AN electrician got a shock when he found out he’d been shortlisted in a photography competition that he didn’t even enter.
Raymond Hutcheon, from Roker, stumbled upon his success by accident when he read it in his favourite magazine, Countryfile.
The 51-year-old regularly takes photos but just does it as a hobby, so he was delighted to find out he’s been picked as a finalist.
The father-of-three’s photo of Roker Pier was chosen by the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2012 for the shortlist for reader photo of the year.
He said: “ I was so shocked. I was just reading the magazine and there was my name. I’m still amazed now.
“I take photos as a hobby as I do a lot of walking, so I take photos all of the time, but I am far from a professional.
“I have had my photos in the Echo a few times and I send them in to Tyne Tees News as well.
“The photo that I sent in to Countryfile was just a photo I had taken on a day out. It was of Roker Pier with the waves crashing up.
“I only sent it in as a ‘day out’ photo. I never thought it would be shortlisted for a competition.
“My family are really pleased for me. My daughters Stephanie and Rachael have been telling everyone about it.”
Ray admits that while he takes the photos, his wife Susan, 49, has a good eye and gives him advice on which ones look best.
“People keep telling me that I should make some money from it. I have a few weddings for friends, but I don’t charge them anything. I’ve been told that the photos I take are just as good as the professionals.
“I have more than 200 photos of Durham and Sunderland on a website called Pictures of England. Maybe one day I will be able to make some money from it, but for now it’s still just a hobby.”
His photo of Roker Pier has been shortlisted among 10 hopefuls and people can vote online at http://www.countryfile.com/awardsvote