VIDEO: Hotshots pick up their Life Thru the Lens prizes

Proud winners of the 2013 Specsavers Life Thru the Lens photographic competition have collected their prizes.

And Jade Bott, of Milford, proved you don’t need fancy photo equipment to take a truly award-winning shot.

For the surprised 25-year-old claimed our first prize with a picture of the River Derwent surging through Milford using just her mobile phone.

After picking up her state-of-the-art Canon SLR digital camera, she said: “I am amazed. I had been taking pictures of the weir for my living room wall when I managed to take this one on my phone and thought it might be good for the competition.

“The mist was rising just perfectly and I think I just timed it right. I was shocked to win - there was some really stunning competition.”

More than 350 photos were submitted for the contest, which we ran over three months. The Belper News teamed up with Specsavers and asked people to take a picture to sum up just what Belper means to them.

The entrants were whittled down to a final ‘lucky’ 13 who attended the presentation at Belper’s Specsavers store on King Street.

In second place was Steve Moorcroft’s tempestuous shot of a misty morning in Holbrook. He won a digital smart camera for his efforts.

The 64-year-old said: “I have taken a lot of the River Gardens in the past two years but this view was really something different and I had to enter it for the competition. The standard of entries was really high so I am pleased to have won something.”

Coming in third was amateur snapper Dave Warley, 27, whose picture of a rusted sign at Wyver Farm captured the attention of our judging panel.

“I was out for a walk and it looked really rustic and just grabbed my attention.

“I only recently took up photography and was using my girlfriend’s camera.”

The other finalists were: Daryl Hemsell, Dave Hughes, Dave Smith, Debbie Howe, Gaynor Evans, Geoff Swainson, Hester Fernee, Jean Harrison, Mike Thomson and Ray Briddon.

Andy McBride, director of the King Street Specsavers, said the standard of entries in the 2013 competition was the best yet.

“We are always overwhelmed by the standard and it has been difficult to choose the winners,” he said.

“The last few years we have had many shots of Belper landmarks such as the mill, but this year the entries seemed to be a little more varied.

“It’s nice to give something back to the town through this competition.

“The people of Belper have been very kind to us and it’s a privilege to be able to sponsor such a good competition.”

Julie Crouch, editor of the Belper News, said: “It’s the fourth year we have teamed up with Specsavers for this competition and each year the standards are so good that we think they can’t get any better - but they do.

“It was really hard for our judging panel to select the finalists, let alone the winners.

“Well done to all our entrants because there were so many great pictures. We have truly enjoyed seeing then. We intend to publish more pictures from entrants that have not been seen before over the coming weeks so keep a look out.”