Photographer’s fascinating insight into pigeon racing scene

The photograph planned for the front of the book.
The photograph planned for the front of the book.

The East Durham pigeon racing scene is set to be highlighted in a photographer’s new project.

Zak Waters is calling for peoples’ help to further in his ‘labour of love’ by backing his Kickstarter project titled Birdmen.

An example of Zak's work in Horden.

An example of Zak's work in Horden.

The online project is packed with pictures from Zak’s work on pigeon racing, including spectacular shots of the birds taking off and others of men tending to their pigeons.

Zak’s aim is to raise the funds to turn his fascinating 15-year photography insight into a book which could be published within the next six weeks. It too will be called Birdmen.

People can back him by making pledges to his Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/408499994/birdmen.

By supporting him, people can help to turn the book into a reality.

I stumbled across the birds at Benwell and saw the birds flying from a barbed wire area of town. I went to investigate and found these guys with pigeons and it went from there

Zak Waters

Zak, who was brought up in the Sunderland area, and went on to become an award-winning photographer, told how his fascination with the sport first started in the days when he was studying at Northumbria University.

“I stumbled across the birds at Benwell and saw the birds flying from a barbed wire area of town. I went to investigate and found these guys with pigeons and it went from there.”

Zak took pictures all over the country, but especially the Sunderland, Horden and Boldon areas and other parts of the North East.

His work was soon published and it attracted interest from countries such as Holland where pigeon racing is huge. That led to Zak holding an exhibition of his work, and him approaching a publisher to see if there would be interest in a book.

Certificates galore for these enthusiasts from Horden.

Certificates galore for these enthusiasts from Horden.

Zak’s work has been taken on by Bluecoat Press and a hardback book titled Birdmen is weeks away with Kickstarter backing.

To illustrate it, Zak had an amazing 5,000 frames of work to choose from.

The end result is a selection of around 130 works - of a sport which has seen numbers of registered racers dwindle by half to 60,000.

But Zak is determined to keep it in the profile and people have until early on March 22 to pledge their backing.

Different levels of pledges are available at at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/408499994/birdmen.