Variety makes for tough judging

Tea Break, by Pat Wood, the winner of Morpeth Camera Club's First Open Print Competition colour section.
Tea Break, by Pat Wood, the winner of Morpeth Camera Club's First Open Print Competition colour section.

Morpeth Camera Club

On November 17, Morpeth Camera Club welcomed Mavis McCormick LRPS, of Hexham Photographic Society, to judge the First Open Print Competition where members can submit images without having to adhere to restraints of subject.

Ms McCormick stressed that she would have liked to have given more highly commended awards as entries were of such a varied and interesting nature.

Thirty-seven prints in the colour section included an abstract study of fishing nets, a sunlit church interior, a couple silhouetted against a gold and blue sunset, a lone swan gliding across a lake, crisp blue ice floes, a detailed image of Pont Vecchio, a barn owl taking flight, angular cityscapes, and a pattern picture of multi-coloured umbrellas.

Highly commended awards were given to Davy Bolam for Montbretia on Ice and Winter Light, Streets of Venice by Steve McDonald, and Sunset on the Forth by Mark Harrison. Fifth place went to Dave Illingworth for Wet Day in Edinburgh, and fourth to John Barnes for Fallen Leaves. Aviator Man, by Chris Earl, a photograph of figures reflected in aviator sunglasses, was awarded third, Tranquil Blyth Beach, by Steve McDonald, a misty image of groynes and sand at sunset, received second place, and the winner was Pat Wood for Tea Break, a detailed photograph an engine driver at Tanfield holding a tea mug.

With 31 prints in the monochrome section, Ms McCormick admired the beautiful tonal ranges in entries, which included an abandoned oil tank, a sepia toned car wreck, a reflected ruined castle, droplets from a fountain against stormy skies, the Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel, Iona Cloisters, a sweeping double helix patterned print and a steam train emerging from a tunnel.

She awarded highly commended to Elaine Illingworth for Under the Tyne, Charles Scribners Sons by Chris Earl, Chess by Steve McDonald, and Fear of Following by Peter Downs. Davy Bolam was in fifth place for The Jetty, and fourth place went to Peter Downs for Langdale Pike. Three Blooms, a portrayal of flowers gently lit by the sun, gave Vince Rooker third place, with second place, for Winter Hide-away, a lone cottage set in a snowy landscape, given to Davy Bolam. The winner was Steve McDonald for Little Owl, a photograph of an owl perched next to tree bark.

Chairman Glyn Truman thanked Ms McCormick for a detailed appraisal and constructive comments on so many photographs, which were then displayed.

Morpeth Camera Club would like to thank all who attended its Big Event, which was a resounding success. A big thank you to all sponsors and to those who generously donated to its chosen charity, Henry Dancer Days, and to Morpeth Methodist Church for being so helpful and accommodating.

For further information regarding Morpeth Camera Club, visit

Anyone is welcome to attend three meetings with no obligation to join. However, there is a small cover charge for each visit.