Finalists in Currys 'Great British Summer' photography competition streamed into London's Music Rooms Gallery in great excitement to receive their awards and to check out the competition. There was lots of nervous and excited chatter as those shortlisted, and their guests, sipped champagne and Pimms and nibbled on canapés while admiring the work on display. A jazz trio enlivened the atmosphere still further.
The competition ran in three newspapers: The Times, The Sun and The London Paper. There were over 9,000 entries and only 40 were selected as finalists.
Philip Mudd, a publisher, was impressed by the standard of work on display.
"I thought the work was amazingly good with some very striking images. I don't know how the judges made the final decisions as there were so many stand-out photos. The shortlisted photographers have managed to capture the full range of the Great British Summer - sun and rain, blue skies and grey puddles, mad-looking cows and strange-looking people.
Panasonic generously sponsored the competition and each and every finalist received either a compact camera or a camcorder for having got so far. Category winners from each of three sections (Out and About, Landscape and People & Places) also received a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and the overall winners for each newspaper were overjoyed to receive a £5,000 holiday.
Jodie Kidd, model and polo player, was there to present the major prizes. She was extremely gracious and patient while I fumbled with my camera settings, having asked her for a snap. I don’t know whether it was the nerves of having got this far in the competition or the tricky, mixed lighting in the venue (daylight, tungsten and flash) but it took me several attempts, using my boyfriend as a lightstand and pointing him at a side wall to bounce a more flattering light on Ms Kidd’s face, to get the shot below. As ever, she looks great but, given more thought and less flap, I could have made a better job of the portrait.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This was the first time I have been shortlisted in a national competition, and I was delighted to have got that far - it was certainly a novel experience, seeing one’s work in a West End gallery, even if it didn’t have a large price tag attached.
A girl can dream!
The winners were:
- Terry Richer was the overall winner of The London Paper entries.
- Martyn Ferry was the overall winner of The Times entries.
- Abby Doda was the winner of The Sun entries.
Words and pictures by Jane Hobson