World on camera

A 73-year-old Budleigh Salterton ‘backpacker’, who has captured the sights, sounds and smells of more than 50 countries, has been officially recognised by the Royal Photographic Society.

Peter Anderson, 73, of Copp Hill Lane, has been awarded the society’s ‘licentiateship’ for his work, the first of three levels of photographic excellence, after submitting 10 of his finest pictures.

Mr Anderson began travelling in 1993 and has visited places like Iran, Laos, India, China Morocco, Bolivia, Alaska – and Bristol.

He said: “I regard myself as a traveller who takes photographs rather than a photographer who travels.

“It started because I wanted to record my travels and slowly I improved over time.”

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His favourite pictures are of a young Iranian student he met in a coffee shop in Esfehan, Iran, and the spectacular Ait Benhaddou – a World Heritage Site instantly recognisable in Hollywood epics including Lawrence of Arabia, Kundun and Kingdom of Heaven.

“There I met a man called ‘Action Couscous’, named as such because of his fondness of couscous, and because he had been an extra in practically every film based in the region you can think of!”

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He said two of his favourite places to snap have been India and Bolivia where the Antiplano inspired so many of Salvador Dali’s paintings.

“The colours are just amazing,” he said.

He admits that he was confident he would get the honour and was in Alaska when the panel of society fellows were making their deliberations.

His next goal will be to try to obtain the next level, the ‘associateship’: “If I hadn’t been awarded it, I would have been disappointed.”

He added: “I see this as a milestone on my photographic journey.”

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