Morpeth Camera Club
As the original judge could not be available, Peter Downs, LRPS, a member of Morpeth Camera Club, kindly stepped in to judge the first Open Print Competition of the season.
Peter said that authors may consider that he was being ‘picky’, but this was because of the exceptional standard of prints submitted.
Included in the 46 images in the colour section were dramatic seascapes, pastoral scenes, poppies, castles and bridges, abstract portraits, farm machinery, streams and a vibrant abstract shot of a peacock feather.
He explained that he was looking for dynamic colour rendition and tonal range, well chosen printing paper and appropriate cropping and format. On occasions distractive objects, which can take the eye away from the subject, were pointed out.
Peter awarded Highly Commended positions to Sue Dawson for Riding into the Sunset, Paul Saint for Phone Home, Little Sands by Vince Rooker and Watch the Birdie by Glyn Trueman. Fifth place went to Davy Bolam for Connections, Mother and Son, fourth went to Alistair Cooper for Outside Kiasma, and Derelect Beauty by Davy Bolam attained third.
St Mary’s Island by Glyn Trueman came second, and the winner was Vince Rooker with Barley Vase, a still life, sepia toned composition of a vase of barley surrounded by nuts and pinecones.
The monochrome section, which attracted 41 entries, included abstract architecture, the Forth Road Bridge, pedestrians in a piazza, textured rooftops, woodland, pastoral scenes, moody portraits, a Dylanesque portrait of a busker, Dutch windmills, a reflected boat, a rusting tank, a soft focussed wartime lookout, and patterns of coiled rope.
Peter said the use of gloss paper was not always the best option, especially in portraiture, as a matt or textured paper can enhance the mood of a subject. Occasionally he pointed out instances where images had been too large for the mount and vice versa, adding that with alternative cropping one can improve the overall effect.
Highly commended places were awarded for Remembered by Myra Jackson, Cloistered Spire by Lionel Bryan, Coming Back by Glyn Trueman and The Fugitive by Vince Rooker. In fifth place was Plockton by Vince Rooker, fourth went to Glyn Trueman with Fairy Pools, and third was All That Remains by Mark Harrison.
Peter then placed the two images awarded second and first place side by side, saying he found it difficult to choose between them. Finally, in second place was Street Scene, A different View, taken from high above of a town square, by Davy Bolam.
The other photograph was also by Davy, entitled Winter Trees, a scene of tall trees reflected in water. One could almost sense the cold atmosphere of this winter scene.
Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Peter for undergoing the task of judging so many photographs with a wide variation of subject matter, all of which were displayed around the room for members to enjoy close up, after which coffee was served.