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Judging has begun for the BDS Photo Competition

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Article by:
Laura McMahon, Marketing Manager, British Deer Society

Judging has begun for the BDS Photo Competition

We are excited to announce that the judging process for the BDS Photographer of the Year Competition 2024 is now underway! During May, our dedicated team carefully reviewed all the incredible entries, placing each one in its appropriate category. We are committed to ensuring a fair and unbiased competition, so every entry has been assigned a unique ID. This anonymity allows each image to be judged solely on its artistic and technical merit.

The Judging Process

The first stage of judging involves our panel of four experienced judges independently reviewing and scoring the entries. Each judge will identify the images they believe deserve special recognition. This independent assessment ensures a diverse and fair evaluation of each photograph.

Once this initial review is complete, the judges will come together to discuss their selections and agree on the final awards. This collaborative effort will culminate in the crowning of the BDS Photographer of the Year 2024.

Judging Criteria

Photographers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Adherence to Theme: how well the photograph reflects the chosen category.
  • Composition and Creativity: the artistic arrangement of visual elements and the innovative use of photography techniques.
  • Technical Excellence: the proficiency in handling camera settings, lighting, and overall technical skill.
  • Emotional Impact: the ability of the photograph to evoke emotions and connect with the viewer.
  • Relevance to BDS’s Mission: the extent to which the photograph aligns with the BDS mission of promoting the welfare and understanding of wild deer.

Introducing the Judging Panel

At its core, the BDS Photographer of the Year Competition is a testament to the deep passion for wild deer shared by our members. It’s not just a contest, it’s an opportunity for photographers to become storytellers, using their lens to foster empathy and understanding for these magnificent animals. As such it was important to select a diverse judging panel with the experience and insight to appreciate each image.

Our panel for 2024 consists of:

Jules Cox: Capturing Wildlife’s Essence 

Jules Cox, a highly respected wildlife photographer and ambassador for the British Deer Society, brings a wealth of experience and talent to the judging panel. His keen eye for detail and dedication to capturing the essence of wildlife make him a valuable addition to the panel.

Katie Hargreaves: A Passion for Wildlife Artistry 

Katie Hargreaves, a talented wildlife artist based in Norfolk, is known for her stunning illustrations of wildlife and rural pursuits. Her passion for wildlife shines through in her work, making her a natural fit for the judging panel.

Linda Mellor: Authenticity in Wildlife Portrayal 

Linda Mellor, an established writer and photographer based in the Scottish Highlands, brings authenticity and depth to her portrayals of wildlife and the countryside. Her unique perspective and commitment to capturing the beauty of nature, make her an invaluable member of the judging panel.

Charles Smith-Jones: Technical Deer Expertise

Charles Smith-Jones, a respected writer, naturalist, and deer expert, has over forty years of experience studying and working closely with deer. As a Technical Adviser to the British Deer Society, Charles’s expertise and insights are sure to enrich the judging process.

Stories Behind the Images

Reading through the notes and stories behind each entry has been a truly inspiring experience. These narratives provide a unique and special insight into the context and emotion behind each image, adding depth and meaning to the visual artistry.

Thank You to Our Members

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the members who entered this year’s competition. Your creativity and passion have inspired us in countless ways. Your photographs not only capture stunning moments, but also tell powerful stories that resonate with all of us.

Stay tuned for more updates as we progress through the judging process. We can’t wait to share the final results and celebrate the outstanding talent within our community.

Thank you for being a part of the BDS Photographer of the Year Competition 2024.


Help us to continue to speak up for deer

Join the British Deer Society today and be a part of a passionate community dedicated to deer conservation in the UK. Your membership or donation will support vital initiatives in education, training, and sustainable deer management. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for our wild deer. 

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