A poignant image of a deer ducking under branches as he goes through a gate has taken top prize in the prestigious RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2020. ‘Mind Your Head’ was taken by 17 year-old Jake Kneale from Pewsey, Wiltshire, UK, whose winning photo taken during lockdown in June, was chosen from a record 11,000 entries to this year's competition, which is now in its 30th year.
TV presenter and photography enthusiast Chris Packham was one of the judges and commented "Jake’s photo of a deer really stood out to all of us on the judging panel. We felt it was a powerful and poignant representation of how wild animals started to claim back their land and habitats during the lockdown.
“I’ve been judging the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards since they started. It’s exciting to have seen it move with the times, with new options regularly being introduced. This year we introduced a new category called Small World. We didn’t want our young photographers to feel limited by lockdown, so we devised this to inspire them to record what was close to home."
Jake not only won the overall prize and the Small World category, but also picked up the award for the best portfolio for his sequence of shots of Mute swans. His image of the deer was shot with a remote camera system, set up using his Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm zoom, three flashguns and a trigger. “During lockdown I set up a camera trap on an area of farm land close to my home with the hope of photographing wildlife passing through the gate," Jake explains. "I was delighted when I captured this roe deer buck passing through, seeming to duck its head to pass underneath an overhanging bush". His winning picture was taken with an exposure of 1/160sec at f/16, ISO800.
Other winning entries
Best wildlife cameras
Best lenses for bird photography
Best binoculars: binoculars for wildlife, nature and astronomy
Best trail cameras: for wildlife photography and nature watching
Best portable hides for wildlife photography
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