‘Pretty cool’ title for Surrey shutterbug after winning ‘Your Best Shot’ contest

Air show shots earn Ken McAllister Amateur Photographer of the Year award in Black Press and London Drugs annual photo contest

Ken McAllister

Ken McAllister

SURREY — You would never know by looking at his photos but when Ken McAllister looks through the lens, his strategy is quite simple.

It’s all about composition.

“Composition is 90 per cent of the battle,” said the South Surrey father of five.

“Learning the rules of exposure, aperature and shutter settings, that’s the just the technical stuff to help you get the photographs that you want… but learning about composition and what works well to make the photograph interesting, that’s what makes all the difference.”

And McAllister’s focus on composition is being noticed.

He was just named Next Generation Amateur Photographer of the Year in Black Press and London Drugs’ third annual “Your Best Shot” photo contest for photos like these:

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The winners were announced Oct. 15 at Cloverdale’s London Drugs.

“It’s pretty cool,” said McAllister, who also won the contest’s Best Crowd Photo category.

McAllister, a web developer who works out of UBC, has been hooked on photography since he bought his first digital SLR in 2006. He taught himself, reading books and watching tutorials online.

As an amateur photographer, McAlllister has a practical goal.

“My goal is to eventually make as much money as I spend on gear.”

And his love of photography seems to be rubbing off on his oldest daughter.

“She’s already got a pretty good eye for it,” he said.

The third annual contest’s first round received a record number of submissions to Black Press newspapers all over the province. Entrants came from more than 80 communities.

Expert judges selected more than 70 best entrants, who faced off against each other, taking photos in a one-day challenge at the Abbotsford International Airshow in August. Prizes were awarded in five categories, based on the best airshow images.

View 2015 category winners.

View winning video.

  • Ken McAllister wins Best Crowd Photo. He entered through the Surrey Now.
  • Angeline Haslett wins Best Static Photo. She sent her first entry to the Agassiz Harrison Observer.
  • Paul Kendall wins  Best Air Photo. He entered through the Abbotsford News.
  • Kyle Wynia wins Best Videographer. He entered through the Abbotsford News.
  • Rod Marr wins Best Wild Card.

Over 22,000 people voted online for the contest’s People’s Choice award, also a record high. The top-voted entry was from James Munroe, who entered with the 100 Mile House Free Press.

There are also three honorable mentions this year: Harold Schock, who entered through the Kelowna Capital News, for Best Air Photo and Best Static Photo; and Paul Kendall for Best Crowd Photo.

beau.simpson@thenownewspaper.com