.
TV presenter Ben Fogle presented Catriona Parfitt with her prize at a ceremony at the Tower of London this afternoon. The judges were amazed by the 17-year-old’s photo which the Southampton teenager took while on a family holiday in Liefdefjorden, Spitsbergen, on the Svalbard archipelago.
Award-winning photographer and YPA10 judge Danny Green said: “My first reaction on viewing this image was ‘wow!’. The composition is perfect with the gull standing proud atop his kingdom, the light has that special Arctic feel to it, and the setting is just so beautiful with the shapes and forms of this blue iceberg.
“She could have taken the easy option by zooming in and just taking this gull’s portrait, but Catriona made the right choice and incorporated the inhospitable and dramatic landscape, placing the bird in context of its environment.”
Catriona will join Danny and his team for a fantastic three-day photography break to the annual deer rut in Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, as part of her prize.
Judge Matt Baker, who was unable to attend the awards ceremony at the Tower of London because he is busy with Strictly Come Dancing and One Show rehearsals, said: “Having judged the awards for two years running, I’m continually impressed with the standard of entries.
“We’re always looking for something original that captures the personality of the animal. This isn’t easy to do and some of the images are so beautiful I was stunned to learn how young the photographers really are. “
Catriona’s photographs did well across the board as she also scooped the top prize in the category for 12 to 18-year-olds with the same photo. She was runner-up in the Olympus Portfolio prize for five different images from her trip to Svalbard. She has won two Olympus SP800 cameras and an Olympus E-PLI camera
Ryan Edwards (18) from Woodbridge, Suffolk, won the top prize in the Olympus Portfolio category for his beautiful collection of hare photos. Ryan was last year’s overall winner.
The winner of the People’s Choice Award is 15-year-old Lydia Bradford from Stamford, Lincolnshire, for her close up of her pet rabbit Toffee.
Alicia Hayden (10) from Leyburn, North Yorkshire, won the under 12s category with her lovely photo of a hoverfly. She was also the runner-up in the same category for her picture of a blackfly aphid and her young.
Sophie Wallace (14) of Leighton Buzzard won the Pet Personalities category for her photo of her cat Solomon taking time out from his busy life of exploring the garden.
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