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Beach scene winner for Felpham resident

AN EYE-CATCHING scene has seen a Felpham man named as British landscape photographer of the year.


Benjamin Graham’s striking shot of West Wittering saw him take the top spot in this year’s version of the annual competition.


The accolade has earned him £10,000 as well as a place in the stunning awards book. All the winning images will be on display in a free exhibition on the balcony at Waterloo Station in London from November 20 until February 4.


Benjamin said: “I was gobsmacked when I was told I had won. I thought I had won a category award not the overall prize and I was speechless when I found out that was what I had won.


“I haven’t quite come to terms with it yet. Several of my images have been short-listed and category finalists but I’ve never won an overall prize.”


He expects to spend his prize on more photographic equipment.


Benjamin captured his awe-inspiring shot at 6.42pm on October 10 last year. The Monday evening guaranteed a mostly deserted location without the usual weekend ramblers and dogs.


“Heading northwards in the twilight, along the estuary’s edge at low tide, the subtlety of the sand forms caught my eye,” he said.


“The sun had set behind thin cloud and was ten minutes below the horizon when I shot this image – the soft, pale light with its pastel hues casting the contours into subtle relief. As well as its minimal simplicity, I particularly like the indeterminate scale of the image.


“The double S-curve could be 2m long or 2,000. It was actually about 20.”


Benjamin, 59, of The Old Stables, said he had been fascinated by every aspect of the creative process of photography since his dad bought him his first camera – the Agfamatic ISO-Rapid C.


Entirely self-taught, he has been a professional photographer since 2014. He is a photography tutor at West Dean College near Chichester and also sells his photographs through a national agency.


He said the hour before sunrise and after sunset was the best time to capture atmospheric photographs when the light in the sky was changing.


He also has a list of favourite locations for such artistic shots.


“I am always ready to trust my instincts. to stop en-route to a location if I do see an unexpected opportunity because that moment will never be offered up again,” he said.

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