PA journalist takes top prize at Scottish photo awards

The Press Association’s David Cheskin has been named photographer of the year at the 2008 First ScotRail Press Photography Awards.

He also won the celebrity picture of the year category for his shot of Sir Sean Connery at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Cheskin was named photographer of the year for a portfolio of shots which included the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall sharing a joke at the Mey Highland Games in Sutherland, first minister Alex Salmond, a ship ablaze at Port of Leith in Edinburgh, and a seagull attacking a gannet off Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth.

He was presented with a trophy at the awards ceremony at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow last night.

Former Sun picture editor Ken Lennox, who chaired the judging panel, said Cheskin’s submission showed “evidence of a professional who shows great versatility in his approach and style”.

A record number of almost 3,200 images were received for this year’s awards.

Forty-two photographers and nine magazines and newspapers were shortlisted across 16 award categories.

Former Daily Record chief photographer Ian Torrance was presented with a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to press photography.

Phil Wilkinson from Scotland on Sunday was crowned features photographer of the year and also won news picture of the year.

The judges described his features portfolio, including shots from the frontline in Afghanistan, as “being of the highest quality with tremendous variation throughout”.

For the second year in succession, Ian MacNicol, a freelance from Glasgow, picked up the sports photographer of the year award for a portfolio from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He also won the sports picture of the year award and the open category.

The Herald Magazine was crowned supplement of the Year for the second year running, while the Sunday Herald won the accolade of newspaper of the year.

A special judges’ choice award was made to Ben Begley, a young photographer on the Digger newspaper, for his black and white image of a methadone user injecting under a bridge by the River Clyde.

Photographer of the year
David Cheskin – Press Association

Features photographer of the year
Phil Wilkinson – Scotland on Sunday

Sports photographer of the year
Ian MacNicol – freelance

Sports picture of the year
Ian MacNicol – freelance

Picture essay of the year
Ian Rutherford – The Scotsman

News picture of the year
Phil Wilkinson – Scotland on Sunday

Celebrity picture of the year
David Cheskin – Press Association

Local photographer of the year
Gordon Fraser – East Lothian News

Young photographer of the year
James Glossop – The Times

Student photographer of the year
Jim Carroll – Stevenson College, Edinburgh

Open category
Ian MacNicol – freelance

Judges’ choice
Ben Begley – Digger newspaper

Lifetime achievement award
Ian Torrance

Newspaper of the year
Sunday Herald

Magazine/supplement of the year
The Herald Magazine

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