Smartphone snap triumphs in green space photo competition

A stunning picture that perfectly captures a bee hovering over a foxglove has won a National Trust photographic competition that celebrates the role green places play in people’s lives.

Taken by Laura Elliot in her parent’s garden in Northern Ireland, ‘Don’t bee choosy’ was shot using an iPhone 4 on the instagram photo app – winning both the smartphone category and the overall competition.

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Laura Elliot, who lives in Co. Fermanagh, said:

“I was shocked to find out I’d won. I’m studying dentistry at university and photography is just my hobby. It was late in the afternoon so there was just enough light to capture the shot. I feel this photo represents my space, reflects my love for nature, photography, and captures the spirit of the competition.

Top landscape photographer Joe Cornish, who was one of the judges, said:

“The smartphone category was the most exciting. As professional photographers we found it inspiring – and garnered lots of ideas. Laura’s image is stunning. The colours sing and the composition is striking. This is a photo that you want to blow up and hang on your wall.”

More than 5,700 entries were submitted in the four categories of the competition which ran from May until August 2012.

Photographers were asked to capture the spirit of National Trust founder Octavia Hill on camera and celebrate her passionate belief in the importance of green space and spending time in the outdoors.

A panel of experts, including the acclaimed photographers Mary McCartney, Joe Cornish, Arnhel de Serra, Charlie Waite and National Trust Photographic Manager, Chris Lacey, discussed and debated the shortlisted images to come up with the four category winners and then an overall competition winner. One of the category winners was then chosen to be the overall winner of the competition.

Charlie Waite, one of the judges and founder of Light and Land photography, said:

“The standard of photography suggests to me that photographers are no longer seeing the camera as just a recording device but as a wonderfully creative tool to aid the individual in expressing their own particular response to their world around them.”

The winner of the 10-and-under category is James Ashton, aged 9, from Doncaster with his intimate image of ducks feeding at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire. Tilly Rose Bellinger, aged 16,from Somerset won the 11-to-16 set with Jurassic mist, an atmospheric black and white image of the Jurassic Coastline in Dorset. The winner of the over 16 award is Eleanor Bennett from Cheshire, having composed a clever photograph of silhouettes of walkers amongst bare trees in Lyme Park, Cheshire. All three of these places are looked after by the National Trust.

All of the winners are featured in the spring edition of the National Trust Magazine and on the National Trust Your Space website.

Eight highly commended runners up are being entered into an online public vote for the British public to choose their favourites.


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