Weekly Photographer of the year : Spotlight on this year’s talent

Posted on: September 14, 2021 by admin

News, sports and features pictures used in a weekly newspaper are eligible. Judges will look for versatility, technical skill and the ability to capture the picture that matters. The mood of an interview, subject or feature needs to come across strongly.



Dave Kneale, Isle of Man Examiner

The chance to photograph comet Neowise was enough to tempt Dave to the Point of Ayre in the small hours of July 11. The comet frustratingly remained hidden by a bank of clouds, but he did not go home disappointed. Dave was rewarded with a spectacular display of noctilucent clouds which gradually unfolded across the sky, as if being painted by an unseen hand.

A display of noctilucent clouds in the early hours of Saturday, July 11 2020 at the Point of Ayre –
Isle of Man Newspapers’ chief photographer Dave Kneale

What the judges said:

“Dave’s Impressive entries demonstrated clever image construction that  fully captured  snatched moments in time. His images show how he used his experience and technical mastery to tell a story.”



John McVitty, Impartial Reporter

John’s image of the Dean of Clogher preaching to an empty church due to Covid-19 restrictions creatively caught a poignant moment in history. John’s images powerfully capture the drama and emotion of everyday events. His portfolio showed a range of emotional images that highlighted the profound effects of the pandemic on society

The Very Rev. Kenneth R. J. Hall, Dean of the Diocese of Clogher taking his service as normal without his parishioners during the lockdown.
John McVitty Photography-07771987378

What the judges said:

“John’s submissions showed his willingness to go out into the elements on potentially dangerous expeditions in order to capture images of great importance. His technical ability is apparent in the featured image of a priest preaching to an empty church and  perfectly underscored the loneliness and surreality experienced by so many during lockdown.”



Keith Heppell, Cambridge Independent

Experience, technical ability, and courtesy when dealing with assignments has been Keith‘s resolve when maintaining the style of photography readers had come to expect during lockdown. The featured image shows how Keith used his exclusive access to photographing a blindfolded driver navigating an obstacle course with a bomb mounted to the car, to great effect.

 Cambridge magician JezO, president of Cambridge Pentacle Magic Club takes on the Blindfold Drive, before the bomb in the car explodes . Picture: Keith Heppel

What the judges said:

“Keith’s sheer determination to get the shot that mattered is reflected in his dramatic entry portraying a blindfolded stunt driver in an exploding car. Technical brilliance shines through his work and brings a fitting reward for his diligence in preparation.”



Mark Williamson, Stratford-upon-Avon Herald

Mark’s photos highlight some important aspects of life in South Warwickshire. His featured image was taken at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he found a father sharing a touching moment with his son as people took the knee around him.


Mark Williamson
A touching moment – Black Lives Matter

What the judges said: 

“Mark’s portfolio effectively showcased his diverse talents and ability to capture striking yet peaceful images. The featured image was taken at the Black Lives Matter demonstration, where Mark captured a moment of tenderness.It was simple yet poignant in projecting the depth of a cause.”



Michael Gillen, The Falkirk Herald

2020 has been the strangest of years for photographers, yet professionally Michael feels it has been one of the most rewarding. Micheal documented the incredible community spirit present during lockdown by making use of his long-established connections locally. Michael’s work has been picked up nationally and it isn’t hard to see why.

  Day one of the UK-wide coronavirus lockdown. Elise Lightbody 7 and Rhianne Lightbody 4,with a little help from mum Kirsty Lynch, 30, painted a rainbow on their window in Windsor Avenue to spread a little joy
  Michael Gillen

What the judges said:

Michaels submissions demonstrate he is an experienced photographer who is adept at taking powerful images. The featured image shows a family displaying their heart rainbow while isolating, and is a great snapshot of the experience millions of people had during 2020. A touching tribute to key workers combined with the smiles on the children’s faces provide a great reminder that there are always reasons to be grateful.”



Sarah Caldecott, Darlington & Stockton Times

During lockdown, Sarah was out every day photographing something or someone, adapting her style to comply with the new rules. The three images she submitted showed both the fun and serious side of 2020. The featured image shows a great-great-grandmother  celebrating her 99th birthday during lockdown by enjoying a 99-ice cream, delivered by Mikeys’s Ices as organised by her 93 family members.


Sarah Caldecott
Great-great-grandmother Jo Allan

What the judges said:

“Sarah’s entries are a reminder of the lighter side of 2020 with a witty and uplifting image of a 99-year-old being served a 99 ice cream on her birthday. It was the highlight of a portfolio filled with stunning newsworthy images.”