LYING in the snow waiting to take a picture of a herd of deer certainly proved to be worth the discomfort for amateur snapper Kevin Dolby.
His photo has been chosen to represent January in the prestigious BBC Countryfile calendar, beating thousands of entries.
It was also chosen by presenter John Craven, wildlife cameraman Simon King and businesswoman Deborah Meaden as their favourite.
Kevin (56), of Thicket Drive in Maltby, has only been taking pictures for four years and has never even entered a photography competition before.
His success saw him given a £500 voucher for photographic gear, a large canvas print of his stunning photograph, and a signed Countryfile calendar.
Kevin’s picture of deer in snow was taken at Stainborough Park at Wentworth, Barnsley, and he admitted he was pleased with it.
Kevin said: “It does have an ethereal look about it.
“I took it between Christmas and the New Year. We had had quite a lot of snow. I took a trip out to Stainborough Park where they have deer running around and I thought I would try and get some deer in the snow.
“I went a couple of days on the trot and this picture just had something different about it.”
Kevin said he had to lie down in the snow and wait for the animals to pass by as they headed towards food to get the perfect snap.
He said: “It was absolutely freezing.”
Kevin said he played with the exposure on the image which caused the snow to be whitened and the trees in the background to take on a greyish ghostly look.
He added he was surprised and delighted to get into the final 12 of the competition, and to win the judges’ vote.
He said: “I am very pleased about it all and it’s really nice to get recognition.
“I was quite pleased to get the judges’ vote.
“I did like that photograph and I thought it might do all right but did not expect it to win.
“Simon King was very kind about the photograph. He said it was a unanimous decision by the judges.”
Kevin said that photography was “just a hobby” and that his camera was “nothing fancy”.
He enjoys taking landscape shots, particularly in the Peak District.
Kevin is not a member of a camera club but has joined a number of photography groups on Facebook.
He has had photographs used on weather reports on ITV’s Calendar and the BBC’s Look North, and said he was now thinking about starting to sell some of his images.
The Countryfile calendar is produced annually by the BBC and raises cash for the charity Children In Need.