After the dust had settled on this year’s showcase of Navy imagery there was, after much debate, finally a winner – Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist Brenton Freind.
The Rosemary Rodwell Memorial Prize is awarded to the imagery specialist whose entry is judged to be the most striking and memorable of the year.
Competition was again fierce, with 63 entries and second place tied.
Leading Seaman Freind said he was in a state of disbelief when he heard he had won.
“I thought it was a gee-up when my Petty Officer phoned to tell me,” he said.
“This is about the ninth time I have entered – it’s definitely a proud moment to take out the top spot in such a prestigious award.
“The calibre of the entries this year was pretty high, especially with so many of our sailors on operations – deployments are where the best opportunities occur.”
Organiser, for the second year running, Chief Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Dave Connolly, said the decision for the panel of five judges was a difficult one.
“With the tempo of the Royal Australian Navy high at the moment, our photographers are deployed to all corners of the globe – this results in a lot of good quality imagery from the troops,” he said.
“While ultimately there is a winner, I like to look at the memorial prize as a visual record of the last year in the Navy as seen through our photographers’ eyes – it’s a snapshot of our involvement for 2014.
“Imagery specialists are fortunate to have the luxury of being in unique locations where, sometimes, nobody else has been, and document it.”
Perennial bridesmaid, Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist Yuri Ramsey, who placed second for the third consecutive year, in a tie with Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist James Whittle, said the award was a great way for the imagery specialists to present their best work from the year.
“I’m not that disappointed to come second again, the quality of imagery is pretty good, so to be up there is encouraging,” he said.
“The shot I submitted was taken in HMAS Larrakia when we were in transit across the South China Sea, the sun was setting at just the right angle to provide the right amount of light to illuminate the face of the sailor and provide good contrast with the darkness of the bridge.”
Darwin-based imagery specialist Leading Seaman Whittle said he spent a lot of last year deployed which is where he shot his equal second placed entry of HMAS Toowoomba.
“Second place is not quite the icing on the cake; it is more like the cake under the icing which still tastes pretty good,” he said.
“It’s great to be a part of and awesome to see what the rest of the team has been up to throughout the year.”
Sydney-based third placegetter Able Seaman Imagery Specialist Tom Gibson said this was only his second time entering.
“It feels great to place in such a highly recognised event," Able Seaman Gibson said.
Since I’m relatively new it is a great feeling to have my work appreciated by people who have been around a lot longer than I have – it is a feeling of pride in the work I do for Defence.
“I really look forward to the time of year it comes to entering images as it’s great to see what images have been shot over the past year.
“This competition gives everyone in our branch a chance to show off their work and I believe it gives everyone the drive to be creative and capture amazing imagery that will not only impress our colleges but the rest of the defence force.”
Imagery Specialist Category Manager, and one of the judges, Warrant Officer Imagery Specialist Tracy Casteleijn said the prize was an opportunity for imagery specialists to showcase their favourite images from the previous calendar year.
“The 2014 entries proved highly competitive with the judging resulting in a six-way tie.
“A top-six shootout occurred to determine a clear winner with second place further highlighting the tight competition with a two-way tie while third stood alone,” she said.