Gloucestershire student wins £8,000 national photography award

University of Gloucestershire student wins the Association of Photographers' 2023 Student Awards for atmospheric snaps of the breeding season of birds.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Jimmy Fletcher won the Best in Show Award at the Association of Photographers' 2023 Student Awards.

University of Gloucestershire student Jimmy Fletcher has won the Best in Show Award at the Association of Photographers' 2023 Student Awards. 

Fletcher, who has just completed his degree in Editorial and Advertising Photography, impressed judges with his multi-screen short film documenting the breeding season of the northern gannet at Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire. 

His piece won him an £8,000 prize including a cash grant of £2,500, a commissioned project with Fujifilm, access to a Fujifilm kit for his next project and the opportunity to work with a Fujifilm-approved Professional Lab to print a series of images for his portfolio.  

Fletcher said: 'Hearing my name and seeing my work on screen at the announcement had me absolutely buzzing. I am still in complete shock. 

'I have often doubted myself and my talent, but to have my vision and hard work recognised in such a prestigious competition has really boosted my confidence. I am now feeling very positive and excited for what the future holds for me.'

Fletcher, who also won the Silver Award in the Places category, said his award-winning film was inspired by his first view of the birds at Bempton Cliffs. 

'As I looked down from the cliff tops, I was absolutely astonished,' he said. 'The sky was filled with gannets flying back and forth with food and nesting materials, the cliff faces saw gannets feeding young, mating, building nests, clashing beaks, and fighting for territory. 

'I immediately fell in love with this almost prehistoric looking scene and decided that I wanted to recreate this emotive experience.'

Fletcher's film has been selected by the curators of the The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum in Cheltenham to feature in a university group show. 

Trudie Ballantyne, academic course leader for Editorial and Advertising Photography at the university, said: 'We’d like to congratulate Jimmy on his superb success in winning the Best in Show Award at the Association of Photographers’ 2023 Student Awards. 

'It’s an enormous accolade to win, considering the quality and range of entries across the competition and he should feel extremely proud about winning such recognition and a fabulous prize.'

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