A TALENTED Bury photographer has snapped up a £500 prize after winning a competition launched by the organisers of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Colin Hampson’s atmospheric picture of the New Zealand Army Band performing the traditional Maori Haka caught the eye of competition judges.

And the achievement was even more admirable given that the 57-year-old had to take the photograph from his seat during the spectacular event at Edinburgh Castle and without the use of a flash.

His winning print and others which were submitted by photographers will be featured in an exhibition to be staged later this year.

Mr Hampson, of Holbeach Close, Brandlesholme, said: “I’d gone to the Edinburgh Festival in August and read about the competition in a catalogue.

“So, during the tattoo, I had to take the photograph from where I was sitting.

“I used a 300mm lens and I’d to keep the camera as steady as I could.”

The quantity surveyor, who uses a Nikon digital camera, had earlier done his homework to try to pinpoint what sort of photograph from the Edinburgh Tattoo might impress the judges.

“I looked at what had won the competition the year before and my own photograph of the New Zealand Army Band seemed to be the right sort.

“It wasn’t the best one I took on the night but it was the one which I thought the judges were looking for.

“It encompasses the military aspect of the tattoo.

“And if you look closely at the photograph, the guys in the band are doing a Haka which is different to pipes, drums and dancing photographs.

“That’s probably what made it stand out.”

Mr Hampson has been taking photographs as a hobby for the past four decades and many years ago won a Lancashire Life competition as a reward for his work behind the lens.

He joined Bury Photographic Society several months ago and plans to submit his winning tattoo picture into a club competition to try and entend its winning run.

Apart from the cash prize, he also received two free tickets for this year’s 65th annual tattoo so he can attend the colourful event again.