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St Martins picture wins 2017 photography prize

A photo of a St Martins farmer heading off to tend his fields in his vintage tractor has scooped the top prize in this year's Isles of Scilly Photography Competition.

Mark Smith, an IT Manager for IBM who lives in Leicestershire, took the photo titled 'The Daily Commute' on his family holiday to the islands this summer.

It was selected as the outright winner from 40 shortlisted photos from across eight categories after he polled 1,280 votes following a public vote online on Mark wins a three-night break for two at St Mary’s Hall hotel and return travel on the Scillonian III.

Mark, who has visited Scilly many times over the years, is a keen amateur photographer. “My mum first came to Scilly before she was married and I’ve been visiting the islands ever since I was a child," he said. "Now I bring my own children every two or three years for a family holiday, and despite being teenagers they still love Scilly and insist on coming with us."

He said of his winning photo: “We were visiting St Martin’s this year when this farmer came past on his old tractor. Back home, I have a friend who had just bought a vintage tractor, so really, I took some photos for him! Anyway, we got talking, as you always do with locals on Scilly and then, as he drove off, I noticed the beautiful backdrop and couldn’t resist one final photo.

"I had to be persuaded to enter the photo competition and obviously, I am very glad I did. My children will be envious of me and my wife sneaking a weekend away on Scilly without them!”

This year’s photography competition, which is run annually by the Islands’ Partnership, saw 1,350 entries, a record since the competition started in 2014.

“We’re always delighted that this annual competition creates a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from our visitors,” said IP executive director David Jackson. “Importantly, from the IP's perspective, this competition really helps to augment Visit Isles of Scilly’s existing photographic library, with many featuring in our marketing materials. Mark’s photo, alongside a number of this year’s finalists, will also feature in the forthcoming 2018 Isles of Scilly Guide.”

The Islands’ Partnership thanked Isles of Scilly Travel and St Mary’s Hall Hotel for their support with the competition.


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