Summer happiness photo competition winners

We had hundreds of submissions to this year’s competition, depicting summer happiness in numerous guises. Our judge, photographer James Eckersley selects the very best entries from our readers.

Adults winner, Stephen Hammy

adult photo competition winner

Stephen said: Nothing beats sharing a treat with your little friend after a visit to the ice-cream van on a British summer day! This was a visit to Rosemarkie beach on the Black Isle in Scotland earlier this year.

What our judge said: This is such a lovely photo, where all the elements come together perfectly to tell the story of summer happiness.

The soft colours in the background offset the vibrant colours of the clothing, and the clever use of the railings to create leading lines and the slightly blurred beach, sea and horizon make this memorable shot a worthy winner.

However, this stood out for me because of the perfectly placed panda bear staring hauntingly at us—a clever twist on a classic child portrait.



Adults runner-up, Paul Ging, from Tyne and Wear

adult runner up photo competition winner

Paul said: This photo is of our son Harry Ging—then aged four—on a water slide in Lanzarote.

He was shrieking with delight as he went down, and I’d imagine every parent (or child) will add their own memory of excitement to this image and imagine his squeal echoing through the tube, ending with a splash!

What our judge said: To capture a perfect silhouette with a moving subject would have caused any photographer problems, but all the technical issues have been overcome here to give us a great shot filled with drama and excitement.



Adults runner-up, Debbie Hallsworth, from Norfolk

adults runner up photo competition

Debbie said: Nowadays, we rarely end up with quality photos preserved in albums. In search of these, we met up with our friend in a local park. This happy shot of our 12-year-old son William was the result!

What our judge said: A great photo! I love how the colours of the clothing offset the backlit hair, and how the swing is frozen in mid-air by a fast shutter speed.



Under-18s winner Faris Qureshi, 12, from Barking

under 18s winner

Faris said: My mum liked my idea of taking a photo of everyone jumping at the moment they reached the water, so I took a few.

This was my favourite, as I really liked how the sun shimmered on the water and how everyone was jumping at the same time. I had relatively basic equipment for taking this picture—an iPhone 6. I didn’t have a tripod or anything fancy, just the phone. I think that’s why I like the photo so much; it was taken with no help!

What our judge said: I’m so impressed to see such a young photographer experimenting with shooting into the sun. Many seasoned old photographers would shy away from it, but the results can be fantastic. This picture really shows the technique at its best—the lovely warm tones of the sunset, and the silhouetted children enjoying the seaside, give this image a delightful sense of joy and serenity.

I also love the way my eye is drawn around the picture. Starting with the bright sunset and horizon line, I follow the path of the reflection on the sea to search out the various silhouetted figures in the foreground.

It amazes me that this kind of image can be captured on a simple phone camera, and it’s great that this new technology is inspiring a new generation of photographers to be passionate and creative image makers.

It’s proof indeed that you don’t need expensive equipment to be a good photographer, as this is a beautifully composed and lit photograph. Well done!



Under-18s runner-up, Harvey Filsell, 16, from Eastbourne

under 18 photo competition winner

Harvey said: This picture was taken at our local park. We’d actually gone to feed the ducks, but the pigeons were waiting patiently in the background for crumbs.

My stepsister April put some bread on her hand to see if they would take it. A few swooped down and one even landed on her arm! She had a great time feeding them.

What our judge said: It’s not only the timing that works well here—I really like the brightness of the girl’s clothing and the shoes matching the feathers of the birds, contrasted with the lush green grass. But the best bit has to be the girl’s expression: pure joy!



Under-18s runner-up, Katy Read, 12, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

under 18 runner up birdwatching

Katy said: My dad and I visited Bempton Cliffs, near Scarborough, and the sunshine broke out at lunchtime after a cloudy morning. There were thousands of gannets on the cliffs, and this one looked as happy as I was at the change in the weather!

What our judge said: I was impressed with the diversity of responses to the theme “summer happiness”. The entrants displayed such a variety of things that made them happy.

This image shows a clear passion for wildlife—a lovely shot of a seabird nesting in its precarious environment.


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