The exhibition of the best photos from across Wales were announced at a special awards ceremony on 21st November by ICE Director General Nick Baveystock and ICE Wales Cymru Chairman Stephen Lawrence. As well as receiving a £200 cash prize the winner will also see their image used by ICE Wales Cymru to help promote civil engineering in the future.
The winning image was "The Lone Examiner" by Robert Woods. It is a stunning image showing a single civil engineer in orange coloured high visibility clothing suspended in the centre of an otherwise monochrome setting of the underneath of the Britannia Bridge in north Wales. It was taken by Robert, who works for Amey, with on Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera. Professional photographer and judge Mark Lewis said: "The judging panel was unanimous choosing Robert's image as the winner. The almost monochrome image is enhanced by the splash of colour that draws you in to see the workman in orange which then gives the image a sense of scale."
Taking second prize was the black and white image "New Rail Bridge" by Adrian Webster showing the installation of the new rail bridge at the appropriately named Bridge Street, Newport. Adrian used a Canon EOS 750D to capture the image. Mark Lewis commented:
"The black and white image gives a sense of timelessness, the cluster of workmen provides a sense of scale to convey the size of the crane and bridge being replaced."
In third place was "Cardiff Bay Bridge" by Greg Garson; a stunning image of the Bay captured from underneath the A4232 link road by Greg with his Samsung Galaxy A3 smartphone, proving that good photographs can be taken with phone cameras. Mark Lewis said:
"The photograph was taken from a very unusual angle – not the typical view of Cardiff Bay – and the calmness of the water allows for a mirror like reflection of the road bridge."
The judging panel also decided to award a Heritage Award for "Devil's Bridge" by Mike Cronly. The village of Devil's Bridge, near Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, is well known for its three bridges, built one on top of the other, and the cascading waterfalls of the River Mynach. Mike used a Canon PowerShot SX240 HS to capture the unique feature. Mark Lewis said of the image:
"A great perspective showing how three different bridges have been built and two subsequently left in place at the same location."
A new category introduced this year, the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Award, was won by John Mather for his image of "Harlech Castle Visitor Centre Footbridge" depicting the "floating" visitor centre footbridge at Harlech Castle which provides flat access for all visitors making the Castle easily accessible to those with mobility issues. This image was taken with a Panasonic FZ38 Lumix Camera. Mark Lewis noted about the image:
"Good use of leading lines of the modern architecture of the footbridge leading you into the contrast of the castle walls."
One photograph also stood out in addition to the winners at the exhibition and the judges decided to award a People's Favourite Award to "Final Adjustments to Bridge Street Bridge" by Chris Meaker – which also featured the new bridge at Newport. Chris captured this image with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Mark Lewis said:
"This image was very similar in composition to the overall winner and it was a hard decision for the judges to choose between them. We are delighted that the public spoke and gave support for this image."
Keith Jones, Director ICE Wales Cymru, said:
"We have exhibited in the past at established galleries and this year we thought we would try something different with our exhibition which this year was housed in a unit at Mermaid Quay in the heart of Cardiff Bay. We are so grateful to the band of volunteers, co-ordinated by one of our Members Peter Burns of Arup, who have covered the opening hours and talked to more than 300 visitors about the projects and iconic structures on display. The competition and exhibition was kindly sponsored by Atkins, ABC Electrification, Constructing Excellence in Wales, and Photos by Mark Lewis."
The exhibition illustrates the wide variety and different aspects of the civil engineering industry in Wales - including some surprising images - taken by those working in the sector and by members of the public. It has been open every day between 12 and 2pm daily at Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay since the school half term holiday at the end of October and will close Wednesday 23 November.
The annual "This is civil engineering in Wales" competition, now in its fourth year, is open to all; schools, colleges, photo clubs, members of the public, as well as those in the industry to help the Institution raise the profile of the profession. If the images have inspired you to get involved it's not too late: ICE also runs a #thisiscivilengineering Instagram photo competition open to everyone with monthly themes and prizes. Details: www.ice.org.uk/photochallenge
Our competition and exhibition is kindly sponsored by Atkins, ABC Electrification, Constructing Excellence in Wales, and Photos by Mark Lewis.
ICE also runs a monthly #thisiscivilengineering Instagram photo competition. Find out more and enter.