Last Monday, it was down to London – the Mall Gallery to be precise – for the British Wildlife Photography Awards presentation ceremony and exhibition opening.
For the last two years, organiser Maggie Gowan, has kindly invited me to be a judge for these prestigious awards. I shortlist entries for the fantastic “Animal Behaviour” category and then spend a day with Maggie and the other 10 or so judges (that include Sue Herdman from the National Trust magazine and Steve Watkins from Outdoor Photography magazine) at Canon’s Headquarters at Reigate in Surrey. We go through all the shortlisted entires and select winners for all the categories. It’s a tough and challenging day, but I really enjoy being part of the panel.
The ceremony was a chance to let my hair down and do some serious “schmoozing” with some of the winners and celebrities (like BBC producer, film maker and author Stephen Moss – a friend of Birds magazine who has written features on herons and the recent "60 years of change").
Also making the trip down from Sandy were Birds designer Joel, Mark Boyd and Tony Garratt from the Youth and Education Team and Olivia Betts from the PR team – the latter adding some much needed glamour to the RSPB contingent.
The paparazzi were out in force at the glitzy BWPA Awards ceremony
After picking up my judges copy of the superb BWPA book (to feature in the next issue of Birds), looking round the exhibition and patting myself on the back for helping to pick so many worthy winners, the free drink appeared, As Stephen presented the awards, I partook in a glass of champagne, or two (cough), and got down to some networking with fellow mag editors, photographic industry professionals and some of the UK's best wildlife photographers. A successful trip down to the big smoke and a big well done to all the winners and to Maggie for another successful year of BWPA. Cheers to BWPA – and sorry Stephen for any rowdy behaviour during the presentations.
I’m also pleased to say that one of the shots from my category was the overall winner: "Gannet Jazuzzi" by Dr Matt Doggett.
If you'd like to see the winners on exhibition, find out the tour dates here: www.bwpawards.org/page/exhibitions
We’re loving receiving all your photographs for featuring in Birds magazine’s “Your snapshots pages”, so keep them coming please to firstname.lastname@example.org