A Royal Navy Leading Photographer has won an award in a prestigious photographic competition for a photograph of HMS Illustrious entering Grand Harbour in Malta.
Leading Photographer Dean Nixon has been awarded the Royal Navy “Navy News” Award which celebrates the image that has had the greatest impact on readers of the monthly newspaper.
Working from the Photographic Unit at HMNB Devonport, Dean has spent the last 36 months on HMS Illustrious building up a portfolio of shots of the helicopter carrier.
As a result he captured a photo of Illustrious entering Grand Harbour which made the front cover of the December issue of Navy News. This photo proved so popular that readers have requested it appear in the publication time and time again as well as asking for prints of the image.
Dean said: “When I took the photo I was simply trying to get a quality shot of Illustrious entering the harbour that demonstrated her size and how manoeuvrable she is and then this opportunity arose.
“Winning this award is an honour and it came as a complete surprise to hear that my photo had made such an impact on the readers on Navy News. I am glad to hear that my work is promoting the Royal Navy in such a positive way.”
The annual Peregrine Trophy awards are designed to recognise excellence among both the professional Royal Navy and Royal Marine photographers and amateurs.
This year the awards were held at the Royal College of Art in London – with the winners congratulated by the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas.
With just 10 professional categories, a student award and three amateur classes – the competition is very fierce and is whittled down by an expert panel of judges.
These were Matthew Fearn, Picture Editor at the Daily Telegraph, Professor Naren Barfield of the Royal College of Art, Anthony Massey and Kathy Andrews of BBC World Service and Neil Hall, MOD Picture Editor.
Head of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch, Captain Ian Stidston, said: “It has been a fantastic competition and one that has demonstrated the exceptional talent and professionalism of the men and women of the Navy’s photographic branch – and also of those amateurs who have captured some outstanding imagery.
“The standard of the images received are testament to the diversity and adaptability of our people and clearly demonstrate dedication to both their art and their Service.
“I could not be more proud of the way the photographers have managed to capture still and moving images that clearly tell the story of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and the range of operations on which we deploy.”
Dean, 30, joined the Navy in 2003 as an Operator Mechanic before moving into the Photographic Branch. He lives in Plymouth with his partner, Caron, with both of them having a mutual interest in photography.