The winners of the South Downs National Park photograph competition have been announced.
First place was awarded to Ron De’Ath for his photograph ‘Harvest Home’. The judges felt that this photograph, which captures the shifting seasons from summer to autumn, was technically perfect and clearly tells the story of farmers as stewards, caring for the National Park.
The competition judges were editor of Outdoor Photography magazine Steve Watkins, local photographer and gallery owner Finn Hopson, winner of the Sunday Times Magazine’s Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2016 Rachael Talibart, countryside and policy manager for the South Downs National Park Authority Nick Heasman, and Doug Jones, South Downs National Park Authority member.
Ron De’Ath, who took the picture from Butser Hill in Hampshire, won £250.
Judge Steve Watkins said: “Ron has subverted what could easily have been a conventional harvest shot – making the unusual choice to frame the picture vertically and leave out the sky entirely. The result is a wonderful winding journey through chalk grassland, ploughed earth and woodland, past farm house and field margins and on to freshly harvested crops, leaving no doubt that people live and work in this landscape.”
‘Staredown’, a moody crowd cattle photographed by Dominic Vacher on Tegdown Hill near Brighton, won second place. ‘Rolling Down’, taken on taken on Barlavington Down, won third place and £50 for Simon Verrall. ‘Harvest home’, ‘Staredown’ and ‘Rolling Down’ will join three highly commended photos to go forward for the people’s choice vote. These are: ‘Sussex Farming’ by Tom Hard; ‘Fertile Ground’ by Benno White and ‘Heathland Fire’ by Jamie Fielding.
This means that although the judges have chosen their winner, there’s still £100 up for grabs to the winner of the people’s choice award. Vote for a favourite before midday on Monday, January 29, at www.southdowns.gov.uk/vote-favourite-photo.