A photographer has told how winning a competition in the Coventry Telegraph spurred him on to develop his hobby.

And, four years on, he’s seen his work displayed in the Herbert Gallery and is working on commissions for Coventry’s UK City of Culture year.

Mark Pemberton first became interested in photography at school, when he was a student at President Kennedy comprehensive.

But it wasn’t until 2016 when a family day out at Ryton Pools led to his parents and friends encouraging him to enter Coventry Telegraph’s calendar competition that he began taking his hobby more seriously.

Coventry photographer Mark Pemberton

He won the competition and began to gather a large following on Facebook.

Mark, who works a 9-5 job at Coventry City Council, attributes the positivity of his work to why it is so popular.

And that’s helped him have a huge amount of success in the run up to the UK City of Culture year.

His work has been used by the local tourist board and has even appeared on Coventry BID’s Christmas card this year.

View a gallery of his work here:

“I think I’ve become known as the person who makes Coventry look like an amazing place,” Mark said.

“For me it’s like art. Photography and Coventry are my two passions.”

He acknowledges that Coventry – like anywhere else – has its issues, but hopes that his work will encourage people to look at the city in a new light.

He plays with shadow and reflection to bring to life familiar street scenes.

“Some of the people who follow my work on Facebook are originally from Coventry but now live in the United States and they’ll often comment about how it’s not like the city they remember,” he said.

“I hope it makes people look up as they are walking around – there is so much history and so many beautiful buildings in Coventry.”

Mark added: “If you watch people these days they are so busy, they don’t look up. But once you’ve got a camera in your hand you start to notice things.”

The self taught photographer has spent hours on YouTube learning different techniques, and as the years have gone by he has invested in better and better equipment.

“2021 is an even bigger spur for me,” he said. “There’s a lot of creative people in Coventry and it’s a great community.

“30 years ago we had the auto industry but we are in different times now and people have had to find new jobs.

“I can see the shoots of recovery – it’s looking beautiful, especially at night when there’s all the different colours.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done, making Coventry look like the beautiful city it is. I love it here – it’s my home.”

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