Bedford-based photographer, Henry Ransby, has won the coveted Guild of Photographers award for Natural World Photographer of the Year – beating more than 2,000 professional wildlife photographers from all over the UK and internationally.
At the annual event at Crewe Hall, Crewe, Henry also scooped the second prize for the image of the year in the natural world category out of almost 13,500 images.
His photographs of native wildlife included kestrels and foxes taken in Goldington, Bedford.
Speaking about the awards Henry said, “I’m absolutely thrilled with this award. The photographers that enter these awards are of such a high calibre. It is truly humbling to know that my images are considered to be the best of the best.”
He told the Bedford Independent, “I usually try and find my subjects and then come back and hide myself somewhere and wait for the birds or animals to return – wildlife is quite habitual, so with some – ok, a lot of! – patience you can often predict where they will be.
“The hare running down the bridleway was the most challenging to capture. I had to make sure that I was clear of the combine harvester as it harvested the field which meant that I had to move positions quite a bit.
“The one creature that has always alluded me is the tawny owl – often heard, but very hard to find in daylight hours.
“The nuthatch photograph perfectly captures the bird’s personality and the pose it is pulling sums its behaviour up. It will collect some food and then look for the next tree to fly to before darting off.”
And the most ridiculous situation he’s found himself in, in order to get the perfect picture?
“Probably lying flat on the cliffs at Bempton to capture gannets and puffins as they nested on the rock face.
“The winds up there are pretty strong, so I was hugging the ground as much as I could.”
Steve Thirsk, Director of the Guild, said, “I’m immensely proud and delighted that Henry has achieved this recognition after 12 months of submitting the highest quality images.
“The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds, so Henry quite rightly should be delighted with their extraordinary achievement.”
As a result of his achievements this year, Henry has been invited to be the expert wildlife photographer judge on the panel for next year’s competition.
The Guild is the highly regarded national photographic body whose members are dedicated to enhancing their skills in the art, craft and profession of photography.
It runs an Image of the Month Competition, and received more than 13,500 entries during 2019, from photographers in the UK and overseas.
Each image is scored, and the scores from the year are then totalled to determine who wins and becomes the Guild’s Photographer of the Year.