Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Julian Gardner photographic awards

Competition winner Martin Munn with his wife Kelly and winning photo

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) runs a photographic competition each year and the winners for 2013 were announced a few days ago at the Game Fair, held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. Laurie Campbell, the internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer is the senior judge and he said that this year’s winning photo’s, from both the senior and junior entrants, were “incredibly impressive”. 
The competition was made possible by a kind donation from the family and friends of Julian Gardner, a farmer, countryman and lifelong supporter of the trust, who was tragically murdered while working on his farm in Sussex. What was very special about the awards this year is that seven family members and friends had travelled up from Sussex to the fair so that they could watch the presentations take place. Richard Benyon, who is the DEFRA Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, very kindly made space in his hectic schedule, to come to the GWCT stand to present the trophies.
The winning photo titled “Lady in red” of a ladybird inside a Tulip flower was unanimously chosen by all three judges as the number one shot, even before we came together to discuss which photos should be placed in the last three – and that doesn’t happen very often! The winner Martin Munn and his wife Kelly duly turned up at the GWCT stand, having driven up from Surrey the night before, to stay just eight miles away. I say just eight miles away, but it took them two hours to travel these last few miles on the Saturday morning – they began to panic that they might actually miss the presentation!
Unfortunately, the winner of the 16 and under competition, Christopher Page of Orpington, Kent, who took a glorious picture of an autumnal woodland scene, could not make the fair. However, this was more than compensated for by the young lady who came third, who attended the presentation with her photo of a superbly atmospheric winter landscape. Eloise Rux Burton who is only 9 years old, (incidentally she would  like to be an actress when she grows up rather than a photographer!) was presented with her enlarged photo by Richard Benyon – a memory which will surely stay with her for years to come!
It was a lovely occasion, bringing together people who closely observe our surroundings and capture that particular moment for all to enjoy. I hope that the winners enjoy having the “hare” trophy on their mantel piece for the year, before handing the trophy over to next year’s winner.
 If this year is anything to go by – the standard will be high – but don’t let that put you off – get out there and see if you can’t take that winning photo!! 
To find out more about the competition go to:

Minister Richard Benyon presenting Martin with his trophy

Eloise Rux Burton receiving her picture from Richard Benyon

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