Entries are now open for the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition 2024. Here we meet our newest judge, and Science Chair at The Royal Photographic Society, Hugh Turvey.

X-ray photography image titled Rose Garden, taken by Hugh Turvey. A kaleidoscopic image of rose flower petals, leaves and buds. Four mirrored flower stems extend from the center of the image, creating a cross pattern that is surrounded by the leaves and buds coming off the stems. The Rose flower is red and the leaves and buds are a mixture or purples, blues, yellows and greens. The image is on a black background.

For the first time since its inception, the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition has partnered with another Society for the 2024 competition. The Royal Photographic Society will be promoting the competition and providing prizes to our winners as part of their own remit in promoting scientific images to the wider public. We spoke with their Science Chair and our newest Photography Competition judge – Hugh Turvey – and found out more about him and what he would like to see from this new collaboration.

Tell us about yourself and your role at The Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

I'm Hugh Turvey, an artist and photographer from the UK. Black and white photo portrait of Hugh Turvey.My work isn't your usual kind of photography though - it's a fascinating mix of art, science, and even graphic design.

My love for photography took root during my studies at places like Blackpool and The Fylde College. Before that, I was drawn to artistic styles like Russian Constructivism, with its emphasis on bold geometric shapes and clean lines. This movement wasn't just about aesthetics; it was about celebrating the beauty of function and stripped-down form, which runs parallel to my work with X-ray photography.

Following on from my work with X-rays, a defining moment in my career was the creation of a unique art form I call Xograms. Differing from typical clinical X-rays, they're a whole new way of seeing the world and reveal hidden depths and internal structures typically obscured by our everyday perception.

My dedication to pushing the boundaries of photography with Xograms has been recognized by the RPS.  Currently, I hold a prestigious position within the society – I'm an Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist, actively contributing through the Awards Committee and chairing the Science Committee.

What will you bring to the Photography Competition judging panel?

My background bridges the gap between art and science, perfectly aligning with the competition's theme.  I bring a unique perspective: an appreciation for technically well-executed photographs alongside a strong pull towards images with a powerful aesthetic impact.  My experience with X-ray photography allows me to understand the challenges and possibilities of using scientific tools for artistic expression.

What made you want to collaborate with The Royal Society on this Competition?

This collaboration between the RPS and The Royal Society is incredibly exciting!  It unites two leading organizations passionate about using photography to make science accessible to a wider audience.  This aligns perfectly with my own mission, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Winners will additionally receive not only prestigious RPS certificates but also a year RPS membership, fostering a deeper connection to the photographic community. Public recognition through the RPS network allows winning entries to reach a wider audience and inspire a deeper appreciation for science and its discoveries.

Do you have any tips for entrants? Are you hoping to see anything in particular from the entries?

For those entering the competition, remember: a powerful photo can tell a story, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impression.  Don't be afraid to showcase your creativity and the beauty you find in the scientific world. While technical execution is important, I'm particularly interested in entries that use photography to capture the wonder and intrigue of science in a visually captivating way.

I'm excited to see the creativity participants bring to the competition and play a role in recognizing these outstanding achievements in science photography!

Please visit our website to find out more about the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition and to enter before the 23rd August.

Image Credits: 'Rose Garden' and portrait by Hugh Turvey


  • Surayya Johar

    Surayya Johar