Belfast man's image of Dark Hedges wins the World Landscape Photographer competition

A Belfast man captured a haunting image of County Antrim’s Dark Hedges and won a global photography prize.

Belfast man's image of Dark Hedges wins the World Landscape Photographer competition

A Belfast man captured a haunting image of County Antrim’s Dark Hedges and won a global photography prize.

Paul Killeen was named overall winner in the World Landscape Photographer competition. There were over 1,600 entries.

Souls Tied is a black-and-white photograph that he took. It shows two birds flying into the center of the well known site.

He stated that he was shocked and honored to have been awarded the image, which he took on the morning of a friend’s funeral.

One judge described the image as "a brilliant win".

Verity Milligan, another judge, stated: "Just the forest, the mist, and the dancing birds. Magical. It is a special image that will be remembered and it is a worthy winner.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Killeen's shot beat 8.655 images.

He sees a special significance in the photograph.

After a five-and a half year battle with cancer, Lynsey, Lynsey's wife, tragically died on April 11, 2021.

In October 2015, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told that she wouldn't be able to see Christmas.

Paul captured this image at her funeral on 14 April 2021.

"I was shooting in the middle the road and the birds flew into my frame. "I immediately thought of Lynsey's husband Simon," he said to BBC News NI.

"The title of this image was an instant inspiration and fit perfectly with the story."

Paul hosted a draw via social media last year for a large-sized art print of the award-winning image in memoriam Lynsey.

He has raised more than PS1,800 to support Brain Tumour Research.

He stated that he was shocked and honored to have been awarded the award, and that it was his most significant achievement.

"Those who know me personally will understand how important it is to win this competition."

They will be aware of my passion for making images that please me most. It means so much to me that others feel connected with my work.

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