CRICKLADE snapper Damien Davis may be relatively new to the world of photography, but he is already celebrating success after being shortlisted for the Daily Telegraph Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014.

Damien, 38, of Manor Orchard, who juggles his love of photography with a full time job at a global IT firm as well as looking after 11-week old son Harrison, has made it to the final 300 out of 10,000 entries with his photograph, entitled Shadow Birds, captured at Lechlade-On-Thames in September.

The impressive image has already been published in several national newspapers and magazines, as well as receiving critical acclaim from a number of experts in the field. It has been shortlisted in the ‘At The Water’s Edge’ category.

“I am genuinely so humbled and honoured to make it to the shortlist,” said Damien, who was only bought his first camera, an SLR, two years ago by his wife, Nicola.

“I have seen some of the other entries and some of the pictures are just absolutely staggering, so I don’t expect to get any further in the competition, but I’m proud to be shortlisted.

“I took the picture at about 5.30am on September 11. I met up with two friends who are both photographers and we initially planned to photograph the church at Lechlade, but it was so foggy we couldn’t get anything at all. As the sun came up it just wasn’t clearing, but as it got higher it started to burn through the mist. I thought it would make a good picture - I had to quickly switch some of the settings. I took about 100 shots and there were three that I loved.

“I take a lot of pictures early in the morning, but I’m quite an early riser anyway. I do a lot of early morning conference calls, and obviously having an 11-week old, it acts as a natural alarm clock.”

Damien has since sold more than 20 prints of the photograph, including one to BBC Panorama presenter Tom Mangold, who received a signed copy hand delivered to Kensington by Damien himself.

It is not the first bit of success Damien has enjoyed since he began teaching himself the art of photography through online tutorials. Only last month, an image he shot of the sun rising through the arch at Durdle Door in Dorset went viral and was published in a host of national newspapers.

“The photo was over a year in the planning,” said Damien.

“I was delighted with the photo. The sun was at its most southerly position, which meant it could be viewed rising through the archway from the beach. However, as the steps down to the beach had eroded away, only the most keen and enthusiastic photographers, and occasionally some fishermen make it down to the beachfront. With the limited window of opportunity as the sun only rises through the arch for a few days, and the unpredictable weather, it’s quite a rare sight.”

Damien’s job will take him to Sydney in a few weeks, and he is hoping to photograph some popular sights on the other side of the world during his visit.

“I love landscape photography,” he said. “I want to photograph the Sydney Opera House and the Blue Mountains look absolutely beautiful.”