The joys of the South West captured in calendar form

From sunsets to making the most of warm summer days, there’s plenty to feel joyous about when it comes to the South West.

A new calendar has been released, showcasing what it is about the region that makes locals and visitors smile.

Released by the South West Development Commission in time for the new year, the This South West Life wall calendar features the stunning winning entries in the State Government agency’s popular annual photography competition.

Entrants in this year’s contest were asked to capture scenes from the South West that fit the theme “reasons to smile”, with winning images ranging from a misty morning over the Blackwood River Valley to an outing at Gnomesville.

One of the featured photos was taken by retired Leechanault resident Chris Tate.

Chris used to work for Tourism WA, he loved the region so much that he took a redundancy and retired.

Photography is now his main interest that gets him out and about, and allows him to get his creative juices flowing.

The selected image (as seen on the front page of today’s newspaper) was snapped on a drizzly day in May 2016 of Chris' 3-year-old granddaughter, Chloe Murtagh.

”It was actually a bit of a fluke; it wasn’t setup,” he said.

“It didn’t dawn on me until I got home that she looked like a gnome herself.”

The calendar will remain a special piece of memorabilia for Chris, as Chloe will move to New Zealand with her parents next week.

“We’ve looked after her basically three days a week since she was born – we’re so close with her.

“When I saw the competition I thought this fitted the theme of making people smile, because it certainly made me smile.”

He said he was pretty pleased with the kudos of being selected.

“I already have my thinking cap on of what to enter for next year.”

Chris is appreciative that local organisations support photography in the South West region.

“Everyone has a camera these days... I have five I think,” he laughed.

The next photography competition, which will give people the chance to have their photos showcased in a 2018 wall calendar, will have the theme “spirit of the South West”. It opened on January 1 and will close on June 30.

For more information or to enter, visit: swdc.wa.gov.au