A READING snapper has won the first ever Historic Photographer of the Year competition. 

Matt Emmett scooped the top spot with this breathtaking image of RAF Nocton Hall. 

In its first year the competition attracted a swathe of astonishing entries from amateurs and professionals who have climbed, hiked and trekked their way to snap stunning historic places from every corner of the globe, from iconic landmarks to far-flung forgotten ruins.

He said: "I have been into photography for a long time. My father got me my first SLR camera when I was 19 and now I am 45.

"It is something I will keep doing until I am not able to do it anymore. I have been all over Europe and to be able to convey the hidden gems and leave a mark for the rest of the world to see is special.

"I live in Caversham and whenever there is a nice sunset I shoot up to Wilder's Folly.

"I have done two trips across northern Italy and there is something about architecture and capturing something beyond the everyday that I really enjoy."

Entries have been judged on originality, composition and technical proficiency alongside the story behind the image and its historical impact. 

Coming first in the contest, Matt receives £2,500 as a prize.

Judging all entries is a panel of experts including broadcaster and historian Dan Snow, VP Programming and Head of HISTORY Dan Korn, All About History Magazine Editor-in-Chief James Hoare and David Gilbert, Chair of Creative United.

On the winning image, James Hoare said: “I love Matt’s image, it's simple, effective and hyperlocal, and it makes some important points.

"Conserve-as-found is increasingly a part of the heritage landscape and Matt captures not some frozen image of calcified past, but an image of an ongoing history, one that didn't end when the doors slammed shut and the air crew mustered out.

"This is a history that's very much alive and shifting like dappled sunlight through the vines, reminding us not just of the changing value of what we have, but the changing value of our role in remembering it.

"Matt firmly establishes history as being forever in the corner of our eye wherever we roam.”

Matt has submitted some snaps for the Reading Chronicle as part of our 'send in your pictures' initiative. If you've got some stunning photographs taking around Reading/ Berkshire, why not share them? We'll publish them in the paper and online and share with our readers.