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Award-winning Hessett musician whose tinnitus diagnosis ended his career wins national recognition for his new craft

An award-winning musician who was forced to give up his passion after developing tinnitus has taught himself a new craft - and received national recognition for his efforts.

Ivor Ottley, 54, of Hessett, toured the world as a violinist and won several prizes but had to call time on his career as he struggled with the 24/7 ‘horrendous’ ear disorder.

After suffering personal tragedy, he bought his first camera four years ago, taught himself photography and has been shortlisted for his work in The British Photography Awards.

Flightpath by Ivor Ottley
Flightpath by Ivor Ottley

Specialising in wildlife photography, he has been recognised in the birdlife category for his striking montage image, taken from a single burst of shots, to show the flightpath of a single kingfisher at Lackford Lakes.

In his submission, Mr Ottley, a self confessed rule breaker, said: “This image goes against your rules of not having montage images, I do understand that but I’m not really a strong believer in rules if the image you produce is what you intended and are honest about it.”

The former violinist began his musical career aged nine as a chorister at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds.

Ivor Ottley
Ivor Ottley

He taught himself to play bluegrass music, picked up the violin in his 20s and travelled the world, picking up some awards along the way.

After developing tinnitus about four years ago and a difficult time which included the death of his sister, who was a visual artist, and heart surgery, he bought a camera and a campervan. Mr Ottley went travelling and learnt photography from YouTube videos.

“I lost so much with the music - it’s a big hole so photography fulfils a lot of needs,” he said.

The winners will be announced in January.

To vote for his entry, visit https://www.britishphotographyawards.org/2021-shortlist

Visit www.ivorottleyphotography.com

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