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Photographer Michael Chester Wins Sports Features PPAI Prize for Liffey Swim Photo

18th February 2019
Silhouette Swimmer - Photographer Michael Chester's winning photo in the PPAI Sports Features category Silhouette Swimmer - Photographer Michael Chester's winning photo in the PPAI Sports Features category Photo: Michael Chester

Dun Laoghaire-based photographer Michael Chester, an contributor, won first place in the “Sports Features” category at the Press Photographers Association of Ireland (PPAI) awards last Friday night.

The Judges said Chester's photograph of a swimmer showering down after completing the River Liffey Swim showed how "Light was imaginatively used to create the stunning image”.

The annual awards took place in Croke Park, Dublin with photographers from across the island of Ireland in attendance. This year marks 40 years since the founding of The Press Photographers Association of Ireland.

The overall award of ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2018 was presented to Cyril Byrne, of The Irish Times.

Awards were presented across nine categories; news, daily life & people, nature & the environment, politics, sports action, sports feature, portrait, art & entertainment and reportage, alongside a dedicated award for multimedia.

The judging panel was chaired by Dermot O’Shea and the judges were internationally renowned photographers Tom Stoddart and Eamonn McCabe. The multimedia award was judged by Michael Lee, RTÉ cameraman and Philip Bromwell, RTÉ News video and mobile journalist.

Commenting on the portfolio of the ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2018, Cyril Byrne, The Irish Times, the judges said; “This portfolio comprehensively shows the ability and imagination of the photographer over a wide range of subjects and situations. The judges felt that the photographer displayed an incredible ability over the many disciplines and facets of press photography. The many subjects dealt with in this portfolio shows the commitment to quality and presentation. A collection of images to be very proud of.”

Robbie Reynolds, President, The Press Photographers Association of Ireland, said; “ This is a historic year for our association since it was founded 40 years ago. Our awards reward the very best of Irish press photography from our members right around the island of Ireland. Over the years, our members have seen vast changes in the field – from processing to the instant sending of digital imagery, some feats which would have seemed impossible when our association first began.”

“I would like to congratulate our colleague Cyril Byrne on being named ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ 2018, which is recognition of his outstanding skill as a press photographer and his vast experience in the field.”

The gala awards ceremony also saw the awarding of three honorary memberships of The Press Photographers Association of Ireland, for outstanding contribution to the association and press photography in Ireland - these went to; Henry Wills, western representative of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland and former photographer with The Western People; Pádraig Ó’Flannabhra, Tipperary-based photographer and Matt Kavanagh, former photographer with The Irish Times.

The Press Photographers Association of Ireland ‘Press Photographer of the Year 2018’ Exhibition, featuring 107 prints, will be on display in The Library, at the RDS, Dublin 4, from Monday, 19th February 2018 for two weeks. It will then go on tour, visiting selected venues nationwide, please visit for exhibition tour updates and to view the full collection of winning and highly commended images.

Published in Marine Photo Team

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