Street photographers wow judges of Big Picture competition

Thousands of people from around the world used a camera phone to take part in a new competition offering the winner a state of the art camcorder and the title “Street Photographer of the year”.

The standard of entries for the first Citizen Journalism Educational Trust (CJET)-run contest was remarkably high, showing that surprising quality can be achieved using a mobile phone. Twelve images were shortlisted by the judges.
The winner of the Olympus camcorder top prize will be announced at the end of the month. New charity CJET, which is supported by The-Latest.Com, launched with its Big Picture Street Photographer of the Year competition in June.

This exciting event won backing from Time Out and Olympus, who donated a prize worth almost £300. Guardian News & Media  provided the organisers with an iconic image, taken by a citizen photographer, of Ian Tomlinson, the innocent bystander killed by a police officer at the G20 protest in London of April 2009, to use in publicity.

Stunning photographs from entrants in the UK and places as far afield as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Romania, Italy, America and Canada were received.
Time Out has given the finalists a big plug by publishing some of the eye-catching images on its website.
The magazine’s picture editor Allyce Hibbert, who was one of the five judges, said: “The quality of entries was so good I had difficulty separating them to choose the 12 finalists. It’s amazing what can be done with a camera phone.”

Other judges are award-winning photographer Eamonn McCabe, former Picture Editor of The Guardian, renowned publisher Dr Margaret Busby OBE, Martin Shaw, Chair of the CJET charity and Brian Usher, Picture Editor of The-Latest.Com.

Shaw said: “CJET recognises that ordinary citizens not only consume news but make it too. Think of the image of innocent bystander Ian Tomlinson who was unlawfully killed at the G20 protest, the 7/7 terrorist attack and Asian tsunami photographs that have come from camera phones. We organised the Big Picture competition to celebrate this important new citizen journalism.”

McCabe commented that the finalist’s images “were all brilliant” and it was hard for him to choose when making his selection of the top three photographs.

Deborah Hobson, Deputy Editor of The-Latest.Com, said: “The amazing images submitted by many of the entrants who do not normally work as photographers tell a unique story about their community and region. An exhibition of these photographs later this year will allow these visual narratives to be shared with a wide audience who in turn will be enlightened and informed by this wonderful street photography. I hope it encourages many other ordinary citizens to take picture with their camera phones.”

CJET is a UK charity that inspires and encourages the personal development of disadvantaged young adults through journalism, writing, literacy, photography and video. It produces educational material that includes college standard online out-reach materials and tutorials for contributors interested in a career in journalism, photography or broadcasting. It also aims to assist the public to find a better connection with the sometimes mystifying world of media, journalism and current affairs that is so influential in all our lives.

Read what Time Out said about the competition:

To view the finalists see: <>