Novice photographer wins Bedford Park Festival Photography competition

Image above: Ljubima Woods with her winning photograph

Ljubima Woods won the 2021 Bedford Park Festival Photography competition on Sunday 20 June. Ljubima describes herself as a “novice” photographer, but hers was the image picked out from 156 entries by award winning Fine Art and advertising photographer Peter Dazeley BEM FRPS.

Ljubima, who has lived in Chiswick since 1981 and worked both for BBC World and as a teacher, said she was “overwhelmed” to have won.

“I am really a novice. I only started learning about photography two or three years ago when I took a free course for a year run by Emma Davies. I didn’t know the settings on my camera before that; I would strongly recommend  her courses”.

Image above: Kearsney Abbey, Ljubima Woods 

Winning photograph

Her picture, entered in the Landscapes and Seascapes category and taken a few weeks ago, is of Kearsney Abbey on outskirts of Dover, an area of parkland with lots of wildlife.

“I liked the tree; I liked the texture. It’s a very old yew tree and I loved the roots”. The texture of the roots and the overall composition is what caught the judge’s eye and that of the public, as her photograph was also voted best in the Landscapes and Seascapes category by members of the public.

This is the first photography prize she’s won, though two pieces of her work were commended and highly commended in the IGPTOY International Gardener photographer of the Year competition. Ljubima says she’s always been involved in creative work and would like to try to do something with it professionally.

Image above: Portrait by Sirli Raitma


Runner-up in the competition was the portrait above by Sirli Raitma, (whose portrait of her mother Eha was the overall winner in 2019 and went on to be shown in the National Portrait Gallery). In this year’s entry, Peter said he particularly liked the way in which the light fell on the subject.

Image above: Chiswick Life entry by Dara McGarry

Third place

In third place was this picture of Turnham Green train station by Dara McGarry , entered in the Chiswick Life section. Peter said he awarded this one a prize because he was taken by the energy of the picutre.

Category winners

The public agreed with Peter that Ljubima’s picture was the best in the Landscapes and Seascapes category, but they took a different view of which was the best picture in the Chiswick Life and Portraits and People categories. Here are the category winners, chosen by the public:

Image above: Chiswick Life winner by Frank Noon

Chiswick Life

The winner in the Chiswick Life category was this portrait by Frank Noon of a rough sleeper who had made his home in the cemetary opposite Frank’s house.

Image above: Portraits and People winner by Jennifer Griffiths

Portraits and People

The winner in the Portraits and People category was this photograph by Jennifer Griffiths, taken at the bus stop opposite Chiswick Business Park, demonstrating how we all live in our own separate worlds even in a crowded city.

Image above: Lockdown Life winner by Jennifer Griffiths

Lockdown Life

The winner in the Lockdown Life category was this picture, also by Jennifer Griffiths, capturing beautifully the sense of house arrest we all felt for a while.

Image above: Animals winner by Suzanne Thomas


The winner in the Animals category was this picture of seals by Suzanne Thomas, taken on Easter Sunday (4 April) at Horsey beach in Norfolk.

“I’d gone there for the day with a hiking group specifically to see the seals” says Suzanne.

“Beautiful but a bit stinky!”

Image above: The Natural World winner by James Yates

The Natural World

The winner in The Natural World category was this picture of a Eurasion Coot, taken by James Yates.

Image above: The Built Environment winner by Des McConkey

The Built Environment

The winner in The Built Environment category is this picture of Hammersmith Bridge shrouded in mist, by Des McConkey.

Image above: Serendipity winner by Anna Kunst


The winner in the Serendipity category is this picture of a cat with a snail by Anna Kunst. The snail had found it’s way in from the patio, hitching a lift on the book. Its interest was piqued by the huge furry animal towering above it, Anna’s cat Misu. The Chiswick Calendar is assured no animals were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

Image above: Young People winner by Theo Hawes

Young People

The winner in the category for photographs on all subjects by people aged 16 and under is this photograph by Theo Hawes.

See all the 2021 entries

Huge thanks to all the photographers who entered their pictures in the Bedford Park Festival Photography competition 2021 and to Fine Art and advertising photographer Peter Dazeley for taking the time to come and judge them. Peter gave Ljubima a copy of his most recent book London Theatres, part of a series of beautiful coffee table books on London on which he is still working.

Thanks also to the members of the public who came to the exhibition, either online or in the flesh and voted, and to Snappy Snaps Chiswick for a £50 voucher for printing and framing for each category winner and a £250 voucher for the overall winner.

You can see all the entries here: Bedford Park Festival Photography competition / exhibition 2021

Images above: Winning photographers Anna Kunst, Ljubima Woods and Frank Noon / Judge Peter Dazeley with Chiswick Calendar editor Bridget Osborne / exhibition prize giving in St Michael & All Angels parish hall

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: First look inside the new Chiswick Cinema

See also: Bedford Park Festival Photography competition / exhibition in previous years

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