Cuckfield man scoops prize for ‘magical’ rural image

A view of fields of straw bails at Long Furlong taken an hour before dusk.' Picture by Andy Walker. ''From the South Downs National Park Authority's 'Hidden Gems' photo competition 2014/15. SUS-150213-124304001
A view of fields of straw bails at Long Furlong taken an hour before dusk.' Picture by Andy Walker. ''From the South Downs National Park Authority's 'Hidden Gems' photo competition 2014/15. SUS-150213-124304001

A golden image of straw bales in evening light captured by a Cuckfield photographer has won a competition.

Andy Walker, from Cuckfield has scooped the people’s choice prize in the South Downs National Park Authority’s photo competition 2014/15.

His photograph was shortlisted by the competition judges who praised the technical strength of the picture and loved the patterns made by the pathways through the bales.

“Through July and August I found myself regularly passing the Long Furlong as the sun was going down,” said Andy.

“The way the soft, shallow evening light caught the bales produced these wonderful lazy, repeating shadows that caught my eye. I must have thought about stopping ten times to capture something magical. Then one evening I just did.

“I wandered around for at least an hour, but I had a feeling the shot would come from the opposite side of the valley, which in the end it did.”

Nick Heasman, competition judge, said: “Andy’s straw bales were so popular they won almost a third of votes – he’s a deserving winner.”

First prize was won by Andy Flowerday for his ethereal photograph of a dew pond.

He now wins £100 for the people’s vote.