Brock Martin announced as a winner in Life and Light Photo competition

Cobar’s Brock Martin may have stumbled upon photography accidentally, but it was a chance social media post that has lead the miner to being named as one of the winner’s in the Life and Light competition.

Brock’s photo ‘Sunset in a glass’ was just one of the 307 entries received in the annual competition

All of the photos were taken in the Western Local Land Services area and linked to the theme of ‘What makes our outback special?’

This was the first time that Brock has enterted the Life and Light competition, and he only heard about it through a social media site.

Brock said the photo was taken one evening from a rocky outcrop, south of Cobar.

“I was lucky enough to have the right elements of light, contrast with the silhouettes of the trees and some really great earthy tones from the rocks,” he said. 

“In terms of the enhancements, I used an IOs app called Quicklight to feather the edges of the frame, deepen the colours and also to minimise the lens flares which result in using a glass ball.” 

Brock said the ball itself is a tool known as a ‘lensball’ which can be found online and is “one of the best investments I've made inregards to my photography arsenal.”

Born and raised in Cobar, Brock completed an apprenticeship as an electrician in the mines before moving to England for just over two years to live in London.

“​Whilst there I traveled extensively through UK and Europe. I returned home in 2012 to resume working in the mines and also to begin a career in fitness,” he said. 

Brock developed an interest in photography by accidents while overseas.

“Whilst travelling I brought a cheap Sony digital camera mainly to show my parents my travels. As it turned out, some of the photos were quite good. One of my close friends (who was already into photography) suggested I upgrade to a better camera,” he said.

“I purchased a Nikon D5200 and decided to see how it went on the Everest Base Camp trek. I instantly fell in love with photography and capturing themes and elements from far off places.”

The Life and Light Photo Competition was run jointly by Western Local Land Services and Western Landcare NSW and Brock thanked both for “running such a great competition.”

“And bringing together such a great collection of photographs which capture the beauty of the western region,” he said. 

“After seeing the caliber of other photos entered I was quite blown away to even get an email saying that I was a finalist, let alone being told that I had won the Digitally Enhanced category.

“The win has given me even more interest to get out and about to try and capture more photos.”

To view the full gallery of 307 photos that were entered in this year’s competition, head to

2018 Life and Light Photo Competition winners:

· Colour open – “Thirsty Goats at the Trough” by Jane Smith.

· Colour secondary – “Stare Off” by Charli Smith.

· Colour primary – “Sunset & Sunflowers” by Abbie Kelly.

· Black and white open – “Well Oiled Machine” by Mel Adams.

· Black and white high school – “Tired Pup” by Georgia Bragg.

· Black and White Primary – “Junction Mine” by Abbie Kelly.

· Digitally enhanced – “Sunset in a Glass” by Brock Martin.

· 20 Years of Life and Light – “Windows” by Simon Seppelt.

· Professional – “Vast” by Andrew Barnes.

· People’s choice – “When the Dust Settles” by Jenna Shirt.