Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Laura buzzing after snapping up top photography prize

Laura Elliot used an iPhone 4 and Instagram to take a photo that won a National Trust contest
Laura Elliot used an iPhone 4 and Instagram to take a photo that won a National Trust contest
James Ashton, from Doncaster, took an intimate image of ducks feeding
Eleanor Bennett, from Cheshire, took an award-winning picture in Lyme Park, Cheshire

A bee hovers over a foxglove wild flower in full bloom in the glinting sunlight.

It was the perfect photo opportunity — and so it turned out to be for Enniskillen student Laura Elliott, who has won a UK-wide National Trust photographic competition with her stunning picture.

Even more incredibly, it wasn’t taken with an expensive SLR camera and specialised filters. This was the work of an iPhone using an Instagram app and was taken in her mum’s garden in Letterbreen.

Laura says taking photos has always been a hobby, but her confidence had been boosted in recent months when friends and family commented favourably on the images she had taken with her iPhone and posted on the Facebook social networking site.

“I’m not a professional, this is more of a hobby,” the 22-year-old dentistry student said. “My mum is a keen gardener so most of my photography is based around the garden — nature, scenic areas and things like that.”

Laura cites the National Trust properties of Castle Coole and Florencecourt as inspirational places where she takes a lot of photos.

Laura says she was shocked to find out she had captured first place in the competition, winning a day’s tuition with internationally renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite, one of his prints and a weekend break at a National Trust property.

Top landscape photographer Joe Cornish, who was one of the judges, said: “The smartphone category was the most exciting.

“Laura’s image is stunning. The colours sing and the composition is striking.”

More than 5,700 entries were submitted to the competition.

Photographers were asked to capture the spirit of National Trust founder Octavia Hill on camera.

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