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Leeroy snaps up coveted Gympie Times calendar cover

CAPTURED IN TIME: Leeroy Todd with The Gympie Times’s 2015 calendar which features his sunrise photo on the cover.
CAPTURED IN TIME: Leeroy Todd with The Gympie Times’s 2015 calendar which features his sunrise photo on the cover. Greg Miller

LEEROY Todd was photographing his three daughters discovering the wonders of Dubbo Zoo when he got a call to say he'd nabbed the cover spot on The Gympie Times's 2015 calendar.

The 30-year-old timber worker turned hobby photographer would have settled for just being Mr December with his shot of the sun rising over his backyard during a foggy winter morning last year.

"But to get the front page was great," Mr Todd said.

"That photo would have to be one of my favourites.

"It was taken in our backyard at The Dawn.

"My dog gets me up pretty early and that morning, I walked out the back and saw the fog creating a nice light.

"We were at Dubbo Zoo when (The Gympie Times advertising rep) Brooke Sutton called to tell me I'd won the calendar photo competition and my photo would be on the front page and as well as the photo for December.

"I was surprised…I would've been happy just to have one of my photos anywhere in the calendar."

It's only been four years since Leeroy, who grew up in Gympie and lived on the Sunshine Coast for 10 years before returning to the Gold City, discovered the magic of photography.

"I picked up a Nikon back in about 2011 but it wasn't mine," he said. "My sister's boyfriend starting teaching me about SLRs and a bit about the basics of photography.

"I seemed to pick it up fairly easily so I got my own camera - a Canon 6D - last year.

"I did a photography course on the coast and from there I've just been learning on my own."

Leeroy's favourite subjects are always close at hand.

"My wife Rachael and our three girls Elouise, 8, Ava, 6, and Estelle, 1, give me lots of inspiration.

"They're mostly happy to be my subjects but I have to make it short and sharp because, being so little, they lose interest pretty quickly.

"But the kids are definitely my favourite shots."

A recent five-week trip to South Australia was also a chance for Leeroy to hone his photography skills.

"I wanted to have a look at the South Coast of New South Wales on the way home, so we spent eight days there and I got plenty of photos," he said. "It was such beautiful, pristine scenery with the ocean and the coastline."

His children and spectacular Australian scenery aside, though, Leeroy is keen to delve into the world of street photography.

"That's what really interests me," he said. "I haven't done a lot of it and I think it would take a lot of practice and courage to go out and photograph people like that.

"I want to start working on some projects like that but, in the long run, as my skills get better, it would just be good to take my photography a little further."

Topics:  calendar photo

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