Wex Photographic today announces the winners of its annual Wex Photographer of the Year competition, with Neil Burnell from South West England scooping first prize.
After a year’s worth of #WexMondays photo contests and over 17,000 entries, the winning images shot by UK enthusiasts will go on display today at London’s Truman Brewery until Monday 23rd January, 2017.
Each week over the past year, photographers have entered their best shot from the previous seven days, using the #WexMondays hashtag on Twitter. Wex Photographic’s expert panel then selected the best of the week and awarded points to create a league table, which is hotly contested throughout the year. The result, at the end of the year, is a collection of images of a range of subjects and locations. The exhibition will showcase the winning images from each of the 51 weeks throughout 2016.
Louis Wahl, Chief Customer Officer at Wex Photographic said: “We are so proud of this competition, and to see it grow in popularity over the years has been a real treat. Because people can enter for as many weeks as they like throughout the year, the winning selection of images represents a true cross-section of the UK’s photography talent, with a vast array of subjects. We hope the public enjoy the exhibition as much as we have enjoyed seeing the images come in all year.
The winning photographer receives £1,500 of Wex Photographic vouchers, with other prizes awarded to the runners-up.
Winner: Neil Burnell
The winning photographer, a first-time entrant to the competition, who received the most points, was Neil Burnell from South West England. Neil has four images on display, with subject matter ranging from coastal landscapes to macro. His super-close-up shot of a spider won in Week 25.
Neil Burnell is a graphic designer and self-taught photographer with a passion for landscapes. Living in the beautiful fishing town of Brixham, Neil says, “there are so many wonderful photographic opportunities near to home. I have always enjoyed photography ever since taking it as part of my Art and Design course at South Devon College, going back 20+ years! I have only recently taken the hobby more seriously (in the last 2 years) since retiring from playing local football, which has freed up more time.”
Commenting on Neil’s work, Wex’s Technical Editor Matt Higgs said: “With a careful eye for composition, Neil’s clean and modern approach to photography shone throughout his submissions, regularly winning the admiration of the judges. Often breaking scenes down to their most essential elements, his minimalist creations thrived in their simplicity and technical perfection.”
Neil, who shoots on two Nikon DSLRs, a D810 and D7200, said “I have loved taking part in #WexMondays this year and especially loved the great community of photographers on Twitter. At the start I was hoping just to have some images shortlisted and hopefully get myself on the leader board. I love viewing all the great images each week and they have really inspired me to improve my own entries as the competition progressed. The last month was really quite stressful holding on to the lead: with great togs entering brilliant shots each week, I was sure I would get caught! I was so relieved when I won.”
Runner-up: Tony Sellen
In second place is London-based Tony Sellen, another self-taught photographer who shoots with a Nikon D600 and D7000. Passionate about fine art, black and white and long-exposure photography, Tony finds most of his inspiration on his doorstep. After taking photography more seriously over the last three years Tom says, “I’m delighted to have finished in second place this year. Each week, there are some fantastic entries from some fantastic photographers; it’s a real honour to be considered by Wex as one of them.”
3rd place: Tom Lowe
Tom Lowe, an amateur photographer based in Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, takes third place. After relocating from Birmingham in 2009, Tom was inspired the stunning coastal scenery of his new home. Seascapes and dogs feature heavily in his work, which he shoots with his Canon 6D and GoPro Hero4. Tom says: “I’m delighted and a little surprised to be placed in this year’s #WexMondays competition, as my only aim at the start of the year was to enter every week!”