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Celebrating the seasons of the South Downs! Annual photo competition launches with new theme

Celebrating the seasons of the South Downs! Annual photo competition launches with new theme

May 1, 2024

Bluebells in the spring by Emma Varley

The seasons of the South Downs each bring their own unique magic.

The burst of colour as nature springs into life, warm balmy days wandering across sun-kissed hills, cosy autumn walks in vibrantly-coloured forests, and cold, crisp days with incredible afternoon sunsets.

The National Park’s ever-popular photo competition returns for 2024 with a new theme of “Stunning Seasons of the South Downs”.

Cuckmere Haven in the summer

People are being asked to submit breathtaking images that capture the true essence of spring, summer, autumn and winter in the National Park.

There will be a £100 prizewinner for each of the four seasons, so judges will be looking for a variety of interesting shots that depict the changing conditions and the impact on landscape, nature and people.

For the first time in the competition’s history, there will be a “Towns and Villages” sub-category with a top prize of £100. Judges will be looking for an amazing image showcasing one of the National Park’s many towns, villages and hamlets, such as images of high streets, village squares, public parks, churches, historic buildings or community events such as summer fetes.

Petersfield’s William III Statue

As always, the photo competition will feature a non-themed wildlife category, with a top prize of £100 for an incredible shot of one, or many, of the beautiful creatures inhabiting the South Downs, as well as a runner-up prize of £50.

The youth competition returns this year for budding young photographers – with categories 10 years and under and 11 to 17 and young photographers challenged to snap an amazing seasonal shot of spring, summer, autumn or winter. The prize for 10 years and under will be a family ticket to Marwell Wildlife, while the winner of the 11 to 17 category will win a family ticket to BirdWorld.

Returning to judge the competition are award-winning professional photographers Rachael Talibart, Finn Hopson and Carlotta Luke, as well as Claire Blow, deputy editor of Outdoor Photography magazine.

Pathway to autumn by Sam Moore

Carlotta, who’s based in Lewes, said: “I’m very excited about this year’s theme! There is so much change to the landscape of the National Park as the seasons progress, giving photographers a lot to focus on. I would love to see some photos that really capture the feeling of a season through its distinctive quality of light, light that changes throughout the year with the angle of the sun.

 “I’m very pleased that the competition has expanded to include our lovely National Park towns and villages. There is so much to choose from here, from townscapes and historic architecture to community events. I can’t wait to see what comes in.”

Claire added: “With so much amazing scenery, National Park is a wonderful place to experience the splendour of each season.”

All entries can be submitted to the National Park’s easy-to-use portal www.southdowns.gov.uk/care-for/photo-comp/

Submitted images must be taken in the South Downs National Park in the past 10 years. See full terms and conditions here. The deadline for entries is midnight on 31 October 2024.

Winter fields by John Richardson