Sunderland artist’s work wins him place on polar expedition

Ben Wayman
Ben Wayman
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A Sunderland-born artist who turned his talents from canvas to camera has won a prestigious national photography award.

Ben Wayman’s stunning ‘Light on the Land’ image of early winter morning sun filtering through trees at Staward Gorge, near Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, clinched him Outdoor Photography magazine’s title of Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2015.

His prize is a place on the 190-mile Fjällräven Polar dogsled expedition across Arctic Scandinavia, which set off on Monday.

Ben, 40, a former Sunderland University art and design student, said: “I got lucky with the light.

“There was a beautiful winter sunrise and a lot of fog and droplets of dew on the branches, which were lit up by the sunlight – it looked fantastic so I took a picture.

“I’ve only been taking photos for about two years and am entirely self-taught. I often take my camera with me when I go on walks in the countryside.

“I got to the final after winning one of eight categories but I didn’t expect to win the overall competition – I was shocked when my name was announced.

“It’s helped me make a lot of contacts, which I hope may lead to opportunities arising within photography.”

Ben, who is from Fullwell, was named Outdoor Photographer of the Year at the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show at London ExCel.

Outdoor Photography editor Steve Watkins said: “Ben’s image made an immediate impact on the judges. It’s an enduring and delightful image that perfectly captures early morning in the countryside.”

Ben’s work can be seen at www.benwayman.co.uk