Stunning images win international photography competition

A photographer from Somerset has been announced as the Judge’s Choice winner of the Down’s Syndrome Association’s (DSA) international photographic competition, My Perspective 2019.

Oliver Hellowell wowed the judges with his stunning image of a blue tit in the snow. He said: “Me and my dad go out and find interesting logs and things to put outside the hide in the garden for the birds to land on. We got this really cool bit with fungus and moss and bits on it. We had some snow and my mum loves blue tits and they look so cute in the snow I got this one for her.”

Oliver is no stranger to the limelight. The 22-year-old has found worldwide acclaim as a nature photographer, has had his own book published, and has appeared on BBC Countryfile and The One Show talking about his love of capturing the great outdoors, and wildlife in particular. He’s also no stranger to winning My Perspective, picking up first prize in 2017.

Scooping the People’s Choice Award was Carlos Biggemann, 28, from New Zealand with his shot entitled ‘Autumn Leaves in Arrowtown’. Carlos, who flew over especially for the awards ceremony in London last night, said: “I’m so surprised. All I ever wanted was to be here and to win is just so amazing.

We travelled about four hours to get this photograph. It makes me feel how colourful life can be, by showing the vibrant colour green, because green represents Happiness, Tranquillity and Peacefulness. How the contrast and the mixture of beautiful colours can represent the season of Autumn. It also makes me want to take more beautiful pictures so I can send more positivity through photos.”

Each year, a special award is presented to a photographer who doesn’t live in the UK. This year, Amir Hossein Bagheri from Iran picked up The Stephen Thomas Award for this beautiful image.

Actor (and Patron of the DSA) Peter Davison presented the finalists and winners with their photographs and certificates at the awards ceremony at the DSA’s headquarters at the Langdon Down Centre in Teddington. Last year’s winner, Emily Buck from North Norfolk, gave a short speech about her plans to study fine art at Norwich University of Arts next year, and showed photographs from a recent trip to Scotland.

This year’s My Perspective competition was supported by Mastercard and Voucher Express…we’d like to say a big thank you for their generosity.

The runners up in the competition are:

  • Robbie Snowden (UK)
  • Alexander Auld (UK)
  • Giuseppe Caccamese (Italy)
  • Anna Teoh (UK)
  • Paul Wakeling (UK)
  • Ntina Chamalidou (Greece)
  • Louis Huyghe (UK)
  • Arefe Azimi (Iran)
  • Jonathan Grosvenor (UK)
  • Stephen Lucas (UK)
  • Tenzin Andrews (Netherlands)
  • Natalie Stevanus (Canada)
  • Christine Antunovich (USA)
  • Christopher Diedo (UK)
  • Steven Padmore (UK)
  • Parnian Hamidi Ashtiani (Iran)
  • Alireza Babaei (Iran)
  • Caitlin Giltrap (UK)
  • Kathryn York (UK)
  • David Kenward (UK)
  • Angelina Magdalene Ebhin (India)

Here are all the shortlisted photographs:

My Perspective is now in its 10th year and this year saw entries from as far away as Iran, Canada, USA, Australia and India. It gives budding photographers who have Down’s syndrome the chance to show off their talents to a group of industry professionals.

In years gone by, people with the genetic condition were photographed as exhibits; the viewer was not supposed to see the person, just the difference. The My Perspective competition aims to turn the camera around and give people with Down’s syndrome the chance to show the world from their point of view.