AMATEUR photographers had a lot to prove this week as their best work was scrutinised by the Adver’s picture editor Stuart Harrison at the annual John Evans Competition.

Entrants were asked to capture a scene taken within 10 miles of Regent Circus for the contest organised by Swindon Photographic Society.

Following a careful examination of their portraits, landscapes and artful snatches of Swindon life, Stuart awarded the coveted John Evans trophy to Geoff Astle for his photograph of a guard standing by a carriage at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.

Shirley Johnson won both the second and third prizes with two art pictures.

“Geoff’s photograph was a nice portrait of a person going about his work,” Stuart said. “Out of all the images, his stood out. And there was very little manupilation of the image through Photoshop, which was nice to see.”

The John Evans competition was started 50 years ago by the former Advertiser picture editor John Evans, and since then hundreds of amateur snappers have entered.

This Is Wiltshire:

Geoff Astle and Shirley Johnson with their pictures

Geoff, 47, of Broad Town, said following the strict competition brief – to tell a story through an image – proved challenging.

“It was not like any other competitions I have entered,” he said. “It was not about taking and editing pictures but about people, topical issues and telling a story through a picture. It made it quite difficult and I’m pleased to have won it.”

Chris Ramsay, Swindon Photographic Society president, said the standard was as high as ever this year.

“We had quite a wide range of entries,” he said. “Stuart was looking for a journalistic slant in their entries and Geoff’s stood out. It was excellent.”