Back from London with his trophy

Carlos Biggemann displays his winning print and trophy from the international section of the My Perspective, United Kingdom Down Syndrome Association photography competition. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Carlos Biggemann displays his winning print and trophy from the international section of the My Perspective, United Kingdom Down Syndrome Association photography competition. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin man Carlos Biggemann is lost for words when it comes to describing how he feels after winning the international section of the United Kingdom Down Syndrome photography competition.

Through tears and a wide smile, he eventually explains it means "everything'' to him.

In June, Mr Biggemann (25) travelled to London with his mother and sister to receive the Stephen Thomas award for his photograph Colours of Fire of a sunset over Uluru, Australia.

Mr Biggemann won awards in the competition in 2014 and 2015, but he was unable to attend those ceremonies because of prior commitments.

This year, he was awarded a new trophy in memory of former competition winner Stephen Thomas, who died last year after a whale-watching boat he was on was capsized by a rogue wave in Vancouver.

"I was so thrilled and speechless when they called out my name to go to the stage and receive this award.

"The first thing I did was thank Stephen's mother.''

Mr Biggemann said he was presented the trophy by Dame Judi Dench, which made the experience particularly amazing.

"It was such an honour to meet her and give her a hug. I watched her in James Bond [films] so it was great to meet her.''

The award was the latest in a series of accolades Mr Biggemann has received for his photography since he started taking photos in 2009.

He had also travelled throughout the world to compete in swimming competitions, winning medals at the Down's Syndrome International Swimming Championships in Taipei in 2010, but photography was

"the most important thing in my life''.

"It is my food. I want to inspire people to see the world through my camera lens.''

Mr Biggemann hoped his photos would help the world "be less round and more human''.

He intended to enter the photography competition again next year, as well as releasing his first photography book based on his previous exhibition "Dramatic Disguise''.

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz

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