Cats Protection’s 2005 Photo Competition was the most successful one to date - attracting a record number of entries and producing some truly stunning shots!
“The number of entries received topped 5,000, which is staggering, considering cats are not always the easiest subjects to photograph!” explained Janet Wickens, Cats Protection’s Head of Fundraising and Communications. “The standard of entries was extremely high and this is clearly reflected in the quality of the winning photos”.
The categories in the 2005 Photo Competition included: Best Friends, Perfect Portrait, Cuddly Kittens and Cats in Action.
Roger Nicholls of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire for his photo of Simba.
The top prize package for Rogerís winning ëPhoto of the Yearí includes a £250 voucher for photographic equipment, a framed photograph of Simba (his winning subject) a certificate and £75 for the Three Rivers (Rickmansworth) Branch of Cats Protection.
“I was absolutely amazed to hear I was the overall winner of Cats Protectionís photo competition because the entries are always so good and this was the first time I had entered,” explained Roger, for whom photography has been a hobby for over 50 years.
“However, I was very pleased with my photo and had my fingers crossed I would be in with a chance.”
The subject of Roger’s winning shot is Simba, a neighbour’s cat that frequently visits his garden to sit and soak up the sun.
“I saw Simba position himself for a nap in my garden and I took the opportunity to get my camera out. He was half asleep, which helped me get close enough to take the photo but I never thought it would come out as well as it did!”
Category winners each received a £150 voucher for photographic equipment, a framed copy of their winning photo, a certificate and £50 for the Cats Protection Branch of their choice.
Alan Hodgin of Abingdon, Oxfordshire for his photo of Bentley with Anna.
Alan has been an amateur photographer for around three years, specialising in portraits. However, after adopting cute kitten Bentley, Alan decided to turn his skills to cat photography instead!“I really wanted to photograph Bentley as a kitten before he grew up! He loves cuddles and is a real softie so getting pictures of him wasn’t difficult. What was hard was capturing the eye contact between him and Anna.”
This is the first photography competition Alan has entered so he was surprised to hear he was a category winner. “I haven’t been doing photography for that long so to hear I’d won the Best Friends section was wonderful, I’ll definitely be entering again next year!”
James deBounevialle of Arundel, West Sussex for his photo of Baby.
It took freelance photographer James an hour and a half to take this stunning photo of his neighbourís cat called Baby.
“It was a hot and sunny afternoon and I was trying everything to get Baby to pose,” explained James. “It was only when she went to find shade that she finally sat still and I seized the opportunity!”
James has been taking photos for 18 years and specialises in wildlife photography. “I really enjoy taking photos of animals and was delighted to hear I’d won the Perfect Portrait category - my patience with Baby really paid off!”
Mags Dean of Elderslie, Renfrewshire for her photo of Henry.
Mags has been taking photos, mainly animal portraits, for around three years, although this was the first time she had entered a photography competition. She was over the moon to hear sheíd won the Cuddly Kittens category with a shot of her kitten Henry.
“I had already taken lots of pictures of my kittens but it was only when I saw the photo competition advertised on Cats Protection’s website that I realised my shot of Henry could be a potential winner,” Mags explained. “It was a very difficult photo to take because it was only the second time Henry had been allowed in the garden and he was so excited he didnít want to stand still!”
Mags is looking forward to taking part in the competition again next year and has already taken the photo she plans to enter - this time of Henry’s brother!
Cats in Action
Stephen A. McBride of Belleek, Northern Ireland for his photo of Harry and Mitze.
Stephen’s photo of his cats Harry and Mitze was taken on the spur of the moment and is a perfect demonstration of the category Cats in Action!
“I saw the cats on the roof and ran inside to grab my camera,” Stephen explained. “I only took a couple of shots and admit that I didnít think I would win anything. However, I really liked the composition of the picture and the way the cats were positioned and I was hoping the judges would agree.”
A semi-professional photographer, Stephen enjoys taking pictures of wildlife as well as his cats and is keen to enter the competition again next year.