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Soldiers at work, rest and play: The winning entries in Army’s annual photography competition

Soldiers are snapped playing volleyball, parachuting, and sleeping after exhausting operations in candid behind-the-scenes photos of life in the British Army.

Winning pictures in the army’s annual photographic contest show the complex and diverse characters which make up the armed forces.

This year there were a record number of 946 still imagery submissions and 116 video packages in the competition, which is open to professional Army photographers, as well as regular and reserve personnel, cadet staff, MOD civilians.

Highly commended photo of squaddies playing volleyball in Kabul whilst deployed on Opertation Toral, giving  glimpse into soldier life while off duty

Runner up photogrph of The Welsh Guards providing assistnt on a training exercise with students from Oxford university Officer Training Corp

Runner up photogrph of The Welsh Guards providing assistnt on a training exercise with students from Oxford university Officer Training Corp

Another stunning runner-up photgraph of Pathfinders jumping from a Hercules C130 during a training exercise in the Ukraine

Another stunning runner-up photgraph of Pathfinders jumping from a Hercules C130 during a training exercise in the Ukraine

Officer Cadets during Exercise Dynamic Victory, a 44 week course that sees young men and women transform from civillian to motivated, focused young officers at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Camberley

Officer Cadets during Exercise Dynamic Victory, a 44 week course that sees young men and women transform from civillian to motivated, focused young officers at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Camberley

: Corporal Rebecca Brown, winner of the Short Video Award - this year there were a record number of 946 still imagery submissions and 116 video packages in the competition

: Corporal Rebecca Brown, winner of the Short Video Award – this year there were a record number of 946 still imagery submissions and 116 video packages in the competition

Amateur Portrait runner-up photo of a soldier in a mock up Urban Observation Post at RAF Cosford - the competition is open to professional Army photographers, as well as regular and reserve personnel, cadet staff, MOD civilians

Amateur Portrait runner-up photo of a soldier in a mock up Urban Observation Post at RAF Cosford – the competition is open to professional Army photographers, as well as regular and reserve personnel, cadet staff, MOD civilians

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image shows a serving soldier who trains at the 16 Muay Thai Boxing Gym

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image shows a serving soldier who trains at the 16 Muay Thai Boxing Gym

Captain N Tanuku, Winner of Professional Portfolio - There are usually 17 categories, but this was slimmed down to 10 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic

Captain N Tanuku, Winner of Professional Portfolio – There are usually 17 categories, but this was slimmed down to 10 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic

Amateur Portfolio Runner Up Sergeant Paul Simons delivers a lesson on navigation to the newly arrived Guardsmen at Pirbright training area

Amateur Portfolio Runner Up Sergeant Paul Simons delivers a lesson on navigation to the newly arrived Guardsmen at Pirbright training area

There are usually 17 categories, but this was slimmed down to 10 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These sections included portrait, portfolio and soldiering, as well as three video categories.

Liverpool soldier, Corporal Ben Beckett, became the first to scoop the title of British Army Photographer of the Year from a video submission.

The 26-year-old, known to his colleagues as Ben, is a former Gunner in the Royal Artillery and currently based in Tidworth as a part of the South West Press Office and a part of a combat camera team at Army Headquarters in Andover.

He also had a highly commended video piece within the Video Edit category.

He said, ‘I’m over the moon that I was recognised for my hard work this year. Being able to capture and share the stories of the soldiers serving in the British Army is such a privilege, 2020 was a tough year with Covid 19 but receiving the news I had won the accolade of being named British Army Photographer of the Year was a great way to end it.’

Corporal Nathan Tanuku, from Fiji, was the Winner of the Professional Portfolio category for his piece entitled Dark Places.

Bombardier Murray Kerr, from Glasgow, won Best Amateur Portfolio in the prestigious contest and had another portfolio commended highly by this year’s judges.

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image shows Danny Houghton - The image gives a sense of motion with the armoured vehice in high-definition detail

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image shows Danny Houghton – The image gives a sense of motion with the armoured vehice in high-definition detail

‘I was especially thrilled to see so many excellent Amateur photographers, knowing that this isn’t their core role just goes to show the ability and diversity of our service personnel,’ said competition host and judge Command Master Photographer WO1 (SSM) Daniel Harmer, RLC.

‘The skill is not only in content capture, but in the planning, storyboarding, messaging and post-production and, in many cases, while working in some of the most challenging and physically demanding environments in the world.’

Highly Commended Portrait of a Gurkha Recruit - The Nepalese soldiers are an integral part of the British Army and are feared and revered worldwide

Highly Commended Portrait of a Gurkha Recruit – The Nepalese soldiers are an integral part of the British Army and are feared and revered worldwide

Amateur Portfolio Runner Up This photo was taken in Brecon with The Prince of Wales's Company. The Guardsman in the photo is covering the flank with his General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) whilst on a Company attack

Amateur Portfolio Runner Up This photo was taken in Brecon with The Prince of Wales’s Company. The Guardsman in the photo is covering the flank with his General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) whilst on a Company attack

Best Online Runner Up (public vote) Picture called Night Hawks. Winning pictures in the army's annual photographic contest offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Britain's soldiers at work and play

Best Online Runner Up (public vote) Picture called Night Hawks. Winning pictures in the army’s annual photographic contest offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Britain’s soldiers at work and play

Amateur Portfolio Runner Up A soldier runs for cover during a blank section attack at Pirbright Training area

Amateur Portfolio Runner Up A soldier runs for cover during a blank section attack at Pirbright Training area

Professional Portfolio Winner "To take a life is to save a life...Card Alpha" This image catches you because it means business and this soldier will not hesitate to pull that trigger if you are a threat to him or his comrades or anyone else for that matter

Professional Portfolio Winner ‘To take a life is to save a life…Card Alpha’ This image catches you because it means business and this soldier will not hesitate to pull that trigger if you are a threat to him or his comrades or anyone else for that matter

Professional Portfolio Winner "Longing" - The photograph shows a soldier in contemplation during a brief moment of peace and quiet

Professional Portfolio Winner ‘Longing’ – The photograph shows a soldier in contemplation during a brief moment of peace and quiet

He added: ‘I was really blown away with the amount and quality of the submissions in all of the photographic and video categories, especially during a very challenging and demanding 2020,

‘The judging was a tough task and I’m really pleased with all the winners and runners up.’

This year was a very different year with Covid-19 restrictions. Physical prints were missing and all judging and submissions were done electronically for the first time in the competition’s history.

Highly Commended Officer Cadet Freddie Faux gets a kiss on the cheek from his proud mum, Wendy, after Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Highly Commended Officer Cadet Freddie Faux gets a kiss on the cheek from his proud mum, Wendy, after Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Amateur Portfolio Winner Image shows an Officer Cadet passing under a gate after being completely submurged in water during an obstacle course

Amateur Portfolio Winner Image shows an Officer Cadet passing under a gate after being completely submurged in water during an obstacle course

Professional Portfolio Winner 'I am my brother's keeper' -  'When we deploy on operations, the element of fear, walking into the unknown, life threatening situations, all we have is each other to get through these tough times'

Professional Portfolio Winner ‘I am my brother’s keeper’ –  ‘When we deploy on operations, the element of fear, walking into the unknown, life threatening situations, all we have is each other to get through these tough times’

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image shows an Apache helicopter about to land with a soldier focussed on his task, apparently unphased

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image shows an Apache helicopter about to land with a soldier focussed on his task, apparently unphased

Professional photographer, photo re-toucher and returning judge, Glyn Dewis said: ‘Despite this being my second time having the honour of judging, in no way did it make the task any easier.

‘Looking through so many images of such a high standard to then choose winners and runners up is quite a challenge; there were so many images I would have been extremely happy to have in my own portfolio.

‘This year, too, the amateur category submissions were nothing short of excellent, which again made for a very difficult task.

‘However there have to be winners and I’m extremely happy with those we selected; each demonstrated not just technical expertise and creativity on behalf of the photographer but actually put me as a judge right there in the moment. Congratulations to all!’

. British army photographer Corporal Ben Beckett scooped up the winner and runner up award for his documentary video entries

. British army photographer Corporal Ben Beckett scooped up the winner and runner up award for his documentary video entries

Professional Portfolio Winner 'A true soldier doesn't fight because of what's In front of him but more for what is behind him'

Professional Portfolio Winner ‘A true soldier doesn’t fight because of what’s In front of him but more for what is behind him’

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image show a portrait of a Ghurka soldier taken at 80th airborne anniversary at Merville Barracks, Colchester

Professional Portfolio Runner Up Image show a portrait of a Ghurka soldier taken at 80th airborne anniversary at Merville Barracks, Colchester

Best Overall Runner Up Image shows a dark lit studio portrait of a British Army Soldier pointing a weapon to the viewer

Best Overall Runner Up Image shows a dark lit studio portrait of a British Army Soldier pointing a weapon to the viewer

Amateur Portfolio Winner Image shows an Officer Cadets scoping out potential threats while their comrade vaults over a wall

Amateur Portfolio Winner Image shows an Officer Cadets scoping out potential threats while their comrade vaults over a wall

Highly Commended - Exhausted soldiers and officers sleep in place on a Polish helicopter on Operation Cabrit

Highly Commended – Exhausted soldiers and officers sleep in place on a Polish helicopter on Operation Cabrit

Professional Portfolio Winner 'You are never alone' - A soldier calls out to his comrades somwhere off camera

Professional Portfolio Winner ‘You are never alone’ – A soldier calls out to his comrades somwhere off camera

Ex-serving British Army Photographer and now judge, Russ Nolan said: ‘We were really surprised and pleased to be asked to judge the video categories of the Army Film and Photographic Competition, and it was great to step back into the world we came from.

‘The first thing that really amazed us was the amount of video entrees from both amateurs and professionals alike. It’s great to see the use of video on the increase. The quality of the amateur entries was excellent, with some really well thought through ideas and concepts.

‘As for the professionals, the creativity and camera skills that were demonstrated were truly of a high standard making our job as judges a difficult one.

‘An example of this was Cpl Ben Beckett’s submission; not only did it show great camera work and dedication to the craft, but it was fantastic to see some of the photographers tackling a longer form video, with his coming in at 33 minutes.

‘It just goes to show what can be achieved with some forethought and planning.’

Prizes will be given to the winners and runners up from this year’s sponsors, but due to Covid 19 a planned ceremony and presentation evening has been cancelled and instead, all trophies will be posted to the individuals.


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