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Winning snap of Dunluce proved miles better than rest

By Allan Preston

A photographer who cycled from Belfast to Portrush and back 15 times to get the perfect light for a sunset picture of Dunluce Castle has won an international award.

Russian-born Rashid Khaidanov made the 120-mile round trip multiple times to capture the stunning coastal landscape shot, finally achieving it last September.

This week he was awarded the overall Grand Prize in the annual National Geographic Traveller photography competition.

"I've been living in Belfast five years, and last year I made a big challenge for myself to get a picture without using bus or car - only with my bicycle and camera," he said.

"It was so difficult sometimes, as it was six or seven hours one-way.

"In the summer Dunluce Castle is absolutely amazing for taking pictures of sunset."

Rashid has been a professional photographer for 15 years, previously working in Kazakhstan.

His past subjects include French DJ David Guetta and German heavy metal band Rammstein.

His award-winning photograph hangs above the fireplace in the Lord Mayor's parlour at Belfast City Hall.

And the city's first citizen Brian Kingston added his praise, calling Rashid's award "a magnificent achievement".

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