Army photo victory stuns ‘amateur’ winner

September 11, 2007

A photography enthusiast has spoken of his shock after beating his professional counterparts to win Best Overall Image in this year?s Army Photographic Competition, along with four other titles.

Sapper Ian Chapman, a member of the Territorial Army (TA), used a Canon 350D digital SLR – beating nearly 600 other entries to take the prize for the best picture (below).

Chapman later revealed that he had never before entered a photography competition.

Chapman also clinched the Best Army Equipment amateur title, Best Digital Award (Amateur), Army Experience (Amateur) award – topping it off with the Amateur Photographer of the Year crown.

He captured all his pictures in Afghanistan where he was taking part in Operation Herrick 5.

Speaking afterwards, Chapman, from North Ferriby in the East Riding of Yorkshire, told journalists he was ?flabbergasted? by the news.

?I would like to pursue photography as a career,? he said, explaining that he wants to be a war photographer but not tied to the army. ?I?d rather do it as a civvy,? he said.

Chapman told us he first became interested in photography after being given an Olympus OM-10 camera for his 21st birthday.

He works as professional parachute instructor and runs a business with his wife, designing and making skydiving clothing and equipment.

Meanwhile, the army named Corporal Russ Nolan as its Professional Photographer of the Year.

Judges included David Viggers, chief photographer for Reuters UK, while The Sun newspaper, Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus and Calumet were among the organisations sponsoring this year?s competition.

The awards ceremony took place yesterday at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London where the winning images have gone on ?permanent? display.

As we reported yesterday, the winner of Best Overall Image was presented with The Corporal Gilyeat Cup, a silver trophy dedicated to the memory of Mike Gilyeat, an army photographer killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.

Paying tribute to Corporal Gilyeat (known to his colleagues as ?Gilly?) the head of the army, Sir Richard Dannatt highlighted the risks faced by army photographers.

The contest was open to all regular Army and TA personnel, staff and cadets of the Combined Cadet Force (Army), Army Cadet Force, University Officer Training Corps (Army), Ministry of Defence Civilians, MOD contractors (Army) and Army departments.

The National Army Museum is based at Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT. Tel: 020 7730 0717. Entry is free.

Picture credit (below)

Crown Copyright (Ian Chapman)

Sapper Ian Chapman Best Overall Image

Picture credits (below)

Crown Copyright (Ian Chapman)

Ian ChapmanIan Chapman

Picture credit (below)

Crown Copyright (Ian Chapman)

Ian Chapman

Pictured below: Photography enthusiast Ian Chapman looks stunned, moments after picking up five awards, including Best Overall Image in the 2007 Army Photographic Competition (photo credit: Chris Cheesman)Ian Chapman

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