National photo award winner takes a gander at Wapping

Lee Acaster's "The Tourist" won best overall image at The British Wildlife Photography Awards. Image ©BWPA

Lee Acaster’s “The Tourist” won best overall image at The British Wildlife Photography Awards. Image ©BWPA

A photograph shot in Tower Hamlets beat thousands of entries to win a national award last night.

Lee Acaster of Suffolk took the image of a greylag goose, dramatically captured in close-up with The Shard looming above the Thames in the background, on a visit to Wapping. Last night the photograph, named “The Tourist”, won best overall image at The British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Acaster said: “I was meeting a fellow photographer, Ross Farnham, with the intention of taking some urban landscapes of Wapping and the river around Tower Bridge. I came across the goose by chance as I was looking for promising locations.

“When I realised he wasn’t too bothered by my presence I decided to get a shot or two of him. With The Shard and Tower Bridge as a backdrop I immediately recognised that there was the potential for something special. I couldn’t wait to show Ross the shots.”

Acaster, who scooped £5,000 as well as a national accolade, thinks the urban backdrop is what gave the photograph its winning edge. “I think the history of the Thames riverfront along that part of Wapping is a big part of the final image,” he said.

“I love that part of London – it is so evocative of the past, and I think the muted greys of the goose sat perfectly with the feel of the landscape, whilst at the same time having a touch of the unexpected. I’m sure that was a big influence on the judges’ decision.”

The Awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning and commended images are chosen from thousands of entries in sixteen separate categories, including three junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.

Other EastLondonLines boroughs are also attractive to Acaster, and he will be back soon: “I work in East London, so often shoot here of an evening. Apart from the obvious choices of Tower Bridge and the views of the Shard, I love the mix of modern and historic architecture around Canary Wharf and the City.

“Although I mainly shoot around Norfolk and Suffolk at home, I’ll undoubtedly be out with my camera around East London again on a regular basis.”

Lee Acaster’s winning image is published in British Wildlife Photography Award: Collection 5 (AA Publishing £25) along with the other images from the awards. 

You can see more of his photography at

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