A 15-YEAR-OLD Worcester wildlife lover has won the ‘12-15’ category for his photo of a dunlin bird in the prestigious RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2023 hosted by wildlife broadcaster Chris Packham.
Alex George entered the competition with his photo titled ‘Golden glow’ featuring the dunlin on a beach in Pembrokeshire.
Every year, the awards invite young people aged 18 years and under to capture the animal kingdom on a camera or a mobile device.
Winners were announced at the Tower of London hosted by TV presenter and RSPCA president Chris Packham.
“Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with wildlife. During PE lessons at primary school I was far more interested in the goldfinches on the school bird feeders than the game of football in the playground.
“I remember feeling very disappointed when I went to visit Father Christmas and he gave me a football instead of a camera. I was four!
“I love photographing otters, seals and dippers, and many of the most common animals we have in the UK can often be overlooked but perform incredible feats or are beautiful to look at.
“The dunlin is often overlooked by birdwatchers and photographers but I wanted to make these little, busy birds look extraordinary.
“I lay flat on the beach, eye level with the bird. I wanted the dunlin to be backlit which gave its outline a warm glow.”
Alex said winning the award made the early mornings spent lying in mud, on damp sand, or in a ditch waiting for the perfect shot completely worth it.
The 15-year-old, added:
“Humans don’t own this planet – we share it.
“By learning about nature and the incredible animals around us, we can hopefully be inspired to share better and care more which is what I hope to achieve through my photos.”
Alex was also ‘commended’ for his photo of seals squabbling on a beach in Norfolk.
Judge and awards host, Chris Packham said:
“Seeing children and young people express their connection to the natural world through these photographs is always so heartening to see.
“This year I was blown away by how many superb photographs we received for the competition.
“The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is a real celebration of animals and the natural world and I love taking part every year.
“I hope everyone who entered continues with their love of animals and photography and they should all be proud of their achievements.
“Next year, we hope to reach even more children through the Young Photographer Awards as the RSPCA celebrates its milestone 200th year.”
The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2024 opens for entry in May. The charity hopes it will be an even bigger and better competition to coincide with the RSPCA’s 200th anniversary.
E-mail [email protected] to join the mailing list and be the first to know when the competition opens.