Amateur photographer from Dorchester snaps up top international prize

Dorset Echo: SHOWING HER WORK: Claire Onions holds her award-winning picture SHOWING HER WORK: Claire Onions holds her award-winning picture

AN AMATEUR photographer from Dorchester has snapped up an international accolade after impressing with an image taken on her travels.

Claire Onions won the ‘Landscape on the Move’ category in the USA Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, which attracted thousands of entries from 34 different countries.

Her winning entry was a reflection in a river taken in the Yosemite National Park in California, an area Claire visits regularly.

She said she was inspired to enter the competition because it was organised by renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite, who also is behind the Take a View competition in this country.

Claire, who worked for Bournemouth College of Art and Design and the NHS, got into photography around 20 years ago and started to spend more time on it when she retired.

She said: “I love doing photography and now I’ve retired it gives me a bit more time to do it.

“I just really wanted somebody else to validate the work that I do so to have got these eminent photographers saying what you are doing is pretty good, I’m chuffed.”

Claire said when she entered the competition she never even thought about winning it, but she has now been inspired to enter more competitions and is currently considering her entry for the Take a View competition.

She said: “It has inspired me to do some more.”

Claire said she was drawn to Yosemite by the work of Ansel Adams, a photographer renowned for his black and white landscape works.

She said: “It’s just an amazing place to go.

“It’s a fantastic landscape.”

Although her main camera is a Canon SLR, the image that saw her claim success in the competition was actually just a compact camera she had in her bag while she was out and about.

Claire said: “I looked at it when I got home and thought it looked quite a nice picture.

“It reminded me of a Monet.”

Claire is now awaiting her prize, which is currently en route from America, which is £1,000 worth of camera equipment.

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