Tonight I was invited to judge a photo competition at a scout group in Northampton. I thought it would be fun so agreed, not really knowing what to expect. 

It’s sometimes quite easy for a jaded old hack like myself to act like…well, a jaded old hack but what a joy it was! 

To see so many youngsters put so much effort and thought into creating something was truly inspirational. 

I took time to talk to every single person about what they had presented, what their thought process was behind it, and what they liked about their photographs. Some of their ideas and stories were so well defined, so personal and above all, bloody well executed that I am worried for my professional future! 

They all knew about composition, contrast, texture, light, emotion - it warmed my heart no end. And on top of that, their enthusiasm was infectious. 

They have inspired me and given me at he shot in the arm that I need after a long winter of relatively inactivity. 

I whittled down the 80 or so photos down to 10 finalists - and I genuinely found it agonising to pick a winner, the standard was that good. 

So congratulations to everyone who gave it a go, some found a new passion, some were already amazing - but all were inspiring, and I thank every single one for that! 

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