Mark Williamson

Stratford-upon-Avon Herald

I've been working as a news and features photo journalist for over 30 years primarily in the Midlands of England and covering all aspects of everyday life. The three photos I have chosen were all published online and in the Stratford Herald, a weekly newspaper primarily covering south Warwickshire and the North Cotswolds. The three photos chosen feature:

1). A dramatic magical scene from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, the centrepiece mechanical Birmingham Bull being showered in light and glitter at the culmination of the show. 2) A touching image of Paul White being reunited with his lifelong companion Charlie, a 40-year-old African grey parrot, lost to him when the bird which was sitting on his shoulder was startled and few off. Charlie was eventually returned after being rescued by the fire brigade much to the relief of Mr White. 3) Actors Dame Judi Dench and her good friend Sir Kenneth Branagh share an hilarious moment after the Shakespearean actress was given the freedom of Stratford-upon-Avon allowing her to drive a flock of sheep through the town. All three images I hope have captured special moments during 2021/22 helping to raise the spirits of readers after the difficult Covid-19 lockdowns.