THIS stunning shot of Mudeford sandspit lagoon, captured at sunrise, has seen off more than 1,000 entries in our photographic competition.

The atmospheric entry, taken by Daniel Mills in mid-May, won a judging panel and public vote to earn its place in our eagerly-awaited Dorset Photographic Journey book for 2013.

Daniel, 34, who lives at Beechwood Avenue, Boscombe, was presented with £100 of vouchers to spend with our competition sponsors Castle Cameras on Wimborne Road.

The competition was held in conjunction with our sister paper the Daily Echo in Bournemouth.

He said: “I was really happy when I found out I was in the final five but blown away to discover I’d won the competition.

“I’ve always been interested in photography but didn’t buy a decent camera until the end of last year.”

Daniel, who took his winning shot using a Canon EOS 600D, said: “It was around 5.30am when I took the picture.

“I’m not normally up at that time of day but I knew that sunrise and sunset are always good times to take photographs.

“The light was amazing and the clouds had formed a really lovely pattern.

“I had checked, in advance, that it was high tide, which meant the reflections on the water were very good.”

It was beginners’ luck for Daniel who has just completed a beginner’s photography course and is planning to start a City & Guilds photographic course in September.

He said: “It was never my intention to become a photographer; my girlfriend Maria Boccherini had planned to join me on the beginners’ course but she didn’t have the time because of her work commitments.

“It’s down to her encouragement that I’ve won this competition.”