Tim Clayton was born in Leeds, UK in 1960. He started out in the darkroom of the Yorkshire Evening Post in Leeds where he spent five years before gaining a position as a trainee photographer on the paper in 1981.
He joined the paper's sister, the Yorkshire Post in 1988 before emigrating to Australia in 1990 to work for the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). He has photographed sport full time for the SMH for the past 16 years.
His honours list boasts eight World Press Photo Awards, including 1st prize in the Sports Action Stories in this year's contest. The following gallery showcases his winning series of images shot on the remote South Pacific island of Pentecost, Vanuatu.
The Extraordinary Land Diver of Pentecost
For three months of the year, on the remote South Pacific island of Pentecost, the tradition of land diving takes place. A tower is built from timber and vines collected from the hills around the jump site. Jumping takes place between March and June when the vines are strong. The death defying dives are performed each Saturday, or when tourist cruises visit the island throughout these months.
The local tribes around Lonohore gather to perform the land diving as a sporting spectacle for the tourists visiting the island. A vine is tied to each ankle of the divers (men and boys from the tribe) who then dive from different levels, some as high as 10 metres. They hurl themselves off the platform diving at the solid ground below and are saved only by the vines which pull them back just before they slam into the ground.
Land diving is an ancient tradition on the island and is now considered "professional" by the divers who are rewarded with the money paid by tourists visiting the site. But the money doesn't go to the individual; it goes to the village of the diver to help support that community. The divers are paid according to which jump level platform they dive off, which ranges from around AU$6 from the lowest platform to AU$30 for diving from the highest platform.
CNET.com.au's has teamed up with Canon to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a 450D Enthusiast kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS lens and a photography master class with Tim Clayton. Click here for all the competition details.