UWE Bristol academic wins national wildlife photography award

Issue date: 06 September 2016

Tadpoles image

Dr Jeanette Sakel, a University of the West of England Linguistics lecturer and National Teaching Fellow, scooped the top prize in the 'Close to Nature' category of this year's British Wildlife Photography Awards, with a photo of tadpoles taken on the University's Frenchay Campus.

Jeanette's winning image shows tadpoles weaving an intricate pattern of light and dark taken in a wildlife pond called Corke's Corner situated on UWE Bristol's Frenchay Campus.

The 'Close to Nature' category in the BWPA encourages photographers to explore the beauty of nature close up and its ability to create extraordinary designs, symmetry, form and patterns.

Jeanette said, “I'm a linguist with a keen interest in wildlife photography, but I have been able to develop this passion through CPD so it has become part of my academic work. I am a member of the University's Photography Research Group and alongside my work in linguistics I am developing this interest professionally. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to take a passionate interest and make it part of my career development. Most of the other photographers who entered the competition are professionals with many years of experience, so I am really delighted with the award.

“The day I took the photo I had decided to do something different for my lunch break. I had brought in my camera to see if I could capture the year's first dragonflies at the pond. I noticed movement just below the water's surface: a myriad of tadpoles, swirling at great speed around the water, forming intricate patterns. I lay down, the hood of my macro lens almost touching the water, and experimented with manual camera settings to capture the movement below the surface. Underexposing the image to achieve a fast shutter-speed, I captured the winning photo.”

Dr Shawn Sobers, Associate Professor of Lens Media says, “I am really pleased to hear about this award. The fact that Jeanette is a linguist and has won a national photography award demonstrates the point of the Photography Research Group - that experts in different fields have broad interests and can work across boundaries to bring something new.”

Following an awards ceremony at the Mall Galleries (Trafalgar Square) in London, Jeanette's winning photo will be shown until 10 September at the Mall Galleries, and will then form part of a touring exhibition across the UK.

Her image also features in the corresponding book 'British Wildlife Photography Awards: Collection 7' published by AA Publishing.

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