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Children’s stunning wildlife images win plaudits from Chris Packham at RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023





Two children from the Cambridge region were among those honoured by judges in this year’s RSPCA Young Photographer Awards.

Tara Hinds Medina, 9, and Jack Brackley, 11, were finalists in the Under 12s category of the competition, the winners of which were announced at an awards ceremony at the Tower of London hosted by TV presenter, naturalist and RSPCA president Chris Packham.

Tara Hinds Medina, 9, was runner-up in the Under 12 Years category RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image of a bittern, titled 'The Silent Stalker'
Tara Hinds Medina, 9, was runner-up in the Under 12 Years category RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image of a bittern, titled 'The Silent Stalker'

Tara’s image of a bittern, titled ‘The silent stalker’ was taken on a visit to RSPB Minsmere.

Chris, who was joined by other photographers and wildlife experts for the judging, was impressed by the “beautiful” image, which he described as “like a pen and ink drawing”.

“This, I think, is a very striking photograph of a remarkable bird,” he said.

Tara said: “I’ve always loved taking photos even from when I was very little because my dad is a great photographer and I really wanted to live up to his standard. I started taking shots of things with his phone quite early. I realised I loved doing it so much that on my ninth birthday I got a real camera and I take it to every bird trip I go on.

“I love photographing birds but especially herons. They always stay still and are so elegant and graceful. I don't really have a favourite but herons are one of them!”

She added: “I’m so happy that I was even considered and when I get older I will take better photos and do my best to help all wildlife and stop climate change too. The more we know about animals, the more we can help them so that young people in the future can make a good impact on the natural world.”

Jack Brackley, 11, from Cambourne, was commended in the Under 12 Years category of the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image of a green-eyed flower bee in flight
Jack Brackley, 11, from Cambourne, was commended in the Under 12 Years category of the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image of a green-eyed flower bee in flight

Jack, from Cambourne, was commended for his macro picture of a green-eyed flower bee in flight.

Chris described it as an “amazing photograph” and “a triumph” and noted that it was “absolutely pin sharp”, with the bee “beautifully positioned”.

He said: “Hand on heart, I’d never heard of the green-eyed flower bee, let alone seen one. It’s a beautiful study of an animal that sadly most people will go through their lives never seeing, never encountering.”

Jack Brackley, 11, right, with Chris Packham and fellow finalists at the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023
Jack Brackley, 11, right, with Chris Packham and fellow finalists at the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023

Jack, who took the photo at Lackford Lakes nature reserve in Suffolk on a day out with his family, said: “It was great to be commended and I really enjoyed seeing all the other photographers and their pictures. There were some amazing images. It was fun to talk to Chris Packham and I enjoyed hearing what he had to say about my photograph. I hope to enter the awards again next year.

"It was also brilliant to go to the Tower of London for the ceremony - and of course I took a few more photographs while I was there!"

Thomas Easterbrook, 15, was runner-up in the 12-15 age category of the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image of a common basilisk, taken while on holiday
Thomas Easterbrook, 15, was runner-up in the 12-15 age category of the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image of a common basilisk, taken while on holiday

The winner in the category was Hope Whittaker, 11, while other winners were announced in a range of categories, including for the age groups 12-15 and 16-18, for pet portraits, portfolios, and ‘small world’ images.

The overall winner, who won a number of categories, was Jamie Smart, 8, for a stunning picture of a turkey. Winners won trophies, vouchers and other prizes in the competition, which was sponsored by wildlife photography holiday company Natures Images and wildlife camera trap company Camtraptions.

Leyla Yargici, 10, was commended in the Under 12 Mobile Phone and Devices category at the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image, titled 'Ready for a nap'
Leyla Yargici, 10, was commended in the Under 12 Mobile Phone and Devices category at the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image, titled 'Ready for a nap'
Eilidh Shannon, 12, was also commended for 'Green-eyed beauty' in the Pet Portraits category of the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023
Eilidh Shannon, 12, was also commended for 'Green-eyed beauty' in the Pet Portraits category of the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023

Chris said: “Seeing children and young people express their connection to the natural world through these photographs is always so heartening to see, and this year I was blown away by how many superb photographs we received for the competition.

“The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is a real celebration of animals and the natural world and I love taking part every year. I hope everyone who entered continues with their love of animals and photography and they should all be proud of their achievements. Next year, we hope to reach even more children through the Young Photographer Awards as the RSPCA celebrates its milestone 200th year.”

Eilidh Shannon, 12, was runner up in the Under 12 Mobile Phone and Devices category at the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image, titled 'Musical Maisie'
Eilidh Shannon, 12, was runner up in the Under 12 Mobile Phone and Devices category at the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for this image, titled 'Musical Maisie'
Sophie Green, 17, was runner-up in the Portfolio category in the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for a collection of five images of active dogs
Sophie Green, 17, was runner-up in the Portfolio category in the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023 for a collection of five images of active dogs
Vanessa Lau was commended in the 12-15 age category for this penguin image, titled 'My Way', in the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023
Vanessa Lau was commended in the 12-15 age category for this penguin image, titled 'My Way', in the RSCPA Young Photographer Awards 2023

The 2024 awards open for entry in May. Email ypa24@rspca.org.uk to join the mailing list.

Visit rspca.org.uk/ypa to find out more, and see all this year’s winners.



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