Prizes given out to club photographers

Morpeth Camera Club

Monday, 25th March 2019, 3:26 pm
Beauty Of Decay by Davy Bolam.

On Tuesday, February 12, Mavis McCormick, a member of Hexham and District Photographic Society, kindly agreed to view, comment upon and announce the results of the club’s Second Open Colour and Monochrome Print Competitions.

Mavis is well known for her quirky, offbeat images produced in Photoshop so we were looking forward to her views on the 67 entries she was charged to judge.

Starting with the monochrome section, we saw alternative sculpture, architecture, landscapes, glowing street lamps, charging horses, a shiny detailed shot of a Harley Davidson, lofty viaducts, impressionistic woodland, portraits, still life, pattern pictures of coiled rope and linea images of metal and glass.

Mavis was pleased to see some alternative mounting methods of vertical, letterbox and square formats, and she gave advice on tonal quality, especially in monochrome images.

She went on to announce her four highly commended places — Finding His Feet by Davy Bolam; Votes For Women, also by Davy; Puffy Billy by Sue Dawson; and V&A by Roseanne Robinson.

Mavis said that all of her high placings were good, but after much consideration she awarded fifth place to Sue Dawson for Hexham Abbey, with its strong detail in the screen, roof arches and stained glass windows.

Fourth place went to Davy Bolam with Avenue Of Trees, which Mavis said was “all about the light”. It was crisp and had great tonal range.

Third place was given to Sue Dawson with Off Before The Storm, a view of Edinburgh under dark clouds, taken from Arthur’s Seat, which Mavis said “had so much to like about it”, with the highly detailed city together with the sharp detail of people running from the storm in the foreground.

Holy Island, by Pat Wood, was given second place. It was a simple version, Mavis said, with the upturned boat and castle creating a mirror image.

And the winner of the Second Monochrome Print Competition was Paul Appleby with Are We There Yet, which the judge said she had liked from the start. It showed a group of people on a bus, all with different expressions, which Mavis said had a great storytelling quality.

Next was the Colour Section, which opened with a lovely, soft image of a bluebell with a suggestion of pastel blue and green in the background.

A still life followed of an old kitchen scene, muted colours a city corner café, a vibrant abstract of swirls in a vortex in red, yellow and blue, a dried rose, protesters at Grey’s Monument, a scene of an incoming storm at Amble, and a kaleidoscope of colours from a lighthouse lantern.

Formal gardens, rape seed fields, portraits, Chinese lanterns, memorials, a detailed tractor wheel, a peeling sad window frame, a quintessential English country scene and an abandoned barn among soft grasses contrasting with a Lakeland farmhouse surrounded by lush green meadows were also among the entries.

The highly commended places went to Alistair Cooper with Lichen, which Mavis said was detailed, bright and realistic; Fountains Abbey Tower by Glyn Trueman, which was “like a painting”; Returning Home by Dave Bisset, a charming puffin in flight, offset to the left to give the impression of movement across the scene; and Confirmation Day by Roseanne Robinson, a lone girl with a look of apprehension, which Mavis admired for the silkiness of her dress and lovely light on her hair.

Mavis went on to announce her personal best five photographs.

In fifth place was Peter Downs with Decay, peeling paint on a windowsill, which Mavis liked for its grittiness.

Fourth place went to Peter again with St Mary’s Lighthouse, which she said was unusual, with filtered colours, which Mavis said worked well and almost looked futuristic.

Roseanne Robson was given third place for Physalis On Wood, the judge saying that this is what photography was all about and that Roseanne had captured the paper softness of the flower in great light.

Davy Bolam was given second place with Silver Birch Wood In Autumn, a stand of silver birch among saplings and wild flowers, which Mavis loved for its wonderful bark detail and use of paper, which she said added softness to the scene.

And the winner of the Second Open Colour Competition was also Davy Bolam with Beauty Of Decay, a boarded up window with peeling paint surround. She said that it was all about the presentation; on lovely textured paper, soft tones and textures, but had still maintained detail in the decay.

Mark Harrison, Chairman, thanked Mavis for her constructive comments, after which members were able to look more closely at all of the entries placed around the room, while taking coffee.

Morpeth Camera Club meets each Tuesday between September and May in Morpeth Methodist Church in Howard Terrace, at 7.30pm.

All are welcome and there is a varied programme of speakers, ‘in house’ evenings and competitions.

Its aim is for members to enjoy themselves and improve their photography skills. Members are interested in all types of photography — landscape work, portraiture, flowers, close-up, audio visual, etc.

For more information about the club and its various activities, visit the website at