Ten year old Thomas Easterbrook has scooped three prizes in the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards, 2018.
Thomas scooped First Prize and two Commendations in the Under 12 Years category. His striking image ‘Majestic raven’ came top in the category, and his images captioned ‘Havergate hare’ and ‘Ladybird preparing for lunch’ were both given Commendations.
But this isn’t Thomas’ first taste of success with photography.
Last year, his beautiful photo of a hummingbird hawk-moth bagged him the Runner-up prize in the same Under 12 Years category.
His snaps were singled out after more than 4,700 entries.
Thomas said: “I photographed the raven keeping watch at the Tower of London. I thought it was slightly menacing but very beautiful.
“I took the picture of the ‘Havergate hare’ in the spring. I had taken a boat to Havergate Island before sunrise to see the brown hares. Luckily, I was able to get very close to one hare and managed to take this photo. The hare seemed very relaxed and I love the way the gorse is reflecting in its eye.
“My ladybird photo was taken when on a walk in the summer. I was surprised how scary the ladybird looked when seen very close and it was certainly well positioned for its next meal!”
‘Overall Winner’ of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards was 17 year-old Lucy Hutton from Northumberland, with her winning image of the preserved body of Pinta Island Galapagos tortoise Lonesome George, whose death marked the final extinction of his species. The teenager had entered ‘Solitario George’ (as he is called in Spanish) into the Awards’ new ‘Human Impact on Animals’ category and it beat off fierce competition to win the top prize in this year’s competition.
Attracting entries from under 19s across England and Wales, this year’s awards were blind-judged by a panel of experts in wildlife photography which included representatives from sponsors Wex Photo Video, Warners Midlands Plc and Natures Images and led by BBC Springwatch presenter and RSPCA Vice President Chris Packham.
Judge and awards host Chris Packham said: “I’ve been judging the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards since they started. It’s exciting to see it move with the times, particularly with a new category this year showing the human impact on animals and the welcome return of a pets category.
“We’re also pleased that the Mobile Phone and Devices category continues, because as no separate camera is required, this has really opened up the competition to almost anyone.”
The winning images across nine categories, including three different age groups, were announced during an awards ceremony hosted by Chris Packham at the Tower of London on Wednesday, 19 December.
Reflecting on the strength of the competition this year, Chris Packham added: “It’s nice to see so many creative photos of people’s pets and a range of wildlife in such a strong competition. It needs real imagination to make commonplace species interesting, showing that the photographer has been really innovative.
“The fantastic images we have seen this year range from creatures in the desert and pets at play to animals just getting on with their life in the wild. The competition is a great way for young people to go out and experience the environment around them.