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2023 Lancashire Life reader photography competition winners

Paula O'Hara's winning shot was taken at Arnside
Paula O'Hara's winning shot was taken at Arnside

Paula O’Hara knows a picture perfect scene when she sees one. She captured this shot of a sailing boat at Arnside while out walking and has been crowned the winner of our 2023 readers’ photography competition.

But not everyone is thrilled by her photography.

‘I go walking a lot with my husband, Joe, and I’m forever seeing lovely scenes and darting off to take pictures,’ Paula said. ‘He must spend a lot of the time we’re out wondering where I’ve gone.

‘And then sometimes when there’s nothing on the television, I’ll put slide shows on the computer of pictures I’ve taken on our days out or our holidays and he often falls asleep.’

The 66-year-old from Walton in Liverpool is undeterred though. ‘I just love capturing scenes and I always have,’ she says. ‘I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was a child and I bought my first camera as soon as I could afford one when I was a teenager.

‘We do a lot of walking and I love the scenery and views around Lancashire and the Lake District. On the day I took the shot of Arnside we had stopped off there for a walk on our way up to stay in Cark. I always have my camera with me and the scene just presented itself perfectly – the boat came into the right spot just at the right time and the lighting was lovely.’

And although she was pleased the shot and chose to enter it for our competition, she was shocked to be told it had won. ‘I’m absolutely made up,’ she said. ‘It’s great news. I’ve only ever entered the competitions in Lancashire Life and Cheshire Life and to win when I know how high the standards are is amazing.’

The Lancashire Life readers’ photography competition has been running every year since 2010 and this year attracted more entries than ever before from amateur photographers across the county. Our panel of judges, which included Lancashire Life chief photographer Kirsty Thompson and David Parkinson from competition sponsor Wilkinson Cameras, selected the winners from more than 1200 entries.

Paula, a retired hairdresser, wins a £300 voucher to spend on ProMaster products at Wilkinson Cameras, including tripods, lens caps, media cards, filters, bags and other photography essentials.

Judge David Parkinson said: ‘This is a great shot. If the water was a little more blue you would think it was a tropical island. It’s a very well composed image and the tree has been cleverly used to frame the landscape and boat so well.’

Great British Life: Peter McGuire's shot of a roe deer in Roddlesworth Woods won second placePeter McGuire's shot of a roe deer in Roddlesworth Woods won second place

Our second prize – a £200 ProMaster voucher – goes to Peter McGuire for his shot of a roe deer in Roddlesworth Woods near Darwen.

And John Threlfall takes the third prize of a £100 ProMaster voucher for his atmospheric picture of Lytham Windmill at dusk.

Great British Life: John Threlfall came third with this shot of Lytham WindmillJohn Threlfall came third with this shot of Lytham Windmill

Details of the 2024 readers’ photography competition will be in the January issue of Lancashire Life and in the meantime, we’d love to keep seeing your best shots of Lancashire – send them to us at photocomp@lancashirelife.co.uk.

If you need help or advice with your photography, staff in Wilkinson Cameras shops across Lancashire are on hand and there’s more guidance, videos and reviews available online at youtube.com/@WilkinsonCameras. To find your nearest store, or browse their ranges, go to wilkinson.co.uk.



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