If the pen is mightier than the sword, and a picture paints a thousand words then how powerful is the camera today? We now take it for granted that our phone has a camera on it – or actually our cameras have a phone built in. We have all become photo journalists, being able to record anything and everything that happens around us. Thanks to Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat, those pictures can be beamed across the globe in seconds. Gone are the days when you needed to have studied photography for years and have enough cash to buy PhotoShop to take “altered images”. Today we have thousands of apps that all us to manipulate our images, making even the ropiest image look “hip”.
Our celebration today is not about the professionals. I’m not sure there is a football photographer in the UK who doesn’t admire the world of Stuart Roy Clarke and wish they could emulate him. But we can’t. Ditto David Bauckham, Stuart Tree and Chris Hayes – fine photographers who I have the pleasure of knowing and even on occasions shooting with capture the spirit and essence of Non-League football as good as anyone in the UK. They are all winners in my book. But this award is about those people who don’t have any professional kit but just use a simple point and shoot, or their phone to record the action, or more often than not, the non-action going on off the pitch. Every photo should tell a story and you can see War and Peace in all of the winners pictures.
3rd Place – James Boyes (@gingeraction)
Yes I may be slightly biased by picking Lewes’s number one snapper, but I love James. His dedication to his art is legendary and he always seems to get the shot that captures the moment perfectly. Not one to ever shirk from the foul weather he has got some of the best moments (and there hasn’t been many) for the Rooks in recent years.
2nd Place – Adam Lloyd (@adamlloyd)
Being sent to Rome to work has agreed with Adam if the quality of his pictures is anything to go by. When in Rome what do you do? Fire up your iPhone, get a season ticket for AS Roma of course and spend you time taking pictures of the colour behind the fanatical support by the Tifosi. Whilst he also turns his eye to the beauty of the city and the country and culture as a whole, it’s his interpretations of life in the Stadio Olimpico that puts him in my top three.
1st Place – Danny Last (@dannylast)
No surprises that Danny is number one on the list. There are few people who don’t look forward to a Saturday night when Danny uploads his pictures from his adventures at football and the unique view he has on life. His trademark shots tend to be black and white, focusing on the fans around him simply acting naturally which makes the picture so engaging. Whilst his shots may look random, he spends time researching before he goes to a game, knowing exactly what and where his “money shot” will be. His weapon of choice? A simple point and click Canon lens that he slips into his pocket.