THE latest winner of the Telegraph & Argus Camera Club’s monthly competitions has said he was “chuffed and made up” to find out he had won.

Chris Haley had his quick reflexes and a healthy slice of good fortune to thank for his award-winning shot, in the New Angle competition held during June.

Mr Haley, of Wyke, had been on the lookout for an elusive kingfisher when a scurrying squirrel distracted him, which led to the winning snap.

He said: “I had gone out with the sole purpose of getting a shot of a kingfisher which I had been wanting for a while.


“I got my camera set up and then I could hear this scurrying, so I put my camera down to investigate and heard something scurry over the roof and then stop, which was a bit creepy.

“All of a sudden the squirrel came out of nowhere and was just staring at me. I thought it was a bit weird because I had come here to watch the wildlife and here it was watching me, so I took a quick snap on my phone.

“I slowly tried to pick up my camera to get a better picture but as soon as I moved the squirrel just scarpered, it was completely a chance encounter.

“It’s nowhere near the technically best picture I’ve taken but I think it was more the quirkiness of the shot which won it.”

As a reward for his winning picture, Mr Haley will receive a £50 cash prize and canvas print of his winning photo.

The photo was picked from hundreds of entries by Telegraph & Argus editor Nigel Burton and chief photographer Mike Simmonds, who said it offered “a new perspective on wildlife photography”, and challenged the perspective of who was watching whom.

Mr Haley, 35, has been a member of the Camera Club since May, after getting back into photography following an eight-year hiatus, and would recommend joining the club to any local budding photographer.

“It’s a really good confidence boost and it was exactly what I needed.

“Some of the other photographers are amazing, and the club helps you see each others work, get constructive criticism and make new friends.

“I discuss the club pretty much everyday with my friends and I would recommend joining to anyone.


“You get to see all these people’s great shots and get great advice, and when I found out I had won I was chuffed to bits and just made up.”

While photography is for the time being just a hobby for Mr Haley, in his day job as a support worker for people with learning disabilities, he still finds time to take his camera out at work.

“I do quite a bit of photography with the people I care for, they are really interested and enjoy taking photos,” he added.

As for the July competition, the theme of which is ‘reflection’, Mr Haley is hoping for back to back success, with his shot of the Yorkshire Moors taken through his wing mirror, after stopping while driving across the moors near Otley.

T&A editor Mr Burton said: “The theme of June’s competition was ‘a new angle’ and the T&A’s Camera Club members didn’t let us down.

“We had some cracking images – an eclectic mixture of new ideas and unusual perspectives on old favourites – and choosing a winner was no easy task.

“Ultimately Chris’s image won because we felt it could be looked at a number of different ways.

“Is it a new angle on a squirrel or is the squirrel looking at the photographer from a new angle? Whichever interpretation you decide to go with it, never fails to raise a smile.

“Not only that but Chris has pressed the shutter at exactly the right moment to catch the cheeky squirrel looking through the window.

“I’d like to congratulate Chris and thank all the other members who entered. I’m sure they will have better luck in the future.”

To become a part of the Telegraph & Argus Camera Club, join the Camera Club Facebook group, which is free to do and open to all, and simply upload your favourite images into the group.

The theme of July’s competition is ‘reflection’, which can be interpreted in whichever way the photographer wants.

The deadline for entries is Monday, July 31, after which the T&A’s judging panel will look through all entries and pick their favourite.

Winners receive a £50 prize and canvas print of their winning photograph, and selected images will also feature regularly in print in the newspaper’s Letters pages.