TA Sapper mops up at this year's British Army photo awards
Sapper Ian Chapman reflects on his across the board success at the 2007 British Army Photographic Competition earlier today
Sapper Ian Chapman of the Territorial Army (TA), which is the professional part-time wing of the British Army, swept the board of at the British Army Photographic Competition 2007 earlier today. The competition was judged by celebrity photographer Jim Marks. General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Army's top soldier, Chief of the General Staff, was on hand to present prizes to the Army's best photographers, both amateurs and professionals. The latter are drawn from the Army's soldiers whose primary roles are in the photographic arena as part of the Army Photographic Trade.
This year's event was tempered by the introduction of a commemorative award in memory of Corporal Mike Gilyeat, of the Royal Miliary Police, who died in May this year in Afghanistan. Corporal Gilyeat was serving as a professional army photographer at the time. The new award, for the winner of the Best Overall Image, is a silver trophy named 'The Corporal Gilyeat Cup'. Mike Gilyeat's father attended the awards ceremony.
Chief of the General Staff, Sir Richard Dannatt, awards the Corporal Mike Gilyeat Cup to Sapper Ian Chapman, photographer of the Best Overall Image
The first winner of the Corporal Gilyeat Cup is Ian Chapman. He also managed to win all the other categories open to amateur photographers in the competion. This was despite the fact that Chapman, who is in his early forties, had not entered a photographic competition before. "My parents bought me an Olympus OM-10 for my 21st birthday a long time ago and I took it with me everywhere when I was in the regular army and I got lots of good pictures with that, including at the Falklands." Chapman still has his OM-10, but all the winning shots he submitted were taken using a Canon EOS Rebel XT, the US version of the Canon EOS-350D. That camera was damaged and replaced by another 350D, which Chapman - a keen parachutist - plans to use specifically for sky diving photography. Today, Chapman uses a Nikon D200 and a recently acquired Nikon 18-200 zoom.
Ian Chapman's shot that won Best Overall Image, taken in Afghanistan while deployed with the TA
"I thought I was turning up today to receive something like a £20 Jessops voucher for one of my pictures being a finalist. I had no idea I'd win anything more!" said a slightly bemused Chapman. Currently, Chapman and his wife, Jane, run a business maintaining parachute equipment, but he's keen to exploit his newly-discovered photographic prowess and get back in to the action by exploring the possibility of becoming a professional photographer specialising in location work specialising in 'tough' terrain - war zones and the like. Chapman admits he's not very technical with his photography and is working improving his skills via night school training courses.
Afghan Sunrise, one of Chapman's portfolio entered for 'Photographer of the Year'.
Close Protection, winner of the digital image category (Professional), by Sergeant Mick Howard
If you would like to see the winning and runners up entries to this year's competition, they are on display at the National Army Museum in Chelsea.
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Amateur sweeps board at 2007 British Army Photographic Competition
DPNow Amateur sweeps board at 2007 British Army Photographic Competition
Sapper Ian Chapman of the Territorial Army (TA), which is the non-professional part time wing of the... (more)