Interview with Bath Spa on IGPOTY runner up

Creative Arts graduate named runner up in international photography competition

Bath Spa BA Creative Arts graduate Matt Holland has been announced as a runner-up in the 11th year of the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) competition.

Matt, who graduated in 2014, captured the prize-winning moment at Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, Wales and was awarded his accolade in the Trees, Woods and Forests category.

Matt said: “I didn’t have to go far in order to take this photo. Snowdonia is known for its mountains and giant vistas.

I took the photo at the roadside on my way down to Llanberis which was on the opposite side of the Llyn Peris or better known as Electric Mountain. The sun was just peeking through from behind the storm clouds which caused huge beams of light to illuminate the trees dotted along the ridge and I just knew I had to stop and shoot. As soon as I framed the shot I instantly fell in love with it.

The composition was simple but the patterns and subtle colours breaking through just made it perfect. I decided to enter my chosen photo into the competition because I hadn't seen many like it. Although I was confident that it was a special photograph, I was still very surprised and thrilled to find out I had been awarded second place.”

The impromptu image, titled ‘Dinorwig Pattern', can now be seen on tour as part of a global exhibition which began at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew earlier this year.

Matt said: “The opportunity to go to Kew Gardens to see all of the shortlisted prints in the flesh and meet other photographers was second to none.”

A hardback volume of the finest entries, including Matt’s photo, has also been produced to showcase this year’s best garden and outdoor photography.

When asked how he has honed his skills over the years, Matt said: “I have been interested in the arts and photography from a young age, it's all down to my dad who taught me how to use 35mm film. My love for photography has steadily developed alongside my passion for producing graphic design work.

The Creative Arts course at Bath Spa really helped me gain an understanding of how to apply my work in a commercial perspective. I had the creative freedom to produce the work that I wanted to, with a steer in the right direction from my tutors.

Photography is a competitive industry so my advice to budding photographers is to expand your skill set. My university experience taught me to mix my photography with print and web design. If you can learn video, graphic design or animation and merge the two together it can really set you in good stead for a fulfilling career.”

To view more of Matt’s work visit his website: https://www.mihphoto.co.uk/.

Interested in studying Creative Arts?

The Bath Spa Creative Arts course encourages an entrepreneurial approach to creative practice. Students have the opportunity to produce original, practical work, while tackling the challenges of critical thought and reflection. Much of the Creative Arts programme is based at Dartmouth Avenue in the Oldfield Park area of Bath where students have access to workshop spaces and facilities.

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