A SOUTHAMPTON student "stunning" photograph has been landed him a prestigious international gong.

Joshua Masters’ picture of Monument Valley in Navajo County, Arizona, was picked by judges from global travel agency Smaller Earth’s 2017 international photo contest as the best in their 2017 competition.

As part of the prize, the 20-year-old Southampton Solent student won a trip to New York and will be taking his mum Christmas shopping in the Big Apple.

The TV and video production student, had spent the summer at Camp Emerson, in Massachusetts, with Camp Leaders, Smaller Earth’s industry leading summer camp programme.

He captured the image by a drone as he and friends were on a road trip navigating the west coast of the USA.

Joshua, who only began photography as a hobby three years ago, said: “We hired an RV for three or four weeks to drive around the west coast and we planned out a route.

“Monument Valley wasn’t on the original route because it was quite out of the way but we wanted to go. It’s iconic.

“It was a six hour drive to get there and we arrived really early at sunrise. So we parked up on the roadside and climbed to the top of the RV to watch the sun come up.

“I set off my drone to take the picture – actually it was a video but I thought I’d take a picture too.”

Global travel agency Smaller Earth, whose headquarters are in Liverpool, launched the 2017 competition on social media and received 13,000 submissions from all over the world.

The incredible photographs submitted were taken by people on their American work and travel programs called Camp Leaders and Resort Leaders.

Joshua saw the competition on Facebook and went through thousands of his photos taken on his trip to America to enter.

The judges selected his photo because it “brilliantly captured the essence of travel after camp”. Joshua was told he had won a trip for two for four nights to New York for Christmas.

But the prize has turned into a family holiday.

The keen photographer said: “I never thought I’d win and my mum, Alison, jokingly asked if I would take her if I won, so I said yes. My mum has never been before so it’s a nice Christmas present for her.

“The family have now decided to come over to so it’s turned into a lovely trip for all of us to one of the world’s most amazing cities.

“We’re going Christmas shopping to buy presents but I’ll be taking lots of pictures too, I really like the architecture and the streets.

“New York is an incredible place for photographers.”

Bastian Weinberger, CEO of Smaller Earth, said: “Joshua’s photograph is amazing and we chose it because of its fantastic portrayal of one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the USA.

“The photograph also shows the wonder of travelling after summer camp and how it can connect you with people from all over the world.

I’m sure Joshua and his family will have a wonderful time in New York Christmas shopping and I’m looking forward to seeing the photos from his trip.”