‘Unique’ and ‘skilful’ wasp spider picture wins young photographer award

A 17-year-old has beaten 6,500 entries in the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards with his image of a wasp spider.

Ben Hancock-Smith, from Guilford, claimed top spot with his entry Hidden Below, which shows the spider against the backdrop of a sunset peeking through the grass.

Ben, who also won the Small World category, said: “I’m so happy that the judges liked my photo so much.

(Ollie Smith/RSPCA)

“I found this wasp spider on its web down in the grass and it was quite hidden away. I laid down to try and get lower than the spider so I could get the sunset coming through the grass in the picture.”

The double victory followed a win in last year’s awards, as he claimed a category award for an image of a swan chasing another swan.

The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards are open to anyone 18 or under, and recognise the best images taken on a camera or mobile.

The awards are judged blind by a panel which includes RSPCS vice president and TV presenter Chris Packham.

He said: “Ben’s photo of a wasp spider really stood out to all of us on the judging panel.

(Isabella Martin/RSPCA)

“We felt it was a very skilful capture, with a carefully considered composition bringing colour into the scene.

“It’s certainly unique in its approach to an often overlooked species, and a very worthy winner.”

Other winners included nine-year-old Isabella Martin, who claimed the Mobile Phone & Devices prize for under-12s with a picture of her kitten, Hattie, playing on the bed.

Another mobile winner was Ollie Smith, 12, for his picture of a stingray.

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