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Schoolboy Stephen Colbrook snaps winning picture
A mysterious figure lurking in wintry Brasenose Lane helped an Oxford teenager win a national photography prize.
Stephen Colbrook, 16, from Greater Leys, took the atmospheric image and entered it into the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.
His father Richard Colbrook, 46, posed for his son in the lane for the film noir-style black and white photograph, which picked up a top prize of £1,000 in the contest. which is sponsored by the Sunday Times.
Stephen, a pupil at Magdalen College School, beat hundreds of entrants aged 16 and under to win the Young Landscape Photographer of the Year title.
He said: “I have been keen on photography for about three years. When I saw the competition advertised, I decided to enter.
“I was trying to create a sense of mystery with my photo.
“I’m amazed to have won the prize. I really didn’t expect it.”
Stephen’s photograph was taken with a Canon EOS 450D camera with an 18-55mm lens. The image was captured on the evening of December 27, 2010, with the camera pointing towards Radcliffe Square.
Mr Colbrook, a pastor for Oxfordshire Community Churches, in Osney Mead, Oxford, said: “The mysterious bloke in the picture is me.
“It was a foggy evening and we went into Oxford to take some photos.
“Stephen wanted to create a sense of mystery with the shot and I think he achieved it.
“He has won £1,000 and gets to go to a photography workshop with Charlie Waite, one of Britain’s best-known landscape photographers.
“His photo will also be on display at the National Theatre in London from November 12 until January 13 next year.”
Stephen’s picture also features in the Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection, a book published by the AA.
Describing his photograph in the book, Stephen writes: “I love the mysterious and unusual effect that fog creates. This photograph was taken while exploring the city of Oxford in an especially dense covering.
“The old architecture of the city took on a different, more ominous look from its usual romantic picturesque appearance.
“The old-style street lamps looked particularly eerie and added drama by creating deep shadows. “The diagonal lines of the buildings, combined with the focal point of the lone and distant man, help to draw the viewer in.”
The teenager is also a volunteer for mentoring charity the Leys Youth Programme, which works with young people in Blackbird Leys.
The overall Landscape Photographer of the Year was David Byrne, from Staffordshire, who took a black and white image of Bamburgh Castle, in Northumberland, with fishing boat sheds in the foreground.
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