Beetle photo taken by retiree on Isle of Wight coast wins international photography competition
66-year-old retired engineer and RNLI volunteer Nick Edwards has scooped the top prize in this year’s Royal Society of Biology Photography Competition
The Royal Society of Biology has announced the winners of this year’s Photography Competition, with two amateur photographers named as Photographer and Young Photographer of the Year.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Capturing movement,’ and more than 2,500 photos were submitted by more than 900 entrants worldwide, with shortlisted images including migrating zebras, lions feeding and even a polar bear.
However, it is a snap of a beetle mid-leap, taken on the Isle of Wight by 66-year-old Nick Edwards, that has bagged this year’s top prize. Nick has been named Photographer of the Year for his photo titled ‘Demob Happy’, for which he also wins £1,000 in prize money.
Nick, a retired engineer who previously worked at a British multi-national corporation, is an amateur wildlife photographer, keen birder and natural history observer. Nick lives in the yachting town of Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, where he is an active volunteer member of the local RNLI lifeboat station crew.
Nick said of winning the award: “I was very pleased to hear that I have won the 2019 Photography Competition, which was a lovely surprise.
“Thanks very much indeed to the RSB for this award: it feels very grand to be named as Photographer of the Year!”
Thorness Bay, an unspoilt coastal farming area where his photograph was taken, is walkable from his home and one of Nick’s favourite wildlife spots. He has been married for 44 years and has 3 grown up children.
This year’s Young Photographer of the Year is Carlos Perez Naval, 14, recognised for his photo of two white-headed ducks in combat, titled ‘Fighting’, winning £500. Carlos lives in Spain with his family, and enjoys photography alongside his studies.
Carlos said of winning the award: “It was a lovely surprise to be announced as Young Photographer winner, so I offer my thanks to the RSB for this award. I am very happy and rather proud of myself!”
Tim Harris from Nature Picture Library and a judge for the RSB Photography Competition, said of the winning entries: “All the judges were impressed by the quality of entries in this year’s competition.
“The diversity of subjects, locations and approaches to the subject made our task in selecting the winning photographs a tough, but rewarding one.
“At 14 and the winner of the under-18 categories, Carlos Perez Naval, who submitted a pin-sharp shot of white-headed ducks fighting, clearly has a great future in nature photography.
“The overall competition winner was Nick Edwards’ soldier beetle image, which captured movement in a direct and technically sophisticated way, flying the flag for invertebrates at a time when recognising their key role in biodiversity has never been more important.”
The shortlisted photos showcase stunning images captured across the globe, including Canada, India and Kenya, and feature a variety of species in motion, with fluttering birds, jumping insects and territorial showdowns.
The shortlisted photos, with more information about each image, can be downloaded via the WeTransfer link at the top of this press release.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Capturing movement,’ and more than 2,500 photos were submitted by more than 900 entrants.
The winners of the competition were announced at the RSB Annual Awards Ceremony on 10th October at The Francis Crick Institute, London, as part of this year’s Biology Week.
The competition was judged by Tim Harris, Nature Library and Bluegreen Pictures; Tom Hartman, program chair of MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging at the University of Nottingham; Alex Hyde, natural history photographer and lecturer at the University of Nottingham; and Linda Pitkin, underwater photographer.