The waiting is finally over – the winner of our Specsavers Life Thru the Lens readers’ photograph competitions has been chosen.
He is Steve Gilman and he won the 2014 title as well as a top digital SLR camera with his stunning shot of iconic landmark Crich Stand.
In the annual competition supported by our sponsors Specsavers opticians in Belper we ask readers to show us just what living in the Belper and surrounding area means to them.
We had hundreds of entries, many from the town itself, but others from just outside Belper too.
Our panel of judges comprising representatives from Specsavers based on King Street and the Belper News narrowed down the entries to 10 finalists, who were invited to a presentation held at Specsavers on Friday, July 18, where the winner, and second and third places were announced.
Winner Steve, 34, received a Canon SLR digital camera.
He said afterwards: “I was completely shocked to win - I really didn’t expect it. I saw the competition online and had taken the picture of Crich Stand a few days before, I had never been up there before, and just thought it was perfect. I was lucky it was such a beautiful night that night - the view is fantastic from up there.”
An unusual picture of the River Gardens boats sitting on a muddy riverbank after the River Derwent was drained for maintenance scooped the runner-up prize for 63-year-old Anni Plant. She was presented with a compact camera.
She said: “I raced down to the Gardens when I found out the river was being drained only to find the battery had run out on my camera.However I realised I had my smart phone and took the picture on that and it turned out really well - I loved the composition.”
Belper Weir was the inspiration for third place Ray Briddon, 66, who received £100 in Specsavers vouchers.
He said: “I decided to use a really fast shutter speed to capture the water droplets on the weir and it turned out well. I love the River Gardens - every time I go down there I find a different picture to take.”
Among the other finalists this year was 15-year-old Joanne Lenham, who submitted her entry as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
She said: “I had to do a skill as part of my DofE and chose photography. I explored various parts of the town but was most pleased with my picture of the River Gardens. This will count towards my final award.”
Lesley Wall, 54, needed to go no further than the back garden of her home in Hazelwood to capture her stunning sunset picture.
She said: “We have some incredible sunsets in Derbyshire and I just stepped out into the garden and there it was.”
Store manager of Belper Specsavers, Andy McBride said entries had been of an extremely high standard.
“The competition really took off in the latter stages and we had some really fantastic entries this year,” he said.
“We love getting involved in this event and will be continuing to sponsor it in the future. We may also be launching a similar contest following the opening of our new Ripley store on August 4.”
Belper News editor Julie Crouch said: “We’ve run this competition for a few years now and each year I think I’ve seen Belper from every angle there is possible - but how wrong I’ve been as readers constantly come up with new and interesting shots of the town and surrounding area.
“It always serves to remind me what a truly beautiful part of the world we live in.
“I’d also like to thank our sponsors Specsavers. Andy and his staff are committed to being part of the Belper community and love the competion as much as we do. A final thanks to everyone who took the time and trouble to enter Life Thru the Lens. It was a really difficult task to select the finalists, let along Steve’s winning shot, which was brilliant.
“Look out for the contest next time.”