A shot of fellow students playing football against a barefoot village team in Borneo (pictured right) won an award for a Lewes Old Grammar School pupil.
Rosanna Filmer, of Plumpton, won the Life In Camps category of the Camps International annual competition and joined a select group of intrepid photographers at the prize giving on January 13.
Rosanna caught the game while on a four-week volunteering expedition with the school, organised through Camps International.
The 35mm photograph was praised as a ‘fantastic action shot showing how sport can bring people of all walks of life together’.
It has since been used to promote the work of Camps International, which has delivered £7.5million worth of projects, building facilities and infrastructure for some of the world’s poorest communities and conserving threatened habitats. Rosanna, meanwhile, has gone on to set up her own photography business, aged just 17, and is well on the way to realising her dream of turning professional.
“I took quite a few pictures at the football match but I particularly like this one because the ball is coming straight at you and it seems you could jump into the picture and be there, playing with them,” said Rosanna.
“I didn’t study photography at school – in fact, I’ve never studied it! I’m going on my first one-day course this week. But I always loved art. My dad used to have a Nikon D7100 for work and when I asked why he only ever took boring pictures with it, he gave it to me. That’s how it started.”
Another of Rosanna’s shots from the trip, a captivating selfie taken on a Sony 5000 with a 10-second timer (pictured top left) in which she’s surrounded by children whose lives could not be more different from her own, was also highly commended.
“They understood the P sign for picture and they all knew what a selfie was,” said Rosanna, who was one of nine LOGS students working on building projects for their host communities and conserving the oldest jungle in the world by planting trees.
“I’d describe myself as an adventurous person, but this was definitely the toughest trip I’ve ever been on,” said Rosanna. “I also achieved the most from it.
“The memory I’ll keep is going down the river in the jungle in a long boat with the sun coming up in the distance. You’re never going to be in that situation again.”
Each of the nine students from Years 11 and 12 spent two years raising £4,000 to fund their trip. PE and games teacher Hannah Thorpe, who accompanied them, said she was proud of how they had coped with difficult conditions.
“Some days we were working in 45-degree heat, mixing cement,” she said.“The wildlife in the day was amazing, but the jungle was full of leaches and at night the trees we hung our hammocks in were full of red ants. Trying to sleep was like driving your car with the windows open on the M25 – it was so noisy.”
James West, of Camps International, said the school had chosen one of the most challenging of its seven destinations worldwide.
“It’s the mystery of Borneo that attracts young people in the first instance. It’s an incredibly wild and remote place.
“Probably the most important skills the kids pick up are social skills, but they also do low-level construction work, from mixing cement to carpentry. It’s not just a case of we will show you around the country – these young people make a difference. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”
For Rosanna, with her first photographic award now under her belt, it could also well prove to be life changing.
To see more of Rosanna’s photographs, go to http://www.rgfphotography.com/
For more on the work of Camps International, visit www.campsinternational.com/