A PRESS photographer who submitted an array of pictures displaying his work was crowned photographer of the year.

Stuart Walker, photographer at The Cumberland News, was awarded weekly/Sunday photographer of the year at the Regional Press Awards.

The virtual audience saw a sample of just some of the shots Stuart had taken in 2019.

The pictures submitted included Big Fella at Silloth, Starlings at Gretna and a striking silhouette picture at House of Malt in Carlisle.

Judges were highly complimentary of Stuart’s work.

They said: “A great selection of images which show creativity, patience and a sense of fun. All these pictures are worthy of the front page. Just love the starling picture.

“Three striking story telling images.”

Stuart was also shortlisted for daily photographer of the year, however, the award went to Simon Hulme of The Yorkshire Post.

The Press Awards winners were due to be announced at a gala dinner in London in June but the event had to be cancelled due to coronavirus.

The winners were then revealed on June 19 online and on social media.

Speaking after winning the award, Stuart said: “I am delighted to receive this national award and honoured to have my photography for The Cumberland News recognised from a strong field of talented photographers from across the country.

“The Regional Press Awards shine a light on some of the best and most important journalist goings on in local print media.

“I’ve dedicated the past 15 years striving to produce the highest quality images for our titles and firmly believe that professional press photos are a vital cornerstone of our titles and wider industry. Never since the great pictorial magazines of the 1940s and 50s has there been as large an appetite to view images. Unfortunately, we now live in a digital work where the cry of ‘fake news’ or photoshopped manipulated smartphone images circulating the web and social media are all too familiar.

“So there has never been a greater need to have photographs taken by highly trained, unbiased, impartial, photojournalists to virtually document history and allow our readers to have trust in our news brands and platforms.

“This award I believe goes someway to validate this.

“Well composed, eye-catching press photos have always been a benchmark of quality and unique selling point of The Cumberland News and our sister newspaper the News & Star and I look forward to continuing that tradition of delivering the best images possible.”