Surf shot could snap up top prize

STEPHEN PULLINGER Cromer might be best known for quiet family holidays but perhaps this all-action image of a surfer will put the resort on the map for more adventurous pursuits.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

Cromer might be best known for quiet family holidays but perhaps this all-action image of a surfer will put the resort on the map for more adventurous pursuits.

For the black-and-white shot, which strikingly captures the adrenaline-rush of the sport, has earned rising photographer and keen surfer Simon Buck a place in the finals of the prestigious British Professional Photography Awards.

Remarkably, in only his second year as a professional, he has also had a second photograph nominated for the finals - an altogether more serene wedding shot of a couple strolling on Lowestoft's South Beach.

Mr Buck, 29, of Ellingham, near Bungay, who qualified last year for the British Institute of Professional Photography on its first - licentiate - level, said: “The surfing shot was taken near Cromer, but I am not revealing the exact location as we surfers like to keep it a secret. It might not be famous for surfing like Cornwall, but you can still get some great waves on the East coast.”

The surfing image will be judged in the illustrative and pictorial category while the picture of the couple is up for the Dennis Hylander Wedding Award.

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In a competition that attracts thousands of entries, Mr Buck, a former pupil of Bungay High School, has also won a merit of distinction for a photograph of a Berber shepherd, taken on holiday in Morocco with his fiancée Rachel Spaul in the Spring.

He said: “When I saw him herding goats on the hillside I jumped out of the car, gave him a handful of change, which he was delighted about, and snapped away.”

Mr Buck, who studied audio-visual media production at Cumbrian College of Art and Design, still recalls his first camera given to him by his grandparents when he was seven or eight. “I remember my first nice picture was of some donkeys at Pettitts Animal Adventure Park in Reedham,” he said.

After college, photography became a serious hobby as he did a variety of jobs from bar management to shop work, but his first big break came in 2004 when author Louis De Bernieres - who knew his fiancée's family - asked him to do publicity shots of him for his then new book Birds Without Wings.

Mr Buck, who will learn whether he has won an award at the Gateshead Hilton on October 28, said his dreams of a permanent photographic career were now really taking shape and he had been “run of his feet” in the past months, doing everything from weddings to PR work.

“My dream is to one day get something published in National Geographic,” said Mr Buck, whose details can be found on his website simonbuckphotography.com

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