Young Photographers Wow With Wildlife Shots at Headington Festival

Oxford has discovered a new generation of top wildlife photographers thanks to a competition organised by Science Oxford, in partnership with Headington Action.

The Wildlife in your Neighbourhood photography competition challenged children aged 4 – 11 who live in and around Headington to capture images of some of the amazing wildlife on their doorsteps – whether that was in their back gardens, in local woodlands or the school playground. The photo could be taken on a mobile phone, tablet or by digital camera and be of anything related to the theme of ‘wildlife.’ Only siblings and pets were excluded!

The Wildlife on your Doorstep judges were Councillor Roz Smith, top wildlife photographer (and Headington resident) Ross Mackenzie and Science Oxford Centre manager Mike Dennis.

Prizes included being part of a special photographic exhibition at the Headington Festival on Sunday June 3rd 2018 and wildlife books for the children and their schools.

Over eighty children entered the competition and the judges selected twelve finalists across two age categories (4-7 and 8-11) to feature in the exhibition.

Mike Dennis said, “The quality of the entries really took our breath away – there is so much creative talent in Headington. There were bugs, birds, trees and landscapes, frogs, bees and many dandelion clocks. Trying to choose just twelve for the exhibition was tricky and the judges all had their favourites.

He added, “Science Oxford is opening a new education centre on Quarry Road in Headington next year and so we were delighted to work with Headington Action on this competition as it’s enabled to us to engage young people, their families and schools in the area about what we’re doing. The new centre has 15 acres of woodland to explore and we hope to see many of our mini photographers snapping away on site when we open.”

The twelve finalists were:

  • AGE 4-7 YEARS OLD

WINNER

Yasmin Bedford, age 6 Headington Prep School Smiling Maybug

Yasmin said: “We found this Maybug on a garden seat. It climbed up to the top and held up its antennae. I took a picture of it before it flew off. It looked amazing when it flew! I like this Maybug picture because it looks like it is smiling. “

RUNNERS UP

Samir Ladha, age 5, St Andrews CE School  ‘Afternoon tea with a bumble bee in my garden.’

Oscar Suffolk, age 7, Windmill Primary School ‘Squirrel in Bury Knowle Park.’

  • AGE 8-11 YEARS OLD

WINNER

Emma Ham, age 10, Windmill Primary School with a brilliant photograph of a frog emerging from a pond she built with her father called “They can’t see me because I’m wearing my “croak” of invisibility.”

RUNNERS UP

Leila Collins, age 8, Headington Prep School ‘The Magic Woods” A Deer in the bluebells at Shotover Park.

Emma Park, age 9, Headington Prep School  ‘Spider on My Door.’

Theo Goodrich Jones, age 9, St Andrew’s CE Primary School ‘Lackey moth caterpillars at Otmoor.’

The judges also selected a further five photographs that demonstrated skills such as technical ability, imagination and movement.

JUDGES FAVOURITES

  • Imagination prize – Dinosaur Footprint – Jenny Baxter, age 6, Windmill Primary School.
  • Best action shot – Bee at work in garden – Riaz Ladha, age 8, St Andrews CE School.
  • Best technical prize – Muslin Moth, Malaika Bedford, age 8, Headington Prep School.
  • Best long lens shot – Yellow Hammers at Otmoor, Peter Goodrich Jones,  aged 11, St Andrew’s CE Primary School.
  • Best Textural – Hole in the tree, Aaliyah Marongo, age 10, Wood Farm School.