There is still time – just! - to see the very best of Royal Navy photography, the Peregrine Trophy 2013 - the finest images of life in the Senior Service from the past 12 months, at home and abroad, in war and peace - at an excellent exhibition which has been on display at the Royal College of Art for the last week.
The aim of the competition is to contribute to the positive profile of the Royal Navy by engendering high standards of photography. The role of photography portraying the work of the Royal Navy has never been more important; media operations have great operational significance and successful PR is a key aspect of taking the Royal Navy’s message to an increasingly sophisticated public.
The Peregrine Trophy was actually instituted in 1961 by Alex Sturgenor, a former Royal Navy photographer and at the time editor of Practical Photographer magazine. The trophy, a large, silver Peregrine Falcon donated by BAE Systems, was created to perpetuate the memory of the old photographic training school at HMS Peregrine (RNAS Ford) and was intended to provide an annual focal point for the year’s efforts and facilitate branch cohesion with an annual reunion every year. The Peregrine Award itself was originally presented to the best Royal Navy Photographer but in 1978 this changed to the best portfolio of six images which could be won by a section or an individual and as a result of this the individual portfolio comprising a photographer's best four images was introduced.
With just 10 professional categories, a student award and 3 amateur classes, the competition in 2013 was very fierce; from 270 professional entries and 60 amateur images presented this year, the number of images had to be whittled down by an expert panel of judges. This year they were Matthew Fearn, picture editor at the Daily Telegraph, Professor Naren Barfield of the Royal College of Art, Anthony Massey, Kathy Andrews of the BBC World Service and Neil Hall, MoD picture editor.
This year’s exhibition was opened to the public on the day following the Peregrine Trophy Award Ceremony on July 11[SUP]th[/SUP] 2013, at which the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC presented the prizes to the worthy winners, who were as follows:
Peregrine Trophy 2013 – Petty Officer Sean Clee for the best portfolio of 6 prints of Service-related subjects submitted by a section or unit
Royal Navy Photographer of the Year 2013 – Leading Airman David Jenkins for the best portfolio of 4 photographs of Service-related subjects submitted by an individual
Maritime Air Prize – Petty Officer Mez Merrill for the best photograph of one or more Royal Navy helicopters
Commandant General Royal Marines’ Prize – Leading Airman Emma Nolan for the best section or unit portfolio of 3 prints depicting Royal Marines-related subjects
Best Maritime Image Award – Leading Airman Dan Rosenbaum for the best photograph depicting Royal Navy or Royal Marines equipment
Royal Navy ‘Life Without Limits’ Award – Leading Airman David Jenkins for the best photograph of a member of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines undertaking their duties
Media Operations category – Leading Airman Guy Pool for the best single image judged to create the most impact as a news photograph
Royal Navy Video Award – Petty Officer Sean Clee for the best individual entry reflecting the Royal Navy or Royal Marines experience on any defence-related subject that ‘tells the story’
Royal Navy Amateur Photographer of the Year Award – Sergeant Ben Briggs for the best portfolio of 2 Service-related photographs submitted by an individual
Royal Navy Amateur Maritime Image Award – Petty Officer Michael Weir for the best photograph of a ship, submarine or aircraft
Royal Navy Amateur Open Category Award – Lieutenant Chloe Lea for the single best photograph on a Royal Navy or Royal Marines theme
Navy News Award – Leading Airman Dean Nixon for the picture which has had the most impact in the pages of Navy News over the last 12 months
Sea Cadet Amateur Open Category Award – Tamsyn Faulder for the single best photograph on a Sea Cadet theme
Head of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch Captain Ian Stidston said:
“It has been a fantastic evening and one that has demonstrated the exceptional talent and professionalism of the men and women of the Navy’s photographic branch – and also of those amateurs who have captured some outstanding imagery.The standard of the images are testament to the diversity and adaptability of our people and clearly demonstrate dedication to both their art and their Service. I could not be more proud of the way the photographers have managed to capture still and moving images that clearly tell the story ofthe Royal Navy and Royal Marines and the range of operations on which we deploy.”
The exhibition is on display at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU until Sunday 21 July from12 noon to 5.30pm daily.