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Oliver shines brightly to capture Exeter tree photography prize

Published: 17 November 2023

Tree photography competition winner The winners and runners up in both adult and junior sections of the competition

A striking image of stars shining through the branches of a mature tree in an Exeter park has been declared the winner of a prestigious photography competition.

Oliver Necesito’s night-time shot was judged to be the best image in Exeter City Council’s Tree Photography Competition for 2023.

The competition is held every year in the run-up to National Tree Week (26 November to 4 December), inviting people to take a picture of their favourite tree in Exeter.

Once again the competition proved extremely popular with organisers receiving 74 entries from budding local amateur photographers.

Yet it was Oliver’s moody and imaginative shot that impressed the judges.

Oliver wins a framed photograph of the image and a Haynes Tree Manual for his efforts. All of the competition prizes were kindly donated by the City Council’s arboricultural contractors, Devon Trees Services.

A close second was Rob Geare’s delayed exposure shot of a tree in the middle of a busy road junction at the bottom of Fore Street. Rob receives a framed photograph of his image.

In the Junior section, eight-year-old Raef Harvey wowed judges with his beautiful image of a young girl hugging a giant oak tree in Rougemont Gardens. Raef wins a framed photograph of his image and a Haynes Tree Manual.

Runner up in the junior section was 12-year-old Austin Lake for his shot of a tree on the Cathedral Green starting to change colour. He also wins a framed photograph of his image.   

Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor for Place and City Management, said: “What an absolute pleasure it has been to be part of the judging panel! The range of images was remarkable - from the beautifully composed chocolate box ones featuring the trees along the Quay and the Exe, to the truly urban images featuring trees that gave the impression of surviving in amongst buildings and roadways.  There were also the ‘arty’ shots where unusual camera angles created some quite intriguing results. 

“It was a considerable challenge coming up with the winning images from over 70 submitted. In the end choosing the winners and runners up was down to those images that left an indelible mark on my memory well after I viewed them. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.”

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year it will take place from 25 November to 3 December. Further information about national events can be found on the Tree Council website

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