A couple of months ago my colleague Dillon Bryden called me and asked if I would be a member of the Jury judging the news sections of this year's Press Photographers' Year competition. I have judged competitions before and was very nervous about getting involved. Passions run high. Arguments between judges are often heated and I'm not good at confrontation. Despite my very strong reservations I said "yes" and found myself in a room with my four fellow jurors on a Tuesday morning at the beginning of June. My fellow jurors were Brian Harris, Roger Hutchings, Terry Richards and Homer Sykes - all superb photographers and all heroes of mine.
We had several categories to get through in one day and the PPY team worked amazingly hard to put slide shows and hard copies in front of us - in between breakfast, lunch and dinner. We looked, we discussed, we argued, we fell out and made up and we made a lot of decisions. Few were unanimous but all were eventually supported by the jury. The results get published once the sports jury have done their work and we have all voted on an overall best picture.
Being a jury member is, without doubt, an honour. It is also a responsibility and it's something that I wouldn't want to do too often. I am really looking forward to the exhibition at the Royal National Theatre in London and I would strongly recommend that you get down there if you are in the UK.
British press photography is very strong. The standard of the images across the board was high and the great sadness is that there isn't enough room in our newspapers and magazines or on the walls of the Royal National Theatre to show off the work. I'd like to offer my congratulations those who took the winning pictures (even if they don't know who they are yet). To those whose photographs weren't chosen all I can say is that there was an amazing choice and that I really enjoyed seeing your work.