Page last updated at 02:55 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Swimmer's portrait scoops prize

Paul Floyd Blake, who photographed Rosie Bancroft, began his career at 40

An image of a teenage swimmer aiming for glory at the 2012 Paralympics has been named the winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

Paul Floyd Blake's photo shows Rosie Bancroft from Oxford shortly after beating her personal best.

The swimmer, who had her right foot amputated at the age of 10 months, was captured on camera during a short interval in a busy training day.

Blake, 47, did not begin his career as a photographer until seven years ago.

The photographer from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire collected the £12,000 award at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Teenage prisoner

The runner-up was Vanessa Winship's Girl in a Golden Dress, taken in Georgia.

"I particularly liked the delicacy of her features and the way she held herself in what looked like a new and best outfit," said the British photographic artist of her work.

A portrait of a Russian juvenile prisoner sentenced for murder, Stas, by Michal Chelbin, finished in third place.

He spent several days getting to know him and discovered on the final day that the 15-year-old was being held for murder.

"He was extremely quiet and distant. I could feel there was an enormous burden on his shoulders," said Chelbin.

The winner will be among 60 photographs to go on display at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 November, running until 14 February.

The final shortlist of four was determined by a panel of judges from a total of 6,300 submissions from a mixture of established and emerging photographic talent.

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