Friday, October 15, 2010

Saltburn man wins top photo competition.

Just two years ago Saltburn amateur photographer and brave cancer survivor Stephen J Dowd was at his lowest ebb. The former window cleaner, of Zetland Mews, Saltburn, suffered a marriage break-up and was given just a 50-50 chance of surviving colon cancer. Then last year his younger brother Tony, who lives in Spain, fell ill with a heart problem. The final straw was the tragic death of another younger brother, William, from lung cancer. Stephen, 68, sunk into a dark depression - until he discovered photography.

Stephen said, "My brother Tony contacted me and implored me to take up photography. He bought me a digital SLR camera and I joined Saltburn Photographic Society." Now, just twelve months after taking up his hobby, Stephen has won a top photographic competition. Commenting on his winning photo in a combined Saltburn and Whitby photographic societies competition Stephen said,"I snapped this cocker spaniel at Skelton playing in the snow. As he leaped towards me, completely off the ground, with his ears vertical, it was such a joyous picture."

Another shot of seagulls taking off just above the waves at Saltburn has notched third place in a Saltburn Photographic Society Natural World competition. And a sombre view of Saltburn’s Huntcliff and a vivid sky at night at Warrenby, Redcar, have both been judged highly commended.

He said, "I couldn’t believe it when my photo won! I’m just a rank amateur who’s incredibly keen. And I’m very grateful for all the support I've had.
I just want others to know that there is life after cancer."
All profits from the sale of any of Stephen's prints go to the Holistic Cancer Care Centre at James Cook University Hospital where he was successfully treated. Stephen has also had a number exhibitions. "I want to make as much profit for charity as possible. But I admit I still have to pinch myself at how well it’s all going!" he said.

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