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Three Pembrokeshire College A-level students have been making their mark in the world of photography. Daniel Thomas, Megan James and Kaela Thomas recently progressed through to the Skills Competition Wales Photography Finals in Cardiff after striking images caught the judges’ eyes.

Ten students from colleges and sixth forms across Wales were placed in the finals where they had to deliver a fifteen-minute presentation to the judging panel explaining the concept and techniques behind their imagery.

Focusing his project on ‘more than one view point’, student Daniel Thomas said: “The idea behind my photographs was to show the journey of a cow from its time in the field to when it’s served up on a plate, this meant I had to visit four different locations in order to capture the major stages of the meat production process. I tried to approach the idea with a non-bias perspective. The project itself was a lot of fun, not only did I learn a lot about the process of meat production, but I also believe I developed as a photographer because I learnt how to plan and arrange shoots, adapt to different shooting environments and also how to network with people. My images were mostly inspired by Martin Parr and his documentary work.”

Megan added: “Taking part in the Skills Wales competition has taught me to look at my photography in a way I’ve never thought of doing before. It has allowed me to explore my images by looking at the way ideas are executed, and has also taught me to be proud of the good, and bad, things in my work. My work is about exploring refraction and reflection in organic objects shown through water, and I was inspired by a photographer named Adolph De Meyer initially as he used refraction himself. This experience has helped me gain the confidence to speak about my own photos, and put my work in the classroom out for others to see.”

The guidelines within the competition allowed students to be as creative as possible, working independently to create self-generated and original imagery.

Kaela explained the benefits of competing: “I’ve really benefitted from this competition as I have gained confidence from speaking with the judges in the final after preparing to speak about my work. I felt that it was difficult to speak about something I had created as I couldn’t see the success of my own work but after being entered into this competition, I have worked on this weakness and strengthened it. I have also been inspired to try new techniques after seeing the outcome of a small section of my work. The meaning of my five images were to show that what was once the face of nature has now been transformed to being the face of humans, from the actions we have taken to destroy nature.”

Daniel and Megan certainly made an impression which landed them a place at the Skills Wales Awards Ceremony at Sophia Gardens in March.

Photography lecturer Barbara Simon who has supported the students through the competition process explained that this was a proud moment for them, “It is wonderful that all of our A-level Photography students who entered the Skills Competition Wales got through to the final. This is great testament to their individual creative photography skills that they have developed during their time studying with us on the A-level Fine Art Photography course.”

Students are now looking ahead to completing their A-Level studies and gaining at place at various universities across the UK.