Image source, Dave NewmanImage caption, Amateur wildlife photographer Dave Newman captures many of his stunning shots during his lunch breaks

An amateur photographer's stunning wildlife shots taken during his lunch breaks have won him thousands of fans.

Dave Newman regularly makes the short trip from his office in the centre of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, to the local river to capture its beast and birds.

What started as an alternative to lunch hour boredom exploded into a hobby that has drawn praise from fans worldwide.

Mr Newman said he was "overwhelmed" by the attention and urged other budding snappers to "just get out and shoot".

His obsession with photography started when he found himself at a loose end during his breaks, and wanted to do something more than just walking around town.

"So I pop down in my car to the river in two minutes," he said.

One of his favourite photographic haunts in the town of about 18,000 people is Cogglesford Mill, on the "crystal-clear" River Slea.

"The other day I was right outside the leisure centre when I shot a mandarin duck and there were lots of people around," he said.

Image source, Dave NewmanImage caption, Dave Newman has managed to capture kingfishers on the River Slea, close to Sleaford town centreImage source, Dave NewmanImage caption, "The more you do the more you learn", the self-taught photographer said

Mr Newman said: "For me it's about being on my own away from problems soaking up the atmosphere and fresh air.

"You don't know what you are going to see from one day to the next.

"If you could predict nature it would be pretty boring, to be fair."

However, he does sometimes "wish that things would just sit still and they don't".

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Image source, Dave NewmanImage caption, The photographer has produced calendars of his workImage source, Dave NewmanImage caption, Mr Newman said he sorts his images out at home on an evening after a shoot

Mr Newman, who took up photography just three years ago, urged would-be snappers, even those who have never picked up a camera before, to "just do it and start shooting".

"Garden birds are a great place to start, or down a river where ducks and swans are used to humans," he said.

Image source, Dave NewmanImage caption, Dave Newman's shots have been turned into calendars and featured in newspapers and magazines

Mr Newman still has some targets yet to pass before his lens and next year hopes to go to Scotland. He would also love to photograph wild stags or a golden eagle.

But his remaining ambition is to go on a "proper African safari to picture big cats and the rest."

"If I had known about photography when I was at school, I wouldn't be in this job, it's a passion of mine."

Image caption, Dave Newman has gradually upgraded his photography kit as his hobby developed

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