First Award - Let Nature Thrive
Updated: Mar 10
I was delighted to receive the news that I had won first prize in the Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival photography competition. With it being my first award ever for my photography I felt I had to pick up the prize in person. Although it was a bit of a trek from Milton Keynes to Somerset it was definitely worth it.
Firstly the scenery of Somerset was stunning, I kept seeing Hares hopping about in fields and would have loved to have stopped to take photos, but just didn't have the time ;-) We also ended up going through Bristol City which looked like an awesome place too. Modern buildings set against historic industrial buildings. I've added it as a place to visit for a few days and explore in the not too distant future.
Shepton Mallet was a quaint market town and there were lots of snowdrop displays in shop windows. If you don't know (I did not until I entered the competition) The first person to breed snowdrops from the wild was born in Shepton Mallet: James Allen. Which is why they have a snowdrop festival each year. I really like this tradition and I loved how it brought the community together. I also remembered a book I had read about happiness and how traditions and special days should be marked. I could see this in action and it brought me happiness to be a part of it, even as an outsider there was a really friendly welcoming vibe.
The competition was judged by Jason Ingram and I got to meet him which was a real honour as he was one of the first garden photographers that I became aware of when I started building my garden/botanical photography skills during the pandemic.
Here's me accepting my certificate and prize. (It was very cold which is why I had my coat on ;-)
The theme of the competition was 'Let Nature Thrive' I submitted the photo below titled Spring Leap which visualises how I let Nature thrive in my garden by providing water, which the blackbirds absolutely love. I actually think they visit most days to drink or bathe even in the winter! It just goes to show the impact that small gestures like this can have on the wildlife in our back gardens.
Tech bit: Sony A6600 lens FE200-600mm, 553mm f/6.3 1/4000s, ISO 2000
Masterful in every way, I love the composition, the balance of light and the subtlety in all the tones. The bird has a balletic quality and is just so beautiful, one wing up, one wing down and a lift of the head, it’s magical. The extremely fast shutter speed has helped capture the movement and even the odd drop of water from the bird bath is caught crisply in motion. The dark background adds to the drama and the only colour coming through is the blue flowers in the distance and the yellow around the eye and its beak. The composition works on the rule of thirds which adds even more poetry, stunning.