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Driffield’s Bradley captures top spot in railway competition

A photographer from Driffield has been named as the first-ever Young Railway Photographer of the Year at an awards ceremony held at the National Railway Museum in York.

Organised by the Railway Photographic Society as part of its 100th year, the competition saw over 150 youngsters submit their best images in an effort to be named the inaugural Young Railway Photographer of the Year.

Bradley Langton, 20, impressed the judges with a technically-accomplished reflective view of an LNER Class 91 locomotive at King’s Cross railway station in London.

I’m always on the lookout for something a bit different, something a bit more challenging, something that will test my camera and test my patience.

bradley langton

Speaking at the awards ceremony, which took place on 24th February, Bradley said he was proud his image was chosen ahead of over 900 others.

“It is very overwhelming and the last thing I expected, I had pride in myself and my work, but I never thought I’d come to an event like this and think ‘I’m definitely going to win’, especially when there’s 900 pictures to choose from, but I’m very happy and very proud of myself, and it’s very much given me a boost to continue with it,” he said.

“I’ve always been interested in the railways since I was a young child and I moved up to videoing them and you get to record the trains that you see.

“Then I ended up taking more pictures than videos. I’m always on the lookout for something a bit different, something a bit more challenging, something that will test my camera and test my patience and there are a few images showcased here that represent that.”

The competition divided entries into two categories – photographers aged under 19 and those aged 19-25.

Bradley was the winner in the latter category, with his set of entries that included a shot of Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands, made famous by the Harry Potter films.

Launched in 2019, and delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition aimed to showcase the work of budding photographers across the UK.

The competition theme was ‘the Railway Seen’ and entrants were asked to illustrate the variety of railway subject matter, whether vehicles, architecture, people, landscapes or abstract images.

Bradley Langton in front of his winning image. Picture by David Harrison.

“I would like to congratulate our competition winners,” said competition organiser John Hillier, from the Railway Photographic Society and Bahamas Locomotive Society.

“I extend my thanks to everyone who took part, despite the difficulties presented by COVID-19 and to our sponsors and Network Rail and the National Railway Museum in particular for their enthusiastic support.

“Judges were impressed with the standard of entries which covered a wide range of subjects and locations across the UK, celebrating the richness of our railways.

“The overall winning entry from Bradley Langton is a picture of high technical merit with some great colours and definition.

“It portrays a blend of the traditional and modern and is the ‘stand-out’ shot of the railways today and a worthy winner.”

A selection of 48 images from the competition, including all category winners, will be included in a temporary exhibition at the National Railway Museum in York.

Displayed in the museum’s Great Hall and free to enter, the exhibition replaces the Railway Heroes photography exhibition, which celebrated the achievements of rail workers during the pandemic.

The Young Railway Photographer of the Year exhibition will also go on display at Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham, from June.

The competition winners each received a range of prizes, including photographic equipment, railway books, photography training opportunities and a behind the scenes tour of the National Railway Museum.

Bradley has also been given the opportunity to photograph the Forth Bridge in Scotland by Network Rail, as well as a Nikon P900 camera provided by Jessops Limited.

At every stage of the competition, the importance of staying safe near the railways and the dangers of trespassing were highlighted.

Entrants were disqualified if they were taken from an unsafe location.

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