17-year-old Sean Mattocks and 20-year-old Bradley Langton were named as the NRM’s Young Railway Photographers of the Year.
The competition was organised by the well known Railway Photographic Society and celebrates its 100th year. Over 150 young people, some of whom were just 8 years old, put forward their best work in a bid to win ‘the Young Railway Photographer of the Year’.
Bradley Langton who is 20 and from Driffield in East Yorkshire put forward an impressive and technically accomplished shot using a reflected scene of an LNER Class 91 locomotive at London King’s Cross station and was named as the overall competition winning image.
Bradley Langton told RailAdvent “I feel extremely grateful, overwhelmed and proud for my success in the first Young photographer of the year competition. With over 900 images submitted from over 150 entrants overall, i came first place in the 19-25 category and was declared the overall winner of the competition. The images i submitted were chosen based on how they reflect my photographic styles and techniques, and how i use challenges and attempts to be different to my advantage, and this can be seen on the overall winning image of my own which features an LNER 225 set departing Kings Cross station in London, reflected in a puddle that i came across on the platform. I had the most enjoyable evening at the event, and enjoyed seeing all the other submissions that were displayed during the exhibition. I look forward to making full use of the prizes i won, and continuing to grow and lead as an example in railway photography.”
The competition saw entries for two age categories, those aged under 19 and those aged 19 to 25.
Sean Mattocks who is 17 and from Burnley entered a selection of atmospheric images including landscapes and close-ups of people and locomotives. Second place was awarded to Ben Taylor who is 17 and from Prescot and third was given to Rowan Harris-Jones who is 17 and from Berwick Upon Tweed.
Winner of the 19 to 25 category Bradley Langton entered a collection of photographs which included a magnificent shot of Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands which is well known for being in the Harry Potter Films. Second place saw Liam Barnes who is 20 and from Rossendale and third place went to Dylan Robinson who is 19 and from Cradley Heath.
The competition was initially launched in 2019 in a bid to provide a platform for young photographers throughout the country, but due to the pandemic had to be delayed. The competition brief was ‘the Railway Seen’ with young photographers challenged to illustrate an array of railway themes such as vehicles, architecture, people, landscapes or abstract work.
Competition organiser John Hillier, of Railway Photographic Society and Bahamas Locomotive Society, said: “I would like to congratulate our competition winners. I extend my thanks to everyone who took part, despite the difficulties presented by Covid-19 and to our sponsors, and Network Rail and the National Railway Museum in particular for their enthusiastic support. Judges were impressed with the standard of entries which covered a wide range of subjects and locations across the UK, celebrating the richness of our railways.
“The overall winning entry from Bradley Langton is a picture of high technical merit with some great colours and definition. It portrays a blend of the traditional and modern and is the ‘stand-out’ shot of the railways today and a worthy winner.”
‘Judges Picks’ for exceptional individual photographs were made to Matthew Howe (16), from St. Ives, Shane Gopal (17), from Peterborough, Henry Pinkney (13), from Ely, Maud Webster (20), from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Leo Fleming (10), from Canterbury, Christopher Ainscough (24), from Wigan. Gwion Clark (18), from Conwy also received ‘the Railway Photographic Society Special Award’.
A temporary exhibition of 48 images from the competition including all of the category winners will be on display at the NRM York in the museum’s Great Hall and will move to Locomotion in Shildon from June 2022.
Charlotte Kingston, Head of Interpretation and Design at the National Railway Museum, and competition judge said: “The National Railway Museum is proud to support this inaugural competition which aims to celebrate our shared love of Britain’s railways and to inspire the next generation of young people. I was highly impressed by the range, quality and professionalism of our entrants and we will be displaying a selection of the best photographs in Great Hall alongside the stars of our collection.”
The competition has been supported by Network Rail, the National Railway Museum, Jessops Europe Limited, Mortons Media Ltd (Railway Magazine, Heritage Railway, Rail Express), Bauer Media (Rail, Steam Railway, Practical Photography), TimeLine Events, the Bahamas Locomotive Society and Silver Link Publishing.
The winners will receive a selection of prizes such as photographic equipment, railway books, photography training opportunities and a behind-the-scenes tour of the NRM. Part of the prize also sees Network Rail provide the overall winner with a chance to photograph the Forth Bridge in Scotland.
A 288-page book has been published by Silver Link Publishing and Morton’s Books which includes the majority of competition entries along with the winning images.
You can see more of Bradley’s photos by clicking here.