Picture credit: Paul Floyd Blake

A portrait captured using a large format film camera, complete with bellows, has scooped the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for Paul Floyd Blake.

Blake, 47, said that he only took up photography as a career seven years ago.

Commenting on his winning portrait of 13-year-old paralympian swimmer Rosie Bancroft, Blake said he shot the image using a 5x4in Wista field camera.

‘Rosie was competing throughout the day and there was only a short window when I could take the picture,’ said Blake whose portrait beat more than 6,300 other entries.

‘She had just swum a personal best in her event and I think that’s why she has such a confident, self-assured look in her portrait.’

The swimmer, who hopes to compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games, had her right foot removed when she was ten months old.

Blake’s portrait is part of a series called On Track for 2012, which aims to depict ‘ordinary youngsters striving to do extraordinary things’.

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery which hosted last night’s awards ceremony said: ‘Paul Floyd Blake’s winning portrait is a brilliant study of youthful determination.’