Flowers help Ross power to final of national photography contest

HE might only be ten years old but Bonnyrigg youngster Ross Thomson is already proving to be a dab hand with a camera.

The St Mary’s Primary pupil battled it out against hundreds of youngsters to reach the final of a national multimedia competition, and as a result had his nature photograph, which he took at the Royal Botanic Garden, exhibited in London yesterday.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) My True Nature competition, which attracted more than 600 entries, invited 7 to 16-year-olds across the UK to help celebrate its 50th anniversary this year by sharing their love of nature via one of five categories – photography and film, art and sculpture, poetry and prose, sound and music, or dance and movement.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A total of 26 finalists, including Ross, showcased their work at a special exhibition at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, yesterday.

Ross’s photograph, entitled Flower Power, captures a number of pink and white flowers at the Botanics.

Ross, who was one of only two Scottish finalists, said: “I chose this picture because it looks like there is an army of pink flowers taking over the green landscape. I like the fact that it looks like a war as there is dead plants and alive plants, and the white flower in the left-hand bottom corner looks like the leader.”

The primary six pupil, who likes nature and enjoys taking photographs with his 20-year-old brother Iain’s bridge camera, heard about the competition through his school.

His mum, Maria, 50, said: “He was quite interested in the competition and asked his big sister, Sara Toule, to take him off to the Botanic Garden to take some pictures.

“He likes taking his camera on holiday. He’s always enjoyed taking pictures just for fun.

“He’s definitely into nature too, he loves gardening and all things about nature.

“I have some flowers in the house and he arranges them and takes photos of them.

“Reaching the final of the competition has given him a little boost – he was quite excited when he found out.”

Mrs Thomson added: “The finalists were expected to stand beside their exhibit and talk about what inspired them. Ross seemed to take it in his stride.”

Ross travelled to London with his dad Spencer, 37, yesterday to attend the exhibition, with the winners set to be announced last night.

Mrs Thomson said: “I’m absolutely delighted for him and it’s certainly given him a bit of a confidence boost, which is quite good.”

Category winners will receive a Flip camera and certificate, while the overall winner is presented with an iPod Touch and a certificate.

Cherry Duggan, head of schools and youth relations for WWF UK, said: “The level of creativity shown by all the entries for My True Nature has been fantastic, and the fact we received hundreds of submissions is a clear indication that young people around the UK still feel a real passion for and connection with the natural world.

“Being shortlisted is a huge achievement and Ross should be very proud of himself.”