Hartlepool's homeless Bible reader is the subject of 'disciple' photographer's revered picture in the final of new portrait competition
A striking picture of a well-known Hartlepool face has helped a talented amateur photographer reach the final of a new competition.
David Coser is down to the final five entries in the portrait section of the inaugural Northern Photography Prize.
Hundreds of entries were submitted to the new competition launched by best-selling Northumberland author LJ Ross which tasked photographers with capturing the spirit and heart of the North East.
David, 45, entered a black and white photograph titled Disciple of a homeless man called Carl, who was often seen sitting in Hartlepool town centre reading the Bible.
He said: “I built up a bit of a friendship with Carl and every time I met him I bought him a drink or a sandwich. He was quite religious and would call me one of his disciples.
"I realised that if he pulled his hood up it looked like a crown of thorns and would make quite a good photograph so I called it Disciple after him.”
David, who studied at the Northern School of Art and Hertfordshire University, took the picture just a few weeks after he took up photography in early 2019.
Thankfully Carl got the help and support he needed during the pandemic and is no longer living on the streets of Hartlepool.
He now has a partner and is living in Sunderland.
The inaugural Northern Photography Prize, in association with Living North Magazine and sponsored by Dark Skies Publishing, has £1,000 prizes for the winning landscape and portrait entries.
LJ Ross said: “Photography has a unique power to capture the humanity of a single moment, or the beauty of the natural world in such a way that can never be replicated."
Shortlisted entries will be featured in Living North magazine and the overall winners will be revealed at the end of September.
David added: “To be shortlisted for the prize is an incredible opportunity for me to be recognised as an up-and-coming amateur photographer.
"The thought of me capturing the heart of the people in the North East is a humbling experience.”
David, of Bishop Cuthbert, hopes to turn professional and enjoys capturing the streets, portraits, landscapes and creative photography of his town.