A breathtaking composition capturing a runner jogging into the mist-covered hills at sunrise is the winner of the South Downs National Park’s Annual Photo Competition.
“Into The Mistic”, by Andrew Gambling, took first place in the popular photography contest, which attracted more than 170 entries capturing scenes from across the length and breadth of the National Park.
The theme for the competition was “Experiencing the Natural World” and judges agreed that Andrew’s extraordinary photograph met the brief perfectly. Meanwhile, the competition also included a separate category for best wildlife image – with first place going to an adorable picture of a hare munching on leaves in a colourful blanket of wildflowers.
The competition judges were award-winning photographers Rachael Talibart and Finn
Hopson, Nick Heasman, Countryside Policy Manager for the South Downs National Park Authority, Doug Jones, SDNPA Member, and the late Steve Watkins, Editor of Outdoor Photography Magazine. Steve sadly passed away last month and this year’s competition is dedicated to his memory and tireless work to promote photography of the natural world.
Of the winning photograph, Steve Watkins said: “It’s the picture that transports me to a
different place – it’s a dramatic vision of the South Downs National Park. I think most people would perceive this as an experience you can have here in the South Downs. It’s an exceptional photograph.”
Paying tribute to Steve Watkins, SDNPA Member Doug Jones said: “We’ve worked with Steve since the early years of the competition and he’s always been a
tremendous asset to the judging panel. Alt
hough his work had taken him all over the world, the landscapes of the South Downs seemed to hold a particular passion for him and his ability to inspire others to enjoy the outdoors will be greatly missed.”
The five winning images will now join five highly-commended photos for the People’s Choice vote, which has a £100 prize. Those highly commended are: “Pony Heaven” by Joe James; “The Mindful Walker” by Gary Hider; “The Theory of Everything” by Ismail Mungul; “Female Chalkhill Blue Heading To Roost” by Thomas Moore; and “Startled Skylark” by Sara Humphrey.
Vote for your favourite by January 31 at www.southdowns.gov.uk