It’s an undeniable fact that photographers on local and regional newspapers do not get to cover ground-breaking stories.
The beauty of Northcliffe Newspapers’ inaugural “Everyday” photographic competition last week was that the entries honestly reflected this fact, featuring both the mundane and dramatic events.
The competition is part of Northcliffe’s campaign to celebrate the power of the regional press and the close relationship newspapers have with their communities.
There were more than 900 entries in all from all over the country, and they included scenes of anti-war marches, an autistic child isolated in her room for protection, a portrait of an asylum-seeker who sewed his lips together, and a businessman caught in the rain.
Andy Palmer of the Essex Chronicle won the daily routine category as well as the overall prize with his photograph of a frail old lady and her cat clawing at her skirt.
Palmer said: “I shall always be proud of this picture. You can’t set up something like this. I saw promise in the situation and made the most of it. There is so much good work here and I am really gob-smacked to have won, I’m on cloud nine.”
Palmer received two club class tickets to San Francisco and, like the two other winners, a digital SLR camera courtesy of Jessops.
Winner of the seminal moments category was Jonathan Hindmarch of the Derby Evening Telegraph. His poignant image was that of a premature baby’s foot surrounded by a mass of medical equipment.
He said: “It is great that regional photographers are being celebrated in this way. We are not the big house at the end of the street, but we are in people’s living rooms at the heart of the stories.”
Winner of the community category was Paul Nicholls of The Citizen, Gloucester, with his simple yet effective picture of a child winning a race.
Judges’ chairman Simon Bainbridge said: “These photographs are at the cutting edge of photography today. For too long, there has been an unfair perception that regional newspaper photographers only take pictures of cub scouts doing the thumbs-up.
That is changing, with editors using images creatively and optimising the power of photography.”
The competition will be repeated next year. Overall winner: United Airlines Press Photographer of the Year: Andy Palmer, Essex Chronicle
Seminal Moments: 1. Jonathan Hindmarch, Derby Evening Telegraph, for “premature baby” (winning entry pictured bottom right); 2. Adrian White, South Wales Evening Post; 3. Ray Corke, Grimsby Telegraph; highly commended – Adrian White, South Wales Evening Post, and Ian Jubb, Lincolnshire Echo.
Community: 1. Paul Nicholls, The Citizen, Gloucester (winning entry top right); 2. Jane Barlow, Derby Evening Telegraph; 3. Michael Smith, Gloucestershire Echo; highly commended – Veronique de Viguere, Lincolnshire Echo, and Clare Lewis, The Sentinel, Stoke.
Daily Routines: 1. Andy Palmer, Essex Chronicle; 2. David Moss, Grimsby Telegraph; 3. Colin Rennie, The Press and Journal, Aberdeen; highly commended – Steve Clow, Essex Chronicle, and Arthur O’Hara, Kent and Sussex Courier.