Young amateur photographer wins competition with a shot that took three years to perfect

Josef said, “As soon as I had the freedom to explore, the South West Coast Path has been one of my favourite places to visit. I have probably spent hundreds of hours on the section around the Penwith peninsula and many of those hours practising landscape photography at the famous arch, Enys Dodnan. One day I saw a photograph taken of the arch with the firework display in the background and I became determined to capture it myself.

“It took three years to get the shot. I had to convince the security to let me past and continue along the Coast Path past the launching site to be able to get the perfect composition.  There was still a large element of the unknown when it came to the correct camera settings for the display, so I was frantically trialling different ideas only to find out I had miscalculated it when the fireworks started! Thankfully I was able to quickly correct it.”

Judging this year’s competition was Devon based photographer Nigel Hicks, a Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photography, who shoots all over the world for National Geographic Creative. Nigel said, “We were really quite surprised by the winning Land's End image. It is a very heavily photographed and publicised view, one that is very difficult to achieve anything very different and new with, and yet this image manages to do that in bucket loads, thanks of course to the night view and the spectacular fireworks display.”

As the overall winner, Josef takes home some fantastic prizes including a £250 voucher to spend at Cotswold Outdoor, a Nikon camera worth £249.99, a place on one of Nigel Hicks’s one-day photography workshops in the South West and a signed copy of his book Wild Southwest - along with pride of place in the South West Coast Path Association’s 2019 calendar, which will be on sale later this year. There were 11 other fantastic photographs selected as runners up who will receive a free membership to the charity and will have their photo featured in the calendar. These include stunning shots of the Cob at Lyme Regis in Dorset, a rocky landscape at Hartland Quay in North Devon and a stormy view of Trevose Lighthouse in North Cornwall.  The calendar will go on sale later this year and will be available from the South West Coast Path Association’s online shop and other regional retail outlets.

Below are the 12 photographs that will make up the 2019 calendar: 


January – ‘Careful where you stand’, The Cob at Lyme Regis, Dorset. Photographer Julian Baird

February –  Godrevy Beach, Cornwall. Photographer Carrie Trewern.

March – ‘Retreating tide at sunset’, Hartland Quay, Devon. Photographer Andrew Davis.

April – Bantham Beach Sunset, Devon. Photographer Jane Parrish

May – ‘Man O’War Beach’, Dorset. Photographer Leigh Norris

June – ‘Harbour at Dusk’, Polperro Harbour. Photographer Graham Herbert.

July – Welcombe Mouth Falls, Devon. Photographer Pamela Bruce.

August – Enys Dodnan at Land’s End, Cornwall. Photographer Josef FitzGerald-Patrick (Overall winner)

September – Portloe, Cornwall. Photographer Tim Jepson

October – Chair Cove, Treyanon, Cornwall. Photographer Clifton Ticehurst

November – ‘A waterfall of fog’ West Bay, Dorset. Photographer James Loveridge

December – Trevose Lighthouse, Cornwall. Photographer Andi Campbell-Jones

The Association will be launching another photography competition later this year so watch this space! In the meantime, you can visit the charity’s website for top tips on taking photographs on the South West Coast Path You can also visit Josef FitzGerald-Patrick’s Facebook page to gain inspiration from his stunning work . To find out more about Nigel Hicks's photography go to .

Published on: March 21, 2018