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Quacking job! Ilford teen scoops national photography prize

PUBLISHED: 14:02 24 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:02 24 September 2015

Droplets by Gideon Knight which won the Judges Choice and the Perfect Moment categories in the Zoological Society of Londons (ZSL) annual wildlife photography competition

Droplets by Gideon Knight which won the Judges Choice and the Perfect Moment categories in the Zoological Society of Londons (ZSL) annual wildlife photography competition

Gideon Knight

When Gideon Knight spent hours in Hyde Park photographing the cormorants as they dived deep underwater for fish, he hoped that he could get one perfect shot.

Young Judges Choice Junior Winner at the ZSL Animal Photography Award, Gideon KnightYoung Judges Choice Junior Winner at the ZSL Animal Photography Award, Gideon Knight

Little did he know that his photo of the bird emerging from an underwater dive with water droplets running off its beak, would be chosen as winner of the Perfect Moment category in the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) annual wildlife photography competition.

The photo was also picked as the Junior Judges’ Choice from more than 450 entries by a panel of expert judges, including BBC’s Lambing Live presenter Kate Humble, and birdwatcher Bill Oddie.

Gideon, 15, of Empress Avenue, Ilford, said: “I spent hours photographing the cormorants as they dived for fish in Hyde Park and I was so pleased I managed to capture the droplets as they emerged from the water.

“I was hoping I could get a picture of one catching a fish but what I managed to get was fantastic.”

Gideon, who attended the awards ceremony with his mother and father, Tabitha Knight and Callum Church, was also awarded third prize in the Deep and Meaningful category for his photo of a minke whale swimming off the west coast of Ireland.

He hopes that his prize of £1,000 will help contribute towards buying a new camera, allowing him to spend even more time outside pursuing his true passion.

ZSL’s director general Ralph Armond said: “As stories of rare species facing extinction and increasing illegal wildlife trade dominate headlines, the need to raise awareness of and celebrate the wonders of the natural world has never been more pressing.

“For the fourth year running we have been impressed by the standard of the images entered into the ZSL Animal Photography Prize, with magnificent entries submitted not only by adults, but in the junior categories too.

“This only reaffirms our belief in the importance of rousing people of all ages to work for wildlife.”


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