Exchange trip was picture perfect

Morpeth Camera Club''Looking towards Simonside by Steve McDonald
Morpeth Camera Club''Looking towards Simonside by Steve McDonald

Morpeth Camera Club

On Monday, December 1, members travelled to Ponteland on an exchange visit to Ponteland Photographic Society.

Its chair, Veronica Congleton, welcomed the visitors and said that the society members were looking forward to being entertained by their friends from Morpeth.

Davy Bolam opened the evening with his presentation entitled ‘Smokin’, which included a colourful selection of his smoke effect images. As it went on, he explained his techniques, use of unusual effects and different stages of progress which resulted in atmospheric, eerie, multiple image designs.

Dave Illingworth was next with a series of images taken of the canals of Birmingham, explaining how the revitalisation of the canal network had retained original features resulting in busy canal life.

There were pictures of colourful wood burning and coke fired barges, locks, eateries, moorings, stables, bridges and warehouses, which illustrated the transformation of a former derelict area into a vibrant urban city environment.

Dave Bisset’s presentation was entitled ‘The Changing Tyne’, with photographs taken from its source on the North and South Tyne and through Kielder, frosty scenes in Bellingham, Alston, Chollerford, the Langley Viaduct and the Scotswood Bridge as well as detailed images of the Tyne Bridges.

Additional photograph subjects included low tide detritus, the industrial Tyne, cranes, Fishermans Wharf, fishing boats and the river mouth.

Two audio visual presentations by Stephanie Robson followed.

The first one, entitled ‘Observations’, was a catalogue of colourful, quirky images of graffiti and general observations of street life, while her second presentation ‘Colourful France’ depicted the vibrant, busy and colourful qualities of French markets and the pastel hues of the coastal regions – both were accompanied by appropriate music for the subject.

Vince Rooker presented a wide variety of images, including the Angel of the North from unusual angles, sea views from South Shields, modern sculpture, Belgian war graves and the amazing war memorials from many counties commemorating the fallen.

Well known for his beautiful still life photographs, he did not disappoint. With the use of only window light, he succeeds in producing pin sharp images of fruit, flowers and still life.

Glyn Trueman presented ‘Birds and Buildings’ and his pictures of woodland and sea birds, owls, gannets, swans, shags on the Farnes, guillemots on the Shetlands, excavating puffins, Arctic terns in flight, seals, dolphins and sanderlings at Druridge Bay were among the excellent images in his selection.

Architectural shapes, chimney pots, the colourful Salford Quays, abstract shapes of bridges and reflections and colourful abstract interiors concluded his presentation.

The final presentation was from Steve McDonald. His stunning night time images included upturned boats on Holy Island, star trails at Wallington, the Northern Lights, the Milky Way over Bamburgh Castle and crystal clear images of the Moon.

The Ponteland Photographic Society chair thanked the visitors for an entertaining evening and Mr McDonald concluded by thanking the society for its hospitality and stating that the club was looking forward to its exchange visit to Morpeth in the New Year.

• On Tuesday, December 2, Morpeth Camera Club welcomed Tynemouth Camera Club member Robin Sinton to judge the club’s annual Bates Cup Landscape PDI competition.

A total of 62 images were submitted and he went through each one, explaining how good cropping and the careful use of depth of field can enhance landscape photography. Although many of the pictures were acceptable, he was looking for that extra element which would make the final placings.

Many of the photographs were taken in the middle of the day, so he suggested that authors return to the location at a different time of day, preferably the evening when the light is at its best and will produce the shadows and highlights needed for a good landscape image.

There were a wide variety of locations and subjects chosen, including snow scenes, Scottish lochs and rivers, waterfalls, misty moorlands, frosty fields at dawn, glowing heather, white sands at Budle Bay, coastal graveyards, churches, castles and urban landscapes.

After much consideration, Mr Sinton gave Highly Commended awards to Brian Morris for ‘The Church at Underbarrow’ and ‘Lakeland View’, Mark Harrison’s ‘Tomasson Force’ image and ‘Iron Gate Gorge’, which was taken by Sue Dawson.

Mr Morris was fifth with his ‘Farmhouse, The Lakes’ picture, fourth went to ‘Under Saltburn Pier’ by Mr Harrison and ‘Electric Wind’ by Chris Randall was the image in third place.

Second was awarded to Steve McDonald for ‘Looking towards Simonside’ and John Barnes was the winner of the 2014 Bates Cup Landscape PDI competition with his photograph entitled ‘End of the Pier’.

Morpeth Camera Club vice chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Mr Sinton for taking the time to judge so many pictures and for his advice and constructive comments.