Derry photographer's bonfire picture scoops leading global award
An image of a controversial bonfire built across a dual carriageway in Londonderry has been won a best photograph in Ireland award from Sony.
Local photographer Bernard Ward, who submitted Bogside Bonfire to the Sony World Photography Awards, described the accolade as "huge milestone" in his career.
Mr Ward took the picture in August last year after a group of youths built the pyre at the bottom of the Flyover in the Bogside, blocking the road for two days.
Mr Ward's image was deemed worthy of first prize by the competition judges.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the photographer, who also operates the popular website DerryPhotos.com, said: "I have been taking photographs now for 10 years, but winning the best photograph in Ireland from Sony's global judging panel is a dream come true.
"The Sony World Photography awards is the biggest photography competition in the world and I am so overwhelmed to have been selected as a winner.
"This is a huge milestone in my photography career.
"I began taking photographs 10 years ago after I won some vouchers and bought a camera with them.
"To win such an award like this, especially in the Ireland category, is such an honour and a dream come true for me.
"I enter the Sony World Photography awards every yea,r and I have always dreamed of winning such a prestigious award.
"This award means everything and it really makes all the years of hard work in photography worthwhile.
"Photography is a passion, and to be recognised on a world stage alongside some of the top photographers in the world is overwhelming.
"To have my photograph on display at the World Photography Organisation exhibition at Somerset House in London from April 21 until May 7 is incredible."