Brendan celebrates his perfect picture

IT is a shot any professional photographer would be pleased with - and this picture of a frog in a garden pond has scooped a Suffolk schoolboy a national award.

Russell Claydon

IT is a shot any professional photographer would be pleased with - and this picture of a frog in a garden pond has scooped a Suffolk schoolboy a national award.

Nine-year-old Brendan Harper, from Lowestoft, won the title of the Velvet Young Nature Photographer of the Year, a competition run in association with conservation body WWF.

Brendan's entry beat off competition from six other finalists in three age categories and has landed him a new digital camera, printer and an all inclusive weekend pass to Centre Parcs.

The competition was judged by TV presenter Philippa Forrester, who said of the photo: “The light is just perfect and gives the frog a twinkle in the eye.

“This is the overall winning photograph as it shows a wonderful image of life in the wild - a beautifully lit and composed study of a wild animal doing what it does with a smile!”

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Rob Harper, Brendan's father, said four years ago they had put in a wildlife pond in their garden and last spring his son had suggested taking some pictures.

“They seemed really good quality, so I put them on the computer and didn't hear of the competition until October time, which triggered a memory about these photos, so I dug them out and submitted one,” he said.

“I liked the picture when I had it on the computer. The frog just seemed to be smiling and it was so clear.”

Mr Harper hoped picture would win his son a small prize, but was delighted when he found out it had been chosen as the overall winner.

He said he had always been keen on wildlife and photography, which was already rubbing off on his son.

“He has always been surrounded by cameras and he knows how to approach wildlife and take a good picture. He had his first digital camera from the age of six.”

Mr Harper, a branch manager for an electrical wholesaler, said Brendan, who attends Northfield Primary, had regularly demonstrated “a creative eye” and hopes his son will make use of that talent when he leaves school.