Welsh youngster wins prestigious RSPCA photography awards
A striking close-up image of a turkey has won the top prize in the prestigious RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for a Welsh snapper.
The stunning photo was entered by eight-year-old Jamie Smart, who is the youngest ever winner of the charity’s photography awards which have been running for over 30 years.
The winners of the award, which are open to youngsters aged 18 and under, were announced today 14 December at a ceremony the Tower of London hosted by TV presenter and RSPCA president Chris Packham.
Jamie, from Llandrindod Wells, secured the highest award out of more than 6,000 entries to the competition this year.
The judges were impressed by the level of detail illuminated on the turkey, called Frederick, the contrast of colours and the dark and brooding background.
The image which was entered under the ‘Pet Personalities’ category also caught the judges’ attention as an unusual and thought-provoking image which encourages people to think about turkeys differently.
Jamie, who has her own website Eagle Eyed Girl where she posts David Attenborough-style wildlife videos and photography, said: “I’d definitely like to be a wildlife photographer and presenter when I’m older. I really want to spread awareness and make a difference. I want to inspire people of all ages to get as many people as possible to help and conserve all these beautiful creatures.
“I’m amazed and proud of myself to have won and proud of my winning image. The shot of Frederick, our turkey, was taken through the bars of his pen and it looked like he was in prison which was quite appropriate due to the bird flu situation at the time.
“I wanted to show the beauty of his feathers with their iridescent shine, which he loves to display during spring and summer. People don’t often get to see the amazing plumage of turkeys. When the restrictions were lifted, he was able to be let out again in our wooded area.”
Jamie also won the ‘Pet Portraits’ category with her image of Curious George – a horse she spotted on some moorland, in the ‘Small World’ category she was commended for her caterpillar image, a swan tilting its head into the water also secured her a commended position in the ‘Under 12’ category along with an image of a pheasant sitting on top of a farm gate – which was her personal favourite.
She also won the ‘portfolio’ category with ‘A Year In a Life of the Turkey’ which as well as featuring the winning image showcased striking close-ups of the turkey’s eyes and feathers.
All entries are judged entirely anonymously which makes Jamie’s success this year even more amazing.
This year’s awards were judged by a panel of experts in wildlife photography, including wildlife photographer, TV presenter and RSPCA president Chris Packham; wildlife photographer Rachel Bigsby; former competition winner-turned-professional photographer Catriona Parfitt; professional wildlife photographer and photographic guide Ellie Rothnie; and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs.
Chris Packham said: “Seeing children and young people express their connection to the natural world through these photographs is always so heartening to see, and this year I was blown away by how many superb photographs we received for the competition.
“Jamie’s turkey photo really stood out for me, it’s a fantastic image and not just because I could imagine it as an album cover for a punk band!
“Jamie is clearly a very talented young photographer with an exciting future ahead of her and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”
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