Photo competition 17/18 winning and shortlisted pictures
The judges have chosen their winner but there’s still £100 up for grabs to the winner of our people’s choice award.
Click on the first picture to open the gallery or go straight to our
voting page to choose your favourite.
1st place ‘Harvest Home’ by Ron De’Ath. An extraordinary composition capturing the shifting seasons from summer to autumn. The judges agreed that this photo is both technically perfect and clearly tells the story of farmers as stewards, caring for the National Park. The photographer 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.
2nd place ‘Staredown’ by Dominic Vacher. Meet the band! The judges were impressed by the bold, almost human, composition and high level of detail in the picture. Three of the cattle are Sussex Red, a traditional local rare breed, which been grazed in this part of the country since the Bronze Age. This is a strong picture which brings out the individual personalities of these curious young animals – catching the light on their whiskers and uncompromising stares. A lot of time and thought has gone into this photo.
3rd place ‘Rolling Down’ by Simon Verrall A subtle but challenging image. The judges agreed that this beautiful but not over-beautified shot tells an important story about how farmers manage the pressures on the land – with the South Downs’ chalk showing clearly through the bare winter earth. This simple, modern composition captures a complicated tale of farming here in the South Downs. At first glance this image might look stark but here the light soil is everything and the farmer is carefully cultivating the ground using a modern practice called ‘conservation tillage’. Come spring, this field will certainly be a place that grows and hopefully home to rare farmland birds such as skylark.
Highly Commended: ‘Fertile Ground’ by Benno White. Subtle layers of curving green hills show the South Downs in a gentle muted light – but the more you look the more you see. This is a growing place where farm machinery, plough lines and tracks all take their rightful place in the heart of the landscape.
Highly Commended: ‘Sussex Farming’ by Tom Hard. On a misty, golden morning a small flock of sheep are caught on a hillside, looking down across a wooded patchwork of fields. An atmospheric shot with great depth and light that completely captures the spirit of the South Downs as a growing place.