Pictures develop uplifting message

By David Coulter

PHOTOGRAPHS on the walls of a hospital ward are providing uplifting moments for patients battling cancer.

The oncology day unit at Hexham General Hospital commissioned photographer Philip Benton to produce five canvases to provide some relief to patients and their families.

Mr Benton was told 30 years ago he would never work again when diagnosed with ME but, despite this, he battled through the illness and started his own photography business six years ago.

Oncology unit manager Fiona Holdsworth said: “They really suit the mood of the unit, and the message we are trying to get across is breaking down the barriers that hospitals are depressing.”

hexham courant oncology dept

This is the proudest moment so far I’ve had in my business.

I was approached two years ago by Hexham Hospital Oncology Unit about putting some of my work on their walls. As you can see they now have five of my pieces in there!

The feedback I got from customers and social media followers was a huge added bonus.

‘So glad our paths crossed, such a talent’

‘Your pictures are refreshing and realistic. Keep up the good work’.

‘I love your work Phil, I’m proud and pleased as punch that I know you’.

Night Lights, Tyne Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Night Lights, Tyne Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that this image didn’t make the finals of the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020 awards, but really proud that it was shortlisted especially as it wasn’t taken as planned!

The Tyne Bridge, the most iconic of the 7 bridges crossing the River Tyne. Officially opened in October 1928 and built by Dorman Long and Co of Middlesbrough who also built the Sydney Harbour Bridge a few years later.

I took the photo back in December 2018, it had been snowing and I wanted to get a shot of the bridge in the snow. I know snow can melt fast, but I only live in Gateshead so wasn’t expecting it to have melted that fast!

For me, this picture is all about lighting, I was trying to capture the atmosphere. There was no one on the bridge and it felt very eery. I love how it leads right through to the far end of the bridge and includes the church and clock.

I always try to pick out the best a scene or visual has to offer which is exactly what I tried to capture in this photograph.

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