Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Photo of Northern Ireland's Dark Hedges at Stranocum wins Landscape Photographer of the Year Award

Mystical Morning by Bob McCallion winner of the Living the View category in the Take a View - Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards
Mystical Morning by Bob McCallion winner of the Living the View category in the Take a View - Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards

A stunning photograph of one of Northern Ireland's most recognisable landmarks has taken a top national award.

Mystical Morning by Bob McCallion won the Living The View category in the Take A View Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards.

The Dark Hedges at Stranocum near Ballymoney can seem eerie and foreboding, but Bob's beautiful image superbly captures their magic, as sunbeams push through the centuries-old birch trees where they silhouette a group of young people.

The mysterious natural archway attracts thousands of tourists and photographers each year, and was the backdrop to a scene in the HBO fantasy drama Game Of Thrones.

It's not the first time Bob has won an award for a photograph of the Dark Hedges. One won a Countryfile competition last year, and featured in its 2012 calendar. The shot entitled Guard Of Honour beat more than 55,000 other entries.

The avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century.

It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their home, Gracehill House, which was situated nearby.

The overall competition winner was Derbyshire-based photographer Tony Bennett.

He captured a poignant image of Crummock Water in Cumbria that depicts its glass surface reflecting a crisp mirror image of the fog, a solitary island and the wall of mountains that dwarf it.

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