Friday, July 15, 2011


Last night Dizzee Rascal revealed the overall winner of the Your Britain national photography competition to be Carl Haynes, who captured an image of cyclists speeding through a pedestrian tunnel in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His image was picked by the judges out of more than 8,500 entries and scooped the £10,000 prize plus the chance to appear on the Bing homepage today.

Mercury award winning artist Dizzee Rascal, who kicked off the competition by capturing a series of photos for the visually led search engine’s homepage, joined an esteemed panel of judges to whittle down the top public voted entries to choose the overall winner and the winners for each category: my local Britain, my natural Britain, my Britain at night, my secret Britain and my urban Britain, with each of these winners receiving £250. More than 120,000 public votes were cast throughout the duration of the competition.

After much deliberation the expert judging panel, which includes Alan Sparrow, Picture Editor of Metro Newspaper; Ben Drury, Art Director and long-time Dizzee Rascal collaborator; and Pleasance Coddington, writer and tourism expert from Visit Britain, finally arrived at a consensus and hailed Carl Haynes’ gritty action shot using a long exposure technique as the overall winner. 

Upon winning the competition Carl Haynes said: “I am delighted to have won the Bing Your Britain photography competition. The image is a snapshot of Britain through my eyes and for me, the blurred pair on bikes evokes a feeling of a progressive nation. I love the idea of seeing a trajectory or path from where the riders have come from to where they are heading - that’s what makes this picture work for me.”

Commenting on the winning photo, Dizzee Rascal, said:  “This photo is untamed. I like the energy from the long exposure technique and I can relate to finding something powerful in every day urban life. We should be inspired by our towns and cities by looking for beauty in unlikely places. It’s cool to think this guy’s perception of beautiful Britain will be shared with over 16 million people when it appears on Bing’s homepage tomorrow.”

Dizzee, who recently bagged an Ivor Novello award for inspiration, joins the full panel of judges tonight at the official gallery event in the heart of Shoreditch, East London, and reveals some of his previously unseen photos of Britain, which were hung alongside the overall winning entry and the category winners’ photos.

Alex Payne, Head of Search at Bing, said: “Imagery is extremely important to Bing. Ever since launch, the Bing homepage has carried striking images each day, designed to capture peoples’ imaginations and inspire them to discover more about the subject. This approach, in making search a more visual and immersive experience has had a big impact and we really wanted to see what inspires people about the country. The standard of entries throughout the competition has been unbelievable. The nation’s ability to find beauty and inspiration in the most unlikely of places and translate that into powerful photography is truly impressive. The competition has been a runaway success and we’re excited to give the lucky winner a cheque for £10,000 and showcase their image on the Bing homepage.”

To see the winning image live today on You can also check out the Bing Facebook page for the latest news, images and more here

Overall Winner, Pedestrian Tunnel, Carl Haynes

Category Winners
Local Britain

An image of an old pub in Wales dubbed the Royal British Legion captured the imagination of Greg Pawelski and demanded the attention of the judges to win the Local Britain category

Natural Britain
An atmospheric sunrise across the Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall was enough to secure the Natural Britain category for Eric Pearce

Urban Britain
The juxtaposition of a wall littered with graffiti as a backdrop with Police tape dominating the foreground created an image worthy of the Urban Britain category title for East Londoner, Danny Seaton

Secret Britain
Clapham junction was the spot of choice for amateur photographer Michael Debrah, whose interpretation of interlinking railway lines impressed the judges enough to steal the Secret Britain category

Britain at night
It was the calm dusk shot of idle rowing boats decorating an unusually tranquil Stornoway harbour that captured the imagination of the judges and delivered Tim Riches from the Isle of Lewis, the top spot in the Britain at Night category


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