Joining up as any other rating into a particular trade such as logistics, engineering or warfare specialists, the sailors work hard to excel at their chosen field before being accepted into the elite photographic branch.
The select few then work with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on deployments anywhere in the world – from Antarctica to Afghanistan, from the UK to the Far East – taking pictures of maritime operations, personnel at work and demonstrating all aspects of Service life.
Each year the best of these images are showcased at the prestigious Peregrine Trophy awards – this year held at the Royal College of Art in London, with the winners congratulated by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas.
With just 10 professional categories, a student award and 3 amateur classes, the competition was very fierce and was whittled down by an expert panel of judges.
This year they were Matthew Fearn, picture editor at the Daily Telegraph, Professor Naren Barfield of the Royal College of Art, Anthony Massey and Kathy Andrews of the BBC World Service, and Neil Hall, MOD picture editor.
Head of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch Captain Ian Stidston said:
It has been a fantastic evening and one that has demonstrated the exceptional talent and professionalism of the men and women of the Navy’s photographic branch – and also of those amateurs who have captured some outstanding imagery.
The standard of the images are testament to the diversity and adaptability of our people and clearly demonstrate dedication to both their art and their Service.
I could not be more proud of the way the photographers have managed to capture still and moving images that clearly tell the story of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and the range of operations on which we deploy.
Open to the 41 photographers in the branch, there were 270 professional entries and 60 amateur images presented this year.
Collective comments from the judges included that the entries ‘displayed the photographers’ individual abilities with strong portfolios and diversity of naval imagery’. They added that the amateur categories were also strong, ‘with outstanding images that made judging a pleasure’.
The Peregrine Trophy dates back to 1961 and is named after the HMS Peregrine Royal Naval Air Station in Sussex. The competition’s primary purpose is to encourage the production of eye-catching, powerful imagery that can be used in the media to demonstrate Royal Navy and Royal Marines operations.
List of winners
Peregrine Trophy 2013 – Petty Officer Sean Clee for the best portfolio of 6 prints of Service-related subjects submitted by a section or unit
Royal Navy Photographer of the Year 2013 – Leading Airman David Jenkins for the best portfolio of 4 photographs of Service-related subjects submitted by an individual
Maritime Air Prize – Petty Officer Mez Merrill for the best photograph of one or more Royal Navy helicopters
Commandant General Royal Marines’ Prize – Leading Airman Emma Nolan for the best section or unit portfolio of 3 prints depicting Royal Marines-related subjects
Best Maritime Image Award – Leading Airman Dan Rosenbaum for the best photograph depicting Royal Navy or Royal Marines equipment
Royal Navy ‘Life Without Limits’ Award – Leading Airman David Jenkins for the best photograph of a member of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines undertaking their duties
Media Operations category – Leading Airman Guy Pool for the best single image judged to create the most impact as a news photograph
Royal Navy Video Award – Petty Officer Sean Clee for the best individual entry reflecting the Royal Navy or Royal Marines experience on any defence-related subject that ‘tells the story’
Royal Navy Amateur Photographer of the Year Award – Sergeant Ben Briggs for the best portfolio of 2 Service-related photographs submitted by an individual
Royal Navy Amateur Maritime Image Award – Petty Officer Michael Weir for the best photograph of a ship, submarine or aircraft
Royal Navy Amateur Open Category Award – Lieutenant Chloe Lea for the single best photograph on a Royal Navy or Royal Marines theme
Navy News Award – Leading Airman Dean Nixon for the picture which has had the most impact in the pages of Navy News over the last 12 months
Sea Cadet Amateur Open Category Award – Tamsyn Faulder for the single best photograph on a Sea Cadet theme