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Ed Thompson from Ramsgate shortlisted for Sony World Photography Awards with his pictures of Kent

By Katie Davis

This photo of the Miss Faversham carnival float has helped a photographer snap up a shortlist place in worldwide award contest.

Ed Thompson, who lives in Ramsgate, has spent 18 years taking photos in Kent.

These pictures make up his series In the Garden of England, which has earned him a place on the UK professional shortlist of the Sony World Photography Awards by the World Photography Organisation.

One of the photos which makes up Ed's In the Garden of England series. Picture: Ed Thompson, Sony World Photography Awards (8248505)
One of the photos which makes up Ed's In the Garden of England series. Picture: Ed Thompson, Sony World Photography Awards (8248505)

It is comprised of four competitions - professional, open, youth and student.

Ed, who is a senior lecturer in photography at University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, is one of six UK-based photographers in the category.

The professional shortlist is split into 10 categories.

Ed’s work, selected in the In the Brief category, depicts the quirks of British life and culture.

The 38-year-old describes his series as showing “nostalgia, class and the beautiful uncanny of everyday English life.”

Ed Thompson (8248503)
Ed Thompson (8248503)

Speaking about his In the Garden of England collection, Ed said: “In 2003 I got my first photography job at a holiday camp in Kent photographing children sitting on the knee of a giant rabbit called Loopy. During this period I also embarked on telling my own documentary photo-stories about the local area. It would become a photo-essay I made about people who rescue battery farm hens in Kent that would be shortlisted for a Magnum Photos /IdeasTap award.

“That exposure ultimately lead to National Geographic Magazine publishing that series in 2011.

“This work has been made since 2001, the majority of it wasn’t commissioned by a magazine, but many magazines bought the work after it was made.

“I have started going through my archive of projects around Kent and have realised the significant body of work I have collected and now want to complete.

“My ambition is to make a book collecting all this work together titled In the Garden of England.”

The winner is set to be announced at a ceremony tomorrow (Wednesday 17).

Each photographer’s series will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from Thursday, April 18 until Monday, May 6.

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