Winning Wildlife Photographer

A Level Photography student Ezra Boulton, who studies at Penwith College, has won a prestigious international photography award in the Close-Up Photographer of The Year competition plus first prize in the RSPCA Young Photographer of the Year 2021 Portfolio Category.

A Level Photography student Ezra Boulton has won a prestigious international photography award in the Close-Up Photographer of The Year competition plus first prize in the RSPCA Young Photographer of the Year 2021 Portfolio Category.

Ezra, from Penzance, studies A Level Maths, Photography and Spanish at Penwith College and is delighted with his success after beating thousands of other photography entrants from around the world.

“I am over the moon” Ezra said. “The close-up, macro and micro photography competition has multiple categories and this year the competition received a record number of entries, over 9000 from 56 countries. The RSPCA competition is specifically for young photographers like myself but with over 6500 entries I feel very proud to have won.

“I’d spent a long time last year observing and photographing this family of rats, which live in a yard near my house. Their inquisitive nature meant they were always exploring old and abandoned objects. This made them interesting to photograph as there were loads of unusual scenes to be captured. I saw one rat peering through this abandoned wheel, the next morning I came back hoping to take a photo of it. As soon as I took this image, I immediately liked the framing and the lighting, as it was almost exactly like the photo I had in mind.”

“The competitions are judged by established photographers. The judges look for images that they find immediately eye catching and interesting, but also photographs which are technically good. I imagine that what the judges liked about my photo was that it’s a photo of a common and often disliked animal, captured in a pleasing and interesting setting, this makes the rat look almost cute. Personally, what I like about my photo is how the rat is complimented by the rusty metal but also its dark beady eyes are exaggerated by the holes in the car’s wheel, making the image much more interactive with the viewer.”

Ezra’s tutor at Penwith College Carol Little said: “We are delighted with Ezra’s success. He certainly has a talent for photography and a real love of the great outdoors. His eye for detail and technical skill makes his wildlife photography a joy to look at. He is certainly recognised by his peers as being an incredible photographer and is undoubtedly a student with a very bright future ahead.”

Ezra’s advice for anyone starting their journey as a photographer is: “The more time you spend taking photos the more you improve from experience. Take advantage of things which are easily accessible, however common it may be. Because the more time you spend photographing something the more likely you are to witness interesting and unusual behaviour. Although competitions are great, I like to spend more time out and about photographing wildlife and hopefully taking photos that I am really happy with, as I think that this is much more rewarding.”