TEN top British surf photographers – including three from west Cornwall – have helped raised almost £5,000 for the victims of the Philippines typhoon disaster.
The photographers contributed stunning surf photographs to a worldwide online sale in aid of the Shelter For Humanity Philippines Disaster Appeal.
The idea was the brainchild of Greg Martin, who quickly enlisted fellow Penzance surf photographers Mike Newman and Mickey Smith.
They and seven other surf photographers compiled an online gallery featuring 85 of their images and set up a page on the justgiving website where supporters could make a donation and receive digital copies of their chosen shots, sent to them by e-mail.
Most donated between £10 and £30 but the appeal also received contributions in euros and US dollars, giving an idea of how far the idea travelled in a very short time.
Greg said he was stunned by the response.
"I've never done this sort of thing before and found it very hard to gauge how much we'd raise," he said. "At first I hoped for £1,000 but gradually upped it to £3,000.
"We reached over £3,700 by the end of the weekend but I then got contacted by a guy in Australia who asked how much it would cost for all 85 photos.
"We were suggesting a figure of £10 a photo, so our final total was £4,749.63."
Delighted as he was to get the late boost to the total, Greg said the Australian had a heart-breaking story to tell.
"The reason behind him buying the photos was because he sponsored three children in the Philippines and since the disaster he hasn't heard anything from them.
"It put the whole thing into perspective," he said. "Although it was great to get the extra money, the story made you aware of how insignificant our efforts were."
Greg said he only thought up the fundraising idea a few days before the weekend and admitted having underestimated the time and effort involved.
"It was a really intense few days and I'm so grateful to my wife who's eight and a half months pregnant and who had to fend for herself," he said.