Matthew snaps up prize at exhibition

Tweedbank teenager Matthew Charles has his sights set on a future in filming despite landing a prize in a national photography contest.

The Galashiels Academy pupil visited London at the weekend to see his shortlisted image in an exhibition at the Strand Gallery, where he was announced as regional winner for Scotland.

More than 2,000 images by 14 to 18-year-olds were submitted to the Economic and Social Research Council competition.

Matthew, 17, said: “It was amazing to win. The awards ceremony was really good and the exhibition was definitely an eye-opener.”

All the pupils studying the ‘Photography: contextual imagery’ Higher unit at the Academy were encouraged to work towards the competition while creating their portfolio.

The course gives students a basic understanding of photography techniques and principles, which Matthew hopes will help him with his future plans.

“My focus is now more on filming. I’m going to go to do a two-year HND television course at Edinburgh College and then study filming at Napier.

“Over the past year I have being focusing on sport, and have done a lot of mountain biking filming with friends.

“I built up a portfolio and sent it off to companies and magazines and from that I’m going to be doing some filming for a magazine at some events.”

In addition to a trophy, Matthew won £150 of Amazon vouchers for himself and the school, and plans to upgrade his camera equipment with them.