Midhurst student is photographer of the year

The rotary club present Oliver with his award SUS-140626-163406001
The rotary club present Oliver with his award SUS-140626-163406001

A MIDHURST Rother College student has won the prestigious title of Young Photographer of the Year 2014.

Following his success in the Rotary Club of Great Britain and Ireland local and district heats, Midhurst Rother College (MRC) sixth former, Oliver van Zwanenberg, has won the title of Young Photographer of the Year 2014.

He won with his stunning portfolio of three images taken on a school expedition to Tanzania.

Senior executives from the Rotary Club visited the college to present Oliver with a certificate, trophy and cash prize of £100.

Chairman of the Midhurst and Petworth Rotary Club’s youth activities committee, Hazel Morley, was delighted with the accolade, which marks a first for the club.

“We were thrilled that we had the honour of sponsoring Oliver throughout the different stages of the competition and it is definitely a first for both Midhurst and Petworth Rotary and MRC to have the national winner.”

Hosted by principal Dr Joe Vitagliano, the celebrations included guests from the Rotary club including local president Paul Melling, chairman of district youth services group David Spurrell, head of the district judging panel Malcolm Roberts, district organiser Mike Ellis and district governor, Michael Goodridge.

Michael Goodridge presented Oliver with his prize.

Also in attendance were friends, family and staff who have had great pleasure in supporting Oliver throughout the different stages of the competition, particularly head of photography, Nour-Eddine El Ghoumari.

In September Oliver will join the University of Westminster to study technical, scientific and creative aspects of photography and digital imaging.

Earlier this year, he took part in a stunning photography exhibition at the college, showcasing his work alongside other talented students.

People of the World was an exhibition of images taken by MRC pupils while on expeditions run by the company True Adventure.

Oliver worked with fellow pupil Sam Massey-Steel to show their experiences of the people and cultures of Tanzania and Nepal.

And they sold an impressive 60 per cent of their work.

The collection of four works attracted sponsors from the Midhurst National Association of Decorative and Fine Art, the Market Square Garage, Petworth, Zwanenberg Technical Services and McDonald Oates, Solicitors, alongside the extensive support from the company True Adventure and the college itself.

Katherine Davis of Midhurst’s Café Verdi was thrilled to be able to secure her favourite photographs and has invited the students to display others on her premises.

Dr Vitagliano was delighted at the success of the event, and the talent showcased by his students.

“People of the World was the first exhibition of student photography to be held in our new building and brought together the work of two gifted A-level photographers,” he said.

“While the images of Nepal and Tanzania are very much Sam and Oliver’s unique ‘take’ on these places, they also captured the richness of experience that we hope comes from the trips offered to students in their time at Midhurst Rother College – international travel is very much part of the ‘MRC experience’.”

During the exhibition, True Adventure celebrated the work carried out by students on community projects abroad.

The company also introduced the next project for MRC which, in the summer of 2015, will take a party of Year 11 and sixth formers to the area of Ladakh in India.