© Tino Solomon

London-based photo enthusiast Tino Solomon secured an Sony Alpha 7 Mark II camera and a place at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London, next month.

Commenting on the winning shot, Solomon – who works as a doctor – said: ‘The image captures the Milky Way galaxy that rises over the Darwaza crater in the Karakum Desert, northwest Turkmenistan.

‘Two explorers peer into its fiery depths, known by the local Turkmen as the “door to hell”.’

Solomon – whose image was chosen as the single best photo by a Brit across the ten categories of the Open competition – added: ‘In 1971 Soviet scientists discovered an underground cavern with gas accumulation.

‘It was set on fire to avoid a toxic release into nearby villages and in the hope it would burn out within days… yet 45 years later, it continues to burn.

‘[It is] often described as the world’s most beautiful ecological disaster.’

Second place in the UK segment of the competition went to Mike Odwyer, while third place was awarded to Stuart Cripps.

"The great prayer festival of Monlam takes place in eastern Tibet during the heart of winter. Tens of thousands of pilgrims join the monks in celebrating the event. Here the monks of Taktsang Lhamo are performing the ritual known as the ‘Turning of the Buddha’ where a statue of the Maitreya Buddha is carried around the four corners of the village. Maitreya is a Buddha who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment and then teach the dharma. This ceremony is to ensure that the earthly realm will be ready for his arrival."The best single image by an Irish photographer © Christopher Roche

"The band of the H.M. Royal Marines playing at the launch of P&O’s ship Britannia in March 2015. I got permission from the Queens protection team to be 18 stories up on the ship during the launch. The only person outside, on the ship, at that time. The view was spectacular and the photo just jumped out at me!" © Mike Odwyer