Ben Watkins, Marine & Natural History Photography graduate, has won the Documentary Series category at the British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA).
The prestigious BWPA is the leading competition for British wildlife photography. Winners not only receive an award and cash prize; their work is also exposed to a vast media network and is showcased in a touring exhibition and book.
Ben had been following the competition for a few years before his lecturer Neil Aldridge, conservationist and award-winning photographer, encouraged him to apply. Ben's submission was an image story following the conservation of grey seals in Cornwall.
Ben told us: "It feels incredible to have won. With this only being the second photo story that I have done, I never expected to get that far in the competition. I'm glad that the judges loved my work and I am honoured that they chose it as the winner in the category."
Since completing his course this summer, Ben has also had a turtle conservation project published in the October issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine, has assisted on shoots in London and has done some filming for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He's currently working on a year-long commission project for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust (photographing Cornwall's many nature reserves), is continuing to work with the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) and is in the process of creating a magazine for CSGRT, promoting seal conservation and celebrating the work of local seal charities, to raise funds and awareness.
Ben added: "My time at Falmouth allowed me to practice [photography] with some of the best equipment available. The location was also a vital part in me choosing the subject for my project and subsequent photo story. My lecturers, Neil Aldridge and Adrian Brown, were also a huge help and gave me the confidence to enter the competition."