CALNE Rotary Club had a surprise in store after members decided to take part in running the local element of Rotary’s National Photography Competition for the first time. Members publicised the competition locally and agreed with Calne Camera Club that some of its members would be the competition judges.

Eddie Sims, a member of Calne Rotary, admits both the members and the judges were amazed when the winners of the first, second and third prizes in the senior section all turned out to be students from Kingsbury Green Academy’s sixth form.

The competition, which is the first stage of a national championship, challenged photographers to interpret the theme of Through My Eyes.

Emily Bunce, 18, picked up the top prize for her depictions of bioluminescent sealife, created by manipulating photographs of flowers. Harriet Edwards, 17, came second with her sepia images of old buildings in Lacock and Bath onto which she superimposed images of war, including tanks and soldiers. In third place came Abbie Hewer, 18, who used layering techniques on photographs she had taken when travelling in Paris and Bergen to vividly illustrate how climate change could possibly impact on the world’s landscapes.

“My A-level project involves looking at natural structure, but I didn’t expect to come first,” said Emily, who is considering a career as a freelance commission artist.

“I think Abbie and Harriet’s work is better than mine – they’re brilliant.”

The Calne Camera Club judges described Emily’s submission as “very strong and original colour images, which have potential to do well at the District and National Level of this competition.”

They added that Harriet’s street scenes had “the wow factor” and that Abbie had a great ability to make and select images.

Principal Jason Tudor congratulated the students on their innovative approaches to the subject matter.

“These are three highly talented students with great promise,” he said. “Their enthusiasm for their subject is inspirational, and it was great that the judges saw this shining through in their work.”

Emily’s winning entry will now go forward to the district round of the national competition.