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‘2019 Le Mans 24 Hours, France’, copyright Michael Holden.

Michael Holden, who is from Neston, is celebrating being a finalist in the inaugural World Sports Photography Awards.

Michael graduated from the University in 2016 with a BA Hons in Graphic Design and Photography, and has since been working as a Graphic Designer in Liverpool. However, since he was a teenager, he has also been photographing motorsport at the weekends. His hobby has now led to a more professional role, with Michael contributing to media outlets such as leading classic car magazine Octane and occasionally working with leading national motorsports photography agency Jakob Ebrey Photography, covering national championships such as BTCC (British Touring Car Championships) and British GT.

Two years ago, he was also awarded the accolade for the Motorsport UK Young Photographer of the Year.

Michael explained how his shortlisted image came about: “This particular image was taken at the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours in France. It’s one of the biggest and most prestigious motorsport events in the world and it was my first international event too. I was fortunate to go last year as part of my prize for winning the Young Photographer award in 2018, shooting for Aston Martin Racing. I also got to shoot the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone last year too, which was another unreal experience!

“This particular moment was taken in the pit lane. I was only given a two-hour slot, as there were so many photographers at the event, so numbers were limited whilst shooting in the pits. My aim during this time was to come away with a series of shots I felt showcased the action and energy in these pit stops. For this composition, I was fortunate to capture this split-second moment, in which the mechanics where equally spaced out and demonstrated lots of vigour. It was such a thrill to be in that space!”

Michael submitted a portfolio of 20 images to the competition, and explained his delight when he discovered that one of his images had been shortlisted: “I was stunned! When I looked through the other shortlisted images, I noticed that there were a fair few photographers from the big photography agencies such as Getty, Reuters and Associated Press – so to be in the mix with them is a huge achievement already. This also feels like a massive step in my photography career, knowing that I can match the more experienced photographers’ ability of producing the goods. It’s also quite a surreal moment – especially with not having any sport events to shoot currently.”

Associate Professor Bernadine Murray, Head of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Chester, said: “The Department of Art and Design is immensely proud of Michael’s achievements. Michael’s passion for motorsports was evident from the start of his studies, here at the University of Chester, as this was a central focus of some of his earliest Graphic Design and Photography work.

“Michael’s growing reputation within this field is fantastic to watch and he has remained in close contact with staff and students from both of his subjects, regularly returning to the Creative Campus Kingsway to share his experiences with the students and attending the Degree Shows, talent spotting for the design company he works for. He is a great example of how a combined honours student can have a successful career combining these two complementary disciplines.”

Michael’s shortlisted image has also appeared at a University exhibition earlier in the year. It was part of his piece for the Staff and Alumni exhibition (Nice to see you, to see you, nice) which was held at the CASC Gallery in Chester before lockdown.

To see Michael’s photo, and the other finalists, visit:

Twitter - @WorldSportsPix

Instagram - @worldsportsphotographyawards

LinkedIn -



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