Capturing the stunning beauty of our coastline

The cover of the  2105/16 Northumberland Coast AONB Visitor Guide.'Photograph was taken by Andy Freeman.
The cover of the 2105/16 Northumberland Coast AONB Visitor Guide.'Photograph was taken by Andy Freeman.

The search is on for an image to represent Northumberland’s stunning coast.

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership is holding a photography competition to find a cover-shot for its 2016 Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide.

AONB cover photo'The 2013 winning image was taken by Robert Birnie.

AONB cover photo'The 2013 winning image was taken by Robert Birnie.

The winning picture will be featured on the front of 40,000 copies of the guide.

Coun John Woodman, chairman of the AONB Partnership, who helped to judge last year’s competition, said: “First impressions count, so it is really important to have a stunning front cover that will encourage visitors to pick up a copy and read it.”

The winner will not only have their photograph on the front cover but will also receive £150 worth of vouchers to spend at Stait Photo of Morpeth and Hexham. Stait Photo will also provide prizes for highly commended entries.

Ken Stait, from Stait Photo, said: “We are delighted to support this competition. The beautiful landscapes and seascapes of the Northumberland coast are justly popular with photographers from across the country. The quality of light during the day and the dark skies at night, along with the abundance of wildlife and historic features, make the AONB a photographer’s dream.”

Waves at Amble looking towards Coquet Island off the Northumberland Coast'Picture by Jane Coltman

Waves at Amble looking towards Coquet Island off the Northumberland Coast'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Gazette has teamed up with the Partnership to promote the competition.

Paul Larkin, editor of the Johnston Press Northumberland titles, the Northumberland Gazette, Morpeth Herald, Berwick Advertiser and News Post Leader, said: “We are delighted to be part of the competition to find an iconic image for the 2016 Northumberland Coast Visitor Guide.

“In our opinion, Northumberland is the jewel in the crown of Britain’s coastline and what better way to celebrate that than with a competition to find an eye-catching picture for the front page.

“The winning photograph will get an incredible exposure, if you pardon the pun, and we would encourage all photographers to get out, explore the coast and keep an eye open for that special image.”

Ice on the Holy Island causeway on the Northumberland Coast'Picture by Jane Coltman

Ice on the Holy Island causeway on the Northumberland Coast'Picture by Jane Coltman

Jane Coltman, image manager for Johnston Press Northumberland titles and one of the judges, said: “It’s great that this competition is open to locals and visitors alike and I can’t wait to see the fantastic images that I know will be submitted from people who, like me, love the Northumberland coast.”

The image on the front cover of the current Visitor Guide was taken by Andy Freeman, from Cheshire, of his son, Ben, looking out from Dunstanburgh Castle.

Andy said: “It’s great to think that 40,000 copies of my shot have now been reproduced on the cover of the Visitor Guide, I hope it conveys how much fun kids can have in the castles around Northumberland whilst, hopefully, learning something too.”

Photos submitted can be of virtually anything, but to be eligible, the photo must have been taken within the Northumberland Coast AONB in 2015. Images need to be submitted in an electronic format and be of a high enough resolution to be used on the cover of the guide. More advice, previous visitor guide covers and the full set of rules are on the AONB website www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org The closing date for entries is October 1.