Oliver beats 20,000 to reach global final

Oliver Seary has been shortlisted in a Google Photographer competition
Oliver Seary has been shortlisted in a Google Photographer competition
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A student raised in Melton has beat off competition from around the globe to have his photos displayed at the exclusive Saatchi Gallery, writes Steve Feekins.

Oliver Seary is the only UK finalist in the final 10 of the Google Photography Prize 2012.

Experts have sifted through more than 20,000 entries from 146 countries for the contest.

Oliver, currently studying at the University of Kent, will not only get his work showcased but has the chance to win the prize of a photography shoot of his choice anywhere in the world with a professional photography coach.

The former King Edward VII School pupil said he was shocked to make the final.

He said: “I randomly entered a few competitions at Christmas time and didn’t think any more of it.

“Then I got a series of emails telling me I’d got into the top 100, top 20, then the top 10. It kept building up, it’s very exciting.”

His photos come from a 14-month period travelling in the United States.

Oliver had taken photography at King Edward VII but is now studying Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology.

He said: “If I was to win I would like to go somewhere completely different. I’d have to think about it a little more, but maybe Iceland.

“There’s one photographer that I follow on the internet, he went there and took some really amazing pictures of the environment which peaked my interest.

“It would be nice to go somewhere completely alien.”

Oliver will be taking family and friends down to London for the final which takes place at the Saatchi Gallery on Tuesday.