Guy's technician beats 18,000 entrants to win Photographer of the Year


Posted on Monday 16 December 2013
Gabriel Dominise Photographer of the Year

Guy’s Hospital technician Gabriel Dominise, winner of the Institute Photography’s Photographer of the Year award

The minute details make the picture for Guy’s Hospital technician Gabriel Dominise, winner of the Institute Photography’s Photographer of the Year award.

Despite only taking up the hobby five years ago, Gabriel’s picture was chosen from more than 54,000 shots across three categories. About 18,000 people entered from all over the world.

Gabriel, 55, from Rainham in Essex, works as a Sterile Services Department (SSD) technician at Essentia, capital estates and facilities directorate at Guy’s and St Thomas’, and has been at Guy’s for six years.

He says: “I was very shocked when one of my images was judged best of the year. There were semi-professionals in the group and I did not even participate in the online forums because I was a bit intimidated.”

The winning picture, a shot of a green insect against a bright pink flower, was taken in his garden, where Gabriel grows rare orchids that attract all sorts of creepy crawlies.

“It was one of those perfect moments where everything lines up” he says.

“I was lucky the green insect landed on a pink flower with a yellow background. I rushed straight inside to get my camera.”

Gabriel works a shift pattern, which fits in well with his photography.

He says:  "My schedule in SSD is just perfect – two weeks of early shifts and two weeks of late shifts. Sometimes, when I am on late shift, I go early in the morning to visit St. James's Park to snap birds. And when I’m on early shift, after work I do some street photography and end the day taking evening shots near Tower Bridge.”

Gabriel’s favourite shooting style is macro photography, a type of extreme close-up.

He says: “I’m fascinated by macro photography because I can see the tiniest details of nature. You can almost count the lenses in a fly’s eye or the whiskers on a dragonfly.”

After teaching himself various techniques, Gabriel decided to get formal training at the Institute of Photography (IOP). He passed all 14 course modules, and submitted his best shots in three categories: portrait, landscape and overall photographer of the year.

The judges said Gabriel’s photo was ‘exceptionally sharp’ and praised the way it ‘makes you feel part of an alien world – the world of an insect’.

He achieved the photo by using a new macro technique he developed. He plans to create a photographic guide to explain it to future students at the Institute of Photography.

Gabriel won £300 of Amazon vouchers, which he has already spent on lighting equipment for his home studio. He also received an engraved glass trophy.

To see more of Gabriel’s photos visit his flickr page.  

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