Celebrity photographer Rankin admits picking a winner of the BBC’s Great British Photography Challenge was ‘really hard’
He shot David Bowie. He's also turned his lens on The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Kate Moss and the Queen.
It goes without saying then, but Rankin, the world-renowned Scottish photographer, knows a great picture when he sees it.
But even he couldn’t settle on one outright winner of the BBC’s Great British Photography Challenge – so two winners were named.
In an unexpected twist in the final episode of the series, screened on Monday night, Jackson Moyles, 21, from Dunfermline, and Tyrone Williams, 28, from Northampton, were crowned joint winners.
Over the past four weeks, Paisely-born Rankin – full name John Rankin Waddell – has been guiding a new generation of photographers, as six passionate amateurs from across the UK embarked on the challenge of a lifetime.
In the final, the 55-year-old praised all six contestants and said he was so proud to have worked with them all.
When it came time to pick a winner, though, Rankin admitted that he really struggled.
He said: “When it came to choosing, it was really hard. It prompted some heated debate between me and the other judges.
“Tyrone and Jackson are completely different photographers, with two very different styles and career paths.
“Tyrone is an art photographer, with a really clear voice. His work grabbed my attention from the very beginning.
“Jackson’s work, on the other hand, grew as he found himself over the competition.
“So in that way, they were both stand-out photographers who showed their talent during the competition.
“There was no way we could split them – they were both clear winners in their own right.”
A self-taught landscape photographer whose work reflects his love of freedom and nature, Moyles is currently a student and also works part time in a care home.
Reflecting on his win, Moyles said: “It came as a bit of a surprise considering my ups and downs in the series, but it really felt like an affirmation that Rankin and the team understood what I was striving to achieve.
“The journey was class – an exceptional time for a relatively new photographer like me.
“The biggest thing I took away was the importance of communicating. When I communicated poorly, my final work suffered. Once I understood this element was vital, I produced some of my best work.
“I was lucky to have worked with some incredibly talented photographers from all genres and I'm truly thankful.”
Williams, meanwhile, has been practicing photography for over ten years alongside working as a graphic designer. His images focus on urban environments and spotlighting the mundane to show an everyday beauty.
After being named joint-winner, he said: “I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work with and meet such passionate photographers and creatives.
“Winning the series has been such a great feeling and an amazing validation for my photography portfolio but I feel all of us have achieved so much in the series.
“To all execute the challenges as we did and to all exhibit our work in the final, helping each other with every step, you can call us all winners.”