Last minute win for young photographer

Honiton Community College student named joint winner of a national photography competition.

A young photographer from Awliscombe was named the joint winner of a national competition.

Lewis Gillingham, a year 12 student at Honiton Community College, won the Countryside Alliance’s Hunting under the Act photographic competition with his photograph of the Axe Vale Hunt.

“To know that my image was selected above hundreds of other gives me confidence in my work and makes me feel as if the hours I put in to improving my photography really are worth it,” said Lewis.

“Considering I only entered the competition a couple hours before the deadline, I was pretty shocked to receive an email informing me that I was joint winner.

“I didn’t think for a second that I even had a chance.”

The 17-year-old impressed a panel of judges, including Exmoor-based Countryside Alliance president Baroness Mallalieu, who admired both the clarity of the shot and the fact that the photo shows the special bond between man and hound.

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He added: “Being a candid, spur of the moment image, it’s difficult to define what my inspiration for the shot was.

“But when I was stood on that forest track in that magical morning light, I could sense that something interesting could happen in the next few moments, so I set up my camera to compensate for the back lighting.

“Lo and behold, this single hound came bounding up the track towards me and I could see that it would line up perfectly with the huntsman on his horse. I waited for the defining moment to squeeze the shutter and this image was the result of those few seconds of foresight.”

Lewis won a free subscription to the Countryside Alliance and his photograph will appear on the cover of the Countryside Alliance’s autumn magazine in September.

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