The winner of the Billingham 335 camera bag has been chosen…

Spring certainly sprang forth this year, and for many of our insured photographers it was the perfect inspiration for our seasonal competition to win a brand spanking new Billingham 335 camera bag. Entries flew in from amateur and professional photographers alike with the entries were painstakingly whittled down with the winning shot being selected from a final shortlist by our professional freelance photographer, Steven Parker.

About our professional photographer judge

Steven is a York-based freelance photographer and a highly versatile one too. You can find his commercial work featured in a recent English Heritage marketing campaign and might have seen his urban exploration artwork exhibited if you’ve visited the York area. Steven started his career in London in the 80s where he worked as a staff photographer for picture Retna agency, with many of his photos being featured in music publications including NME amongst others.

You can find out more about Steven Parker Photography on his website here or Facebook page here.

DRUMROLL PLEASE! The winner is…

Dave Semmens’ shot of ‘a female Rabbit busy gathering materials to line its nest ready for the young to arrive’.

Nesting Rabbit

The winning picture, in Steven’s words, “had such immediate visual impact as well as being pin-sharp where it matters. [It was] pin-sharp where it matters, nicely lit and answered the brief.”

When we got in touch with the worthy winner, Dave’s day was made. “I was at Old Moor RSPB near Barnsley waiting for anything interesting with feathers to turn up, and the rabbit caught my attention with its nesting behaviour – I’ve heard of nesting rabbits before, but never seen it myself. It looked like it was weeding around a stone border pulling up large clumps of grass then returning a few moments later. I also got shots of it running with a large clump it had pulled up, but the photo I submitted was the cutest of all the shots I got.”

All the competition entries together made for a splendid snapshot of what Spring means to the modern photographer, amateurs and professionals alike. Nature shots made up the vast majority though the submissions ran the gamut of all sorts of interesting and creative subject matter. Notwithstanding a few more literal interpretations and even a couple of fornicating frogs, the bulk of the entries were often glorious depictions of life through the early emergence of Spring systems, aptly depicted by the overall winner.

Dave’s winning entry showed the kind of creative flourish that subtly lies in a well taken capture, even from a typical scene. “It doesn’t matter if the animal you’re photographing is quite common as long as it’s doing something unusual,” Dave says. “I only started in photography just over a year ago and quickly got into nature photography. Over the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to get photos of long-eared owls, little owls and hares. It means no lie-ins on a weekend but it’s my passion and well worth the effort.

“I own a Nikon D810 and a D7200,” he reports. “I started out with a mirrorless camera but moved to Nikon when I discovered nature photography. I love the D810.” And naturally, he’s insured. “It would be crazy not to have insurance on my gear when it’s worth so much, and I’d be lost without my passion.”

You can view Dave’s photography portfolio on Flickr here.

Honourable mentions

The standard of the competition entries was high as evidenced by our highly commended runners-up (shown in no particular order):


1. Mother’s Day by James Ewer.

2. Bluebell Woods in Springtime by Ian Price. Portfolio:

3. Spring Dawn at Valley Gardens, Virginia Water by Nick Wombill. Portfolio:

4. Froggy Style by Eleanor Hack.

Well done to all!

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