Rowing boat and railway image takes top prize in national competition
By: Robin Jones
An image of the 08:30 rail service from Hamworthy speeding through the beautiful Holes Bay at Poole in Dorset, as a small, wrecked rowing boat rests in the foreground, has won the Network Rail Lines in the Landscape award as part of the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.
The stunning winning image by Graham Hobbs from Dorset was chosen by Charlie Waite, renowned landscape photographer and founder of the competition.
Graham beat more than 500 entries from across Britain. He wins a fantastic opportunity to take some aerial photography with a flight in Network Rail’s engineering inspection helicopter or its New Measurement Train, a converted high speed train used to capture geotechnical track data.
Graham said: " The competition has become a showcase of really high quality British outdoor photography and my ambition each year is to try to make an image good enough to get into the book – a considerable achievement in itself. To be told you’re an award winner – and what an exciting prize - is the best possible news to cheer up a gloomy autumn day.
Tom Kelly, Network Rail’s director of corporate communications said: “This photograph is a worthy winner as it captures what the Lines in the Landscape award is all about. The railway is an integral part of our landscape and our lives. It is only one part of this stunning scene but the speed of the train is juxtaposed delightfully with the stillness of the water and the boat wreck. Many congratulations to Graham and to all those commended in this year’s competition.”
Charlie Waite explained why Graham Hobbs’ image caught his eye: “In 1963, I remember leaning over the bridge at Otterton railway station awaiting the train that would bring my first bicycle sent to me by my parents. The childhood anticipation that prevailed then still resonates with me to this day, I continue to be both enthralled and as thankful for the railways as when a 12-year-old boy.
“The winning Lines in the Landscape photograph and indeed many of the entries in this category, remind me so completely of the extensive and expanding railway network that serves Britain. Graham’s picture is a deserving winner and perhaps we may reflect for a moment that this train would not have been empty but would have been carrying people to their homes or workplaces as do so many thousands of trains that run daily. Our railways allow us to look out at many a fine landscape and, while it is easy to take our railway network for granted, without it our nation would be so much the poorer and of that there can be no doubt.
This is the third year that Network Rail has supported the competition where amateurs and professional photographers highlight the very best imagery of Britain’s rural and urban scenery. Once again, the best images will be displayed at a free exhibition at the National Theatre in London from November 12 until January 12.
Charlie Waite also selected 10 runners-up for the Network Rail Lines in the Landscape Award, including images of railway arches in Birmingham, a train passing next to the rooftops of houses in Halifax and the memorable Jubilee pageant as a train crosses the River Thames. These images will also be exhibited at the National Theatre and appear in a book of the very best of this year’s entries.
David Byrne from Staffordshire won the overall competition with an amazing black and white shot of Lindisfarne Castle, with unusual sheds made from upturned boats in the foreground.
Details of all the category winners are available at www.take-a-view.co.uk
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