The Army has named its top photographers in a competition that was open to amateurs and professionals and judged by photo legend David Bailey.

The photographer behind the Best Overall Image in this year?s Army Photographic Competition was Staff Sergeant Paul Brownbridge with an image entitled ?Recce Patrol? (pictured). Brownbridge was also named Professional Photographer of the Year and came first in the professional section of the Army Experience category.

Clinching the Amateur Photographer of the Year crown was Warrant Officer Class 2 Dave Scammell who also scooped the Best Digital Award (amateur category) with a picture called ?Door Gunner?.

Scammell ? who joined the Army 21 years ago ? said he became hooked on photography while serving in Iraq in 2003.

Meanwhile, Staff Sergeant Gary Ranu was specially flown back to the UK from his battalion in Iraq to collect the Amateur title in the Army Experience category.

Judge David Bailey said he was ?surprised and delighted? by the quality of entries in this year?s contest which was open to all Regular Army and TA personnel, staff and cadets of the Army Cadet Force, as well as Ministry of Defence civilians.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Ministry of Defence in London and was hosted by General Sir Mike Jackson MBE, Chief of the General Staff.

Speaking to AP, Jackson emphasised the importance of the job of Army photographers in terms of delivering images to the world?s media. He also stressed that many are non-professional photographers and pointed out how close they often are to the military action when they capture their images. The Army has around 40 fully trained ?professional? photographers, while around 1,800 are personnel who develop an interest in photography while in serving in the Army.

?There is a very high quality of work out there,? said Jackson, adding that the competition is a great opportunity for photographers to ?show off their wares?.

Backed by companies including Fujifilm, Olympus, Epson, Nikon and Calumet prizes included cash, cameras and photography books.

For details of more category winners – and to see more of this year?s entries – keep an eye out for upcoming issues of AP, in shops each Tuesday.

Picture credit: Crown Copyright