A PICTURE of a mischievous toddler on the brink of bouncing on top of his grandfather – while he blissfully enjoys 40 winks after a hearty lunch – has scooped a city photographer a prestigious prize in the world’s biggest photography awards.
Alex Ingle’s “Wake Up Call”, taken after an Easter family lunch in Poland, won the Open Smile category in the Sony World Photography Awards.
A record-breaking 230,103 snaps from more than 186 countries were entered into the awards’ three competitions – Professional, Open and Youth.
Mr Ingle’s photograph was selected from 95,541 submissions by an expert panel chaired by former newspaper picture editor Jael Marschner.
The 31-year-old, from Newington, said he and his wife Gabriela, who is Polish, had been attending a family gathering in Miechow for Easter last year when by chance he spotted his son Leo, then aged one, about to jump on “Dziadzia Jacek” (Grandfather Jack), who had been snoring after the celebratory meal.
He said: “Anyone who has been to Poland knows that Easter is a really big occasion. Leo had kind of clambered up on his grandfather and I saw the look in his eye. Directly after that he jumped on his legs and that was that, the end of ten minutes’ sleep.”
Mr Ingle, a documentary filmmaker who has worked on a variety of projects, including Greenland’s receding ice cap, the catacombs in Rome and Iceland’s gorges, said he had been “amazed” to receive a call from competition organisers saying he had been named the world’s best Smile photographer.
“This is the first time anything like this has happened to me,” he said. “It is still sinking in. I will be contacting Leo’s grandfather [Jacek Nawort] tonight news.
“When the shortlist was announced he was as proud as punch – he had it printed off and has it framed on his wall.”
Mr Ingle, one of ten category winners announced yesterday by the awards organisers, the World Photography Organisation, is now competing for the Open Photographer of the Year title, and a prize worth £3500 to be announced on April 21.
Other winners include Czech photographer’s Michaela Smidova snap of polar bear taking a bath at a zoo in Prague, which took the prize in the Nature and Wild category.
Swee Choo Oh, a fine arts photographer whose picture of a lantern store in Hoi An, Vietnam, won the Arts and Culture category, said: “While walking along a street in the early morning I was captivated by this wonderful lady starting her day, peacefully waiting for customers . . . The overall feel was of an old painting.”
Kei Nomiyana‘s picture of fireflies in Japan under moonlight won the Low Light category. Nomiyana, a PhD associate professor of environmental chemistry at Ehime University, in Japan, said: “I am very surprised at winning a prize and take pride.”
All ten winners will receive a Sony a7 II camera and will have their winning images exhibited at Somerset House, London, from April 22-May 8 and published in the 2016 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.