Using the mantra of ‘being a tourist in your own town’ has given Limavady amateur photographer Dessie Loughrey a fresh view of his world.
The 46-year-old who started taking photographs only three years ago this month is now showing his ‘Beauty within our Borough’ exhibition at Limavady library on Connell Street in the town.
The father-of-four says he has been humbled by the glowing reviews of his work.
The former Ballymena and Coleraine football star says his photographs are usually uploaded to his own website so showing them to the public is quite daunting.
“I am an amateur but some people have bought pictures from me,” he said. “
“But I have no plans to give up my day job, it’s a hobby. It is a labour of love. I also find it good for me because it helps me wind down. It gives me total stress relief.
“I don’t have a lot of patience in general, but I have a lot of patience when it comes to photographing wildlife.”
The foreman for the Western Education and Library Board said his interest in photography was sparked after he was injured on the football field.
“I was injured and during a league match was sitting with one of the cameramen. He let me have a look through the lens and I haven’t looked back.”
The grandfather-of-four says his experience makes him want to encourage people to “all learn to be tourists in their own borough”.
He said: “How often do you take a step back and just take a look around? We have the most unbelievable scenery in Limavady and this exhibition is a chance for me to put that on public display. Benone beach, a range of beautiful mountains, Dungiven Castle and The Country Park are some of the landmarks.”
So Dessie takes pictures like he played football - with a smile on his face.
“Photography is a real passion of mine,” said the Limavady man.
“Whether it be sport or wildlife a great picture can bring a smile to your face.”