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Young hotshots put Scotland in focus

2 March 2010

TWO young photographers gave Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop a special sneak preview of their winning images that will soon be seen in more than 40 countries around Europe.

Aksel Hampson (7) of St Peter’s RC School and Christian Deeming (11) of Robert Gordon’s College Junior School, both in Aberdeen, showed their winning images to the Minister at Edinburgh Castle today (Tuesday).

Having won the PhotoArch competition open to primary schools across Scotland, their pictures will now be part of the International Heritage Photographic Experience exhibition.

The Minister said: “Aksel and Christian’s photographs deserve their place in this Europe-wide exhibition and the overall quality of entries is a testament to the hard work of pupils and teachers across the country.

“As well as the photographs going on display in so many countries, the full shortlist will be displayed in venues across Scotland and I would encourage everyone to see them, either on display or at the PhotoArch website.”

PhotoArch is a heritage photography competition for primary school aged children in Scotland, run by the Scottish Civic Trust and supported by Historic Scotland. It is run as part of Doors Open Days, which takes place around the country in September.

The entries were judged by Ray Entwistle, Chairman of Trustees at the Scottish Civic Trust; Ruth Parsons, Chief Executive of Historic Scotland and Scotsman Picture Editor Andy O’Brien.

Christian said: “I took the photo while I was on holiday.  We had a new camera so I was keen to try it out.  I got my mum to lift me up onto a table so I could take the view and my mum said the photo looked good!

"I still love taking photos, and my favourite thing to take photos of is views - mountains, beaches, any kind of view really."

As well as showing off their prize-winning work, Christian and Aksel started the day with a tour of Edinburgh Castle and lunch with their families. The Minister then presented them each with a digital camera and a year’s family membership to Historic Scotland. Both winning schools will also receive a digital camera.

The Scottish entries will go on display at venues around Scotland which will be announced in the coming weeks. They can also be viewed at along with details of how to get involved in this year’s competition.

The Minister added: “This is a great competition which allows us to see how our heritage appeals to young people and the amazing talent in our schools. I would like to thank the Scottish Civic Trust for organising PhotoArch and I hope Aksel, Christian and all the other photographers commended by the judges will inspire even more children to take part this year.”

Judges quotes
Ray Entwistle, Chairman of the Trustees at the Scottish Civic Trust; said: “PhotoArch is a great project that gets children thinking about the buildings and heritage around them in a creative and exciting way.  With every photograph entered available online, the results are a real source of pride amongst the pupils, their schools and families.”

Ruth Parsons, Chief Executive of Historic Scotland, said: “As the most recent addition to the judging panel, I have to say I was so impressed by the high quality of the images. I am incredibly proud that Aksel and Christian’s pictures will be representing Scotland and would like to congratulate them and their schools on their great success.”

Andy O’Brien, Picture Editor of the Scotsman, said: “It was great to see so many interpretations of the brief.  As a national competition, it was particularly interesting to see so many different aspects of Scotland’s heritage, showing such a diversity of places and landscapes.”

Notes for editors

  • Images from the event will be sent out on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Details of the venues and dates for the PhotoArch exhibition will be announced shortly. Updates will appear on the Historic Scotland, Scottish Civic Trust and PhotoArch websites.
  • The Scottish Civic Trust works to promote and improve Scotland's built environment. It supports, through a network of civic societies across Scotland, local interest in architecture, planning, heritage and other environmental issues.
  • Doors Open Days give you free access to hundreds of fascinating buildings across Scotland.  Every weekend in September you can explore places that are normally closed to the public.
  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit
  • Register for media release email alerts from

Scottish Civic Trust Contact: Abigail Daly
Direct Line:0141 221 1466

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768100