A WEARSIDE dad has been honoured in a national photography competition.
Electrician Raymond Hutcheon, from Roker, initially stumbled upon his success by accident when he read about it in his favourite magazine, Countryfile.
The 52-year-old regularly takes photos as a hobby, so he was delighted to find out he had been picked as a finalist in the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2012 earlier this year.
His shot of Roker Pier was entered in the reader photo of the year category by a member of the editorial team.
Now the eye-catching shot has come third in the competition, which attracted entries from across the country.
The dad-of-three said: “I’m chuffed to bits. It was a real honour for my work to be recognised and singled out it this way.
“It was great to see my picture reproduced in the magazine with the competition results.”
Raymond said he was unaware he had been entered in the competition, submitting the shot for the magazine’s regular “day out” feature.
“It was a complete surprise,” he said. “I had no idea I’d been put forward for it. The Countryfile photographer initially spotted my work, entered me in the competition without me knowing a thing about it, and then it came down to a public vote.
“The photo that I sent in was just one I had taken on a day out.
“It was of Roker Pier with the waves crashing up.
“I thought it made quite a striking image so I started snapping away. Luckily, I caught it just as the waves were crashing off the pier, which gave it a really dramatic look.
“I want to thank everyone who voted for me.”
Ray admits that while he takes the photos, his wife Susan, 50, has a good eye and gives him advice on which ones look best.
“I do a lot of walking and take photos when I’m out and about, but I’m far from a professional,” he said.
“We tend to put the pictures on the computer and choose the best ones together.
“She has quite a talent for picking the good ones.
“People keep telling me that I should make some money from it.
“I cover a few weddings for friends, but I don’t charge them anything.”
Raymond said he displays some of his best work on a website, Picture of England, which showcases picturesque villages, historic market towns, famous historic cities and other popular attractions.
“I have more than 200 photos of Durham and Sunderland on a website called Pictures of England,” said Raymond.
“Maybe one day I will be able to make some money from it, but for now it’s still just a hobby.”
The monthly publication, which is sold across the UK, was developed after the success of the British magazine-style television programme produced by BBC.
For more information, visit www.countryfile.com.