Slideshow: the top Sussex competition photos revealed

A photo capturing the shifting seasons from summer to autumn has won first place in the South Downs National Park competition 2017/18.

Ron De’Ath's picture, Harvest Home, took the prize in the competition which had the theme ‘Growing Places’.

2nd place Staredown by Dominic Vacher

2nd place Staredown by Dominic Vacher

The judges agreed that this photo is both technically perfect and clearly tells the story of farmers as stewards, caring for the National Park.

The competition judges were Steve Watkins, editor of Outdoor Photography magazine; local photographer and gallery owner Finn Hopson; Rachael Talibart, winner of the Sunday Times Magazine’s Landscape Photographer of the year in 2016; Nick Heasman, Countryside & Policy Manager for the South Downs National Park Authority and Doug Jones, South Downs National Park Authority Member.

A moody crowd cattle won second place for Dominic Vacher in ‘Staredown’, captured on Tegdown Hill near Brighton.

The judges were impressed by the bold, almost human, composition and high level of detail in the picture. Three of the cattle are Sussex Red, a traditional local rare breed, which have been grazed in this part of the country since the Bronze Age.

A subtle and challenging image ‘Rolling Down’ won third place for Simon Verrall. The judges agreed that this beautiful not over-beautified shot, taken on Barlavington Down in West Sussex, tells an important story about how farmers manage the pressures on the land - with the South Downs’ chalk showing clearly through the bare winter earth.

‘Harvest home’, ‘Staredown’ and ‘Rolling Down’ will join three highly commended photos to go forward for the people’s choice vote.

These are: ‘Sussex Farming’ by Tom Hard; ‘Fertile Ground’ by Benno White and ‘Heathland Fire’ by Jamie Fielding.

Vote for your favourite from 9 January 2018 at