A “stunning and timely” image of light shining through a cave taken by a Leeds student has scooped a prestigious national annual competition.

Henry Nathan, who studies at the University of Leeds, said he was “shocked beyond words” to have beaten more than 800 entries to win the Calumet Student Photographer of the Year 2016 competition.

The 20-year-old’s image, which has won him a package of prizes worth over £11,000, was of a man and a dog captured in an underground cave in Oregon, America with a light shining from above.

The Skylight Cave is named after the beams of light which shine down for only about two hours a day for just over a month every year.

Calumet Photographic’s annual campaign was developed to encourage artistic photography among up-and-coming student photographers.

The film, media and photography student said: “I am absolutely blown away to have been named the winner of this prestigious competition.

“I have been doing a bit of freelance work, but when I submitted my entry back in the summer I never dared believe that I could come first because of the high standard of work I saw from last year’s winner and runners up.

“I am hugely overwhelmed and honoured because I believe winning this competition will give me the confidence boost I needed to take my photos to the next level and really push my career forward.”

Henry now hopes to continue pursuing his photography career alongside his studies.

He added: “I was very lucky to be in the cave at the time of year where the light beams in and it was spectacular to see. I knew as soon as I had taken the shot that I had captured something pretty special and I hardly needed to do any editing to the picture.”

Jon Warner, Managing Director of Calumet Photographic, which has an online shop and eight stores across the country, said: “We were bowled over by the high level of talent which we saw this year, but Henry’s stunning and timely image shone out.

“He is clearly very talented and has an eye for composition and working with light. The fact that he captured such an amazing shot taken during such a short window of opportunity, demonstrates his patience and skill.

“At Calumet we’re passionate about photography and supporting people looking to further their photographic abilities. We believe this helps to celebrate young people’s love for pictures and encourages artistic photography. We would like to congratulate Henry and the runners-up and thank everyone for participating.”

The national search for the UK’s number one student photographer was launched in partnership with major brands, including Canon, Fujifilm and Epson, and leading industry magazine Professional Photography.

This year the shortlisted entries were reviewed by a panel of judges from the photography world, including Mr Warner, Simeon Quarrie, a Canon Ambassador, last year’s winner Oliver Henderson and Emma-Lily Pendleton, Editor of Professional Photography magazine.

There were 10 runners-up who will each receive a £20 Calumet Gift Card and a one-year subscription to a photography magazine.

For more information and to view the winning image and the runners-up visit: https://blog.calphoto.co.uk/2016/11/15/student-photographer-of-the-year-2016-winner/