A NORTH-EAST soldier has been named professional photographer of the year in an Army photographic competition.

Sergeant Ian Forsyth, from Saltburn, east Cleveland, received the main award, and £600 prize money, for his portfolio of eight photographs featuring images from the 65th anniversary of D-Day, and a training exercise in Kenya.

The 39-year-old has been in the Army for 20 years, and a photographer for the past four. He said: “I feel honoured to be recognised for the work that Army photographers undertake.

On a personal level, it’s good to have your pictures recognised by your peers.

On a professional level, it raises the profile of the kind of work Army photographers produce.”

This year’s entries ranged from the conflict in Afghanistan to the day-today lives of soldiers.

Sgt Forsyth was in the Royal Artillery for 16 years before transferring as a photographer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

The contest consisted of five categories, including best operational image and army equipment photograph. Awards were also given to amateur photographer of the year and best overall image.

Sgt Forsyth, who lives with his partner, Sara, in Saltburn, said: “Each picture brings its own challenge.”