A TALENTED Bridgwater snapper has reached the final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.

Forty-two-year-old Rich Wiltshire, who lives in King George Avenue, has been shortlisted in the final 12 images in a competition which has attracted around 1,200 entries per month.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers which has members from overseas as well.

Each year it runs an online monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.

Mr Wiltshire said he was ecstatic after judges selected his photo as one of 12 in various genres to go forward to the Image of the Year final.

Rich, who has been a professional landscape photographer for six years, took the selected photo just before sunset at Llyn Padarn in Snowdonia, Wales.

Rich Wiltshire said “For years I have wanted to become a photographer and after a bad accident it gave me the drive to learn and study, I love photography and have put a lot of effort into developing my skills.

"This is the first time I have entered a big competition from such a great company like the guild, so I am very stoked to have made it to the final 12 images knowing just how high those standards are.

"To have one of my images shortlisted for the overall Final from the many thousands submitted across whole year is really exciting.

"I couldn’t believe it when I found out.”

Rich, a member of the Bridgwater Mercury-backed Somerset Camera Club, said his favourite Somerset spots to take photos at are Burnham-On-Sea's lighthouse and Kilve Beach in West Somerset.

Guild director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers.

"Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is, without doubt, an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented photographer, Rich Wiltshire is.”

Rich Wiltshire's image along with the others will now be printed ready for the competition final in December when judges will be coming together from across the country and overseas to choose the overall winner. The final outcome will be announced at a lavish awards night in a Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on Saturday, February 3.

To find out more about the Guild of Photographers, visit photoguild.co.uk, and to find out more about Rich Wiltshire visit rgw-photography.co.uk or follow rich_wiltshire_photography on Instagram.

This is The West Country:
A robin at Ham Wall, by Rich Wiltshire

This is The West Country:
Into the Quantocks at Nether Stowey, by Rich Wiltshire

This is The West Country:
The walk home, along the Bridgwater Taunton Canal, by Rich Wiltshire

This is The West Country: