A Faslane servicemen has taken home top prize at the Royal Navy’s photography equivalent of the Oscars, with his incredible work perfectly capturing the realities of Service life.
The Peregrine Trophy awards’ Photographer of the Year went to Leading Airman Photographer Will Haigh, whose portfolio included images from HMS Lancaster on deployment, 40 Commando and Royal Marines boxing.
Will, 31, who starred in Coronation Street as a teenager, joined the Royal Navy as a mine warfare rating before transferring to the photographic branch in 2011.
He spent two years with the Royal Marines of 40 Commando, near Taunton, which took him to Albania, Jordan, France, Saudi Arabia and the west coast of Africa, before transferring to his current base at Faslane.
The Peregrine Trophy awarded to the best section or unit was won by Fleet Regional Photographic Unit (East) based in Portsmouth for submitting a portfolio showcasing Service life.
Each of the 41 photographers in the Royal Navy joined as an ordinary sailor in a different trade such as a logistics, engineering or warfare specialists before applying to join the elite photographic branch.
The select few then work with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on deployments anywhere in the world – from Antarctica to Norway’s Arctic Circle, from the UK to the Far East – taking pictures of maritime operations, personnel at work and demonstrating all aspects of Service life.
Each year the best of the images are showcased at the prestigious annual Peregrine Trophy awards – which this year was held on board HMS Bulwark in London.
Open to every member of the branch, as well as amateur photographers across the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Sea Cadets, there were 255 entries in this year’s competition.
Their work was judged by Eleanor Montague of the BBC, Dom Baker of E3 digital marketing and advertising agency, Panay Triantafillides, Defence Imagery picture editor, and Jo Power of the Directorate of Defence Communications.
Head of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch Captain Ian Stidston said: “This competition confirms how much exceptional talent and professionalism we have in the Navy’s photographic branch – and also the amateur photographers who have taken some brilliant photographs.
“I could not be more proud of the Navy’s photographers who have managed to capture compelling still and moving images that vividly tell the story of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on operations.”
The Peregrine Trophy dates back to 1961 and is named after the now-closed HMS Peregrine Royal Naval Air Station at Ford in Sussex.
The award’s primary purpose is to encourage the production of eye-catching, powerful imagery that can be used in the media to demonstrate the Royal Navy and Royal Marines’ operations.