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Neston Photographer Wins National Sports Photography Award

Published: 14th July 2020 09:12

Neston-based photographer Michael Holden is celebrating after one of his images received a World Sports Photography Award in the competition's inaugural year.

The World Sports Photography Awards are the only global awards for sport photography. Entered by the world's best sports photographers and judged by leading figures from sport, media, politics, brand and creative.  

Michael Holden - Speed award winning imageMichael Holden's image that took Bronze in the Speed category of the awards. See it in full size on the awards' website here.

Michael submitted 20 photographs in the early stages of the contest, back in December 2019, and found out in May of this year that he had made the shortlist of 120 images from thousands of submissions from all over the world. Many of the other shortlisted images came from huge photographic agencies such as Getty, Reuters and Associated Press, so he was in exalted company and this was therefore already a massive achievement.

He explains further: "A few weeks ago it was announced that my image was one of the 24 chosen for the winning collection over eight categories ­- Joy, Precision, Speed, Focus, Determination, Power, View, Celebration.

"These were also selected by a panel of sports industry professionals. My image won Bronze in the Speed category - and it is unreal to be part of a select few, especially with seven of the winning photos coming from Getty Images. Since then the gallery has been gaining lots of attention online, with appearances in both The Guardian and The Telegraph."

Michael's image was taken at the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours in France - one of the biggest and most prestigious motorsport events in the world and Michael's first international event too. He says: "I was fortunate to go last year as part of my prize for winning the Motorsport UK Young Photographer of the Year award in 2018, shooting for Aston Martin Racing.

"I also got to shoot the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone last year, which was another unreal experience!

"The particular moment in the winning photograph was taken in the pit lane. I was only given a two hour slot as there were so many photographers at the event, so numbers were limited whilst shooting in the pits.

"My aim during this time was to come away with a series of shots I felt showcased the action and energy in these pit stops. For this composition, I was fortunate to capture this split-second moment, in which the mechanics were equally spaced out and demonstrated lots of vigour. Such a thrill to be in that space!

"Looking back, it's been a great opportunity to showcase my work to a worldwide audience and has given me the boost to keep producing the goods at future shoots, especially now with motorsport events resuming."

Congratulations Michael!

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At 18:55 on 14th July 2020, Snapdragon commented:
Well done Mike. What a fantastic photo this was. A great eye for detail and such timing. Hope your career goes from strength to strength.
Joseph T
At 11:47 on 18th July 2020, Joseph T commented:
Many many CONGRATULATIONS Michael; you never know the speed section may be the one for your future work.. let's hope so. Nothing as exciting as success in your chosen medium. Well done you and look forward to any more future entries. Would love to know what kind of camera you use and how you began your super shots.
All the best
Joe T in West Vale

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