Wild Kent in the frame

Tuesday 17th October 2017

Robin on a camera

Winners of the Kent Wildlife Trust Wildlife Photography Competition 2017 announced

Another great selection of photographs capturing the wild beauty of Kent was submitted for this, the 10th annual competition. These 12 worthy winning images were selected by freelance photographer and tutor, Phil Hurst of Borough Green, formerly of the Natural History Museum Photographic Unit.

Phil - whose comments follow - said: “The selection process proved yet again to be both challenging, but enjoyable, as the standards were so high. It also demonstrates just what can be achieved - even with the simplest of cameras. My heartiest congratulations go to all those talented photographers who took part – and keep up the great work!”

The winners will be presented with trophies and prizes at an awards presentation evening in November at the Trust’s headquarters at Tyland Barn, Maidstone, when the overall winner will be announced. Their reward will be a two-day break for four people in a Kent country cottage courtesy of Mulberry Cottages who have generously donated this fabulous prize. The Junior awards will be presented by Unipet International, who have kindly sponsored this category. The winning photographs will be exhibited in the gallery at Tyland Barn throughout November before moving on to other venues around the county.

Fauna Category (C1):

1st Place: Jason Steel from Bexleyheath

European Hornet

European hornet, photo by Jason Steel

Not an image I would be happy taking! Here is a striking portrait of a spectacular member of the wasp family. Set amongst similar colours the hornet’s head dominates, thanks to the careful composition.

2nd Place: Jim Higham from Canterbury

Murmuration over Canterbury

Murmuration over Canterbury, photo by Jim Higham

A starling murmuration is always a sight for sore eyes, to capture one over the iconic Canterbury Cathedral is great. Not an easy image to achieve as the light is fading; it would have been all too easy for the birds to become an indistinct blur.

3rd Place: Jim Higham

Elmley Stonechat

Elmley Stonechat, photo by Jim Higham

Proving that your subject does not need to be large in the frame, this study of a male stonechat keeping an eye on his domain ticks many boxes. The hint of the environment is what makes this a strong image.

Flora Category (C2):

1st Place: David Jenner from East Peckham

 Bluebell Sunset

Bluebell sunset, photo by David Jenner

I particularly like images that use the light well. Here, shooting towards the sun, has created numerous leading lines that draw you into the image. The author has also rendered the bluebell colour well - not always easy.

2nd Place: Liz Martin from Whitstable

Whitstable Castle

Whistable Castle, photo by Liz Martin

I am a great fan of abstract image and really like the feeling captured here. The lines all leading to a single point and echoed in the out of focus background make a very strong abstract statement.

3rd Place: David Scrivener from Maidstone

Coxheath Bluebells

Bluebells, by David Scrivener

Although another bluebell and again a slightly abstract image, the choice of a different viewpoint and the use of colour and monochrome makes for an interesting image to view.

Landscape Coastline and People Category (C3):

1st Place: David Jenner

Valley Sunset

Valley sunset, photo by David Jenner

Another good example of the use of light with the two lines of trees leading you through the undulating landscape with lovely strong saturated foreground colours complemented by the pastel shades in the sky.

2nd Place: Carol Jull from Gillingham

Only the Brave

Only the brave! Kent coastal splash with children, photo by Carol Jull

Illustrating the energy of the seas around the Kent coast combined with the joy of the young people enjoying the moment. The 'frozen' action and the ‘contre-jour’ lighting give the splash sparkle.

3rd Place: Gary Collyer from Whitstable

St. James, Sheldwich

St. James, Sheldwich, photo by Gary Collyer

A classic county scene. Village life centres around the church and agriculture; here the two combine to form a pleasant Kentish landscape.

Junior Category (C4):

1st Place: James Carrol from Lower Halstow

Vipers Bugloss

Vipers bugloss, Queendown Warren, photo by James Carrol

An image that draws your eye to the in-focus flower spike. The out-of-focus flowers in front and behind help the strong diagonal in-focus spike to dominate.

2nd Place: Alice Bruford from Maidstone

Green-veined White on Scabious

Butterfly on a flower, photo by Alice Bruford

This is a very well taken image. The background helps the butterfly to stand out and the extra bit of colour in the perch helps draw your eye to the subject.

3rd Place: James Carrol

Female Adder

Female Adder, Queendown Warren, photo by James Carrol

It’s never easy to capture an image of this secretive species. It shows some of the preferred habitat and the details of the adder’s striking (pun intended) markings.