SPECATCULAR cloud formations have transfixed the judges of this year’s VisitWiltshire photographic competition.

Krzysztof Dac’s striking image of the blue skies and ominous clouds over Cley Hill can today be revealed as the winner of this year’s competition.

The judging panel, which included regional editor of Newsquest Oxfordshire and Wiltshire Gary Lawrence and Salisbury Journal publisher Bill Browne, poured over hundreds of images after VisitWiltshire received their largest number of entries for the competition ever.

In naming their winner they have also selected two runner up prizes. Chris Moody’s carefully captured sunlight over Silbury Hill takes one of these spots, along with Peter Daltrey’s Devizes Crammer which takes the other.

Jenny Butler, VisitWiltshire’s marketing manager, said: “We received a record number of entries to our 2016 photo competition and were extremely impressed with the high standard of photos submitted, which covered an enormous range and variety of topics and drew inspiration from all four corners of the county.

“VisitWiltshire’s ‘Timeless’ branding highlights the fact that Wiltshire has been a special place for a very long time, a magical place where you feel close to the land and the sky. You can sit on the downs at sunrise or sunset, see how the light changes the mood, and imagine others admiring this same spectacle for thousands of years.

“As part of the judging process we were looking for images that reflected this timeless branding and would inspire people to visit our beautiful county.

“With its big skies and moody atmosphere our winning shot of Cley Hill fits the Timeless Nature theme perfectly.

"Of the two runners up, the magical feel of Silbury Hill is entirely in keeping with our Timeless Wonders theme, while Devizes Crammer is an excellent example of Timeless Places.

“All three tie-in with the idea of Wiltshire as calming, comforting and refreshing. A place that puts back what the rest of the week takes out, so that when you visit Wiltshire you can just press pause and let time stand still.”

Krzysztof, who now lives in Warminster having moved from Poland, revealed he had been interested in photography since the age of eight, with his parents buying his first camera – a Lubitel 166B – for him the following year. His dad taught him how to use the camera, but just three years later he dropped the camera and stopped taking pictures.

But arriving in Wiltshire in 2007 his passion for photography was reawakened by the landscapes he saw before him. He said: “Landscapes and outdoor photography are my favourite.”

“In 2009 I had an accident, and after some time I bought a camera and I started to think, how can I make money with my passion? Thesedays I'm a contributor with Getty Images also Alamy.

“Despite the fact that I do not make the money that I would have liked, photography makes me happy, I feel great when I'm photographing. This year, I joined the great photographic community, Warminster Camera Club. There I have met great, friendly, helpful people who gladly share their own experiences.”

Wroughton photographer Chris Moody’s own striking style of photography may already seem familiar to residents in the village who may have caught a glimpse of his work during his exhibition at Wroughton Library.

Originally from Bristol, Chris has settled in Wroughton and works for an international software technology company in Swindon, as well as devoting some of his time as a volunteer first aider with St John Ambulance. But he still finds time to get out and about with his camera – and has even been encouraging others to put their photographic skills to use.

“I have been a keen amateur photographer for many years, learning all I could from experimenting with film but now digital photography has opened up a whole new world of possibilities,” he said. “Whilst my main subjects are dogs, landscapes make a welcome change and interesting challenge.

“A year or so ago I set up a Facebook page for photographers in Wroughton. This has been a great success, bringing all kinds of talent together and we are currently exhibiting some of our work in the Wroughton Library.”

Also taking a runner up prize is Peter Daltrey from Devizes, whose brooding photograph of the town’s Crammer impressed the judges. He revealed he had been drawn to Wiltshire from London in the early 1970s by the county’s ancient landscapes.

“After almost four decades of working in the countryside calling on farms I finally retired and then had the opportunity to devote all my time to photography,” he said. “The rolling hills and downs, the historic monuments and the stunning National Trust properties are a photographer’s playground.

“I don`t own any expensive fancy cameras - indeed having recently purchased a new phone and found that it actually had a better camera than my old DSLR I now take the majority of my images on that. Proving that even an amateur like me can take reasonable photos.”

All three will be presented with voucher prizes for their winning images.