The art of great landscape shots

Morpeth Camera Club

Sunday, 1st January 2017, 4:00 pm
Cuith-Raing by Glyn Trueman.

On Tuesday, November 29, the club welcomed back Anne Swearman to judge the annual Bates Cup (PDI Landscape) Competition.

Anne, a member of Whitley Bay Photographic Society, an experienced judge and an accomplished landscape photographer, opened the evening by defining the meaning of landscape as “part of the earth’s surface”, and entries could also include seascapes and cityscapes.

Silver Lake Sunset by Paul Appleby.

She went on to analyse what she was looking for in a landscape — the image, first of all, should be technically correct, have good controlled light and have a three-dimensional feeling, and it must exude atmosphere.

She expects to take a comfortable journey around the elements of an image as this suggests considered composition.

Going through the 69 images, the judge gave constructive advice, suggesting that the use of a square format or cropping can add strength to a composition, good light in the middle distance can add depth, and the use of monochrome adds drama to barren landscapes.

She admired the use of diagonal dry stone walls, recession of hills, lead-in lines of paths, hedges and groynes, and low mist, which gave a ghostly, ethereal quality.

Silver Lake Sunset by Paul Appleby.

She was glad to see objects in images, which provided scale to mountains and sand dunes, also elements which gave the feeling of distance, such as sharp foreground colours fading to softness on the horizon and well placed rocks in the foreground to lead the eye into the scene.

Graphic geometric shapes and diagonal lines of cityscapes and cornfield patterns receding into the distance also provided Anne with the three-dimensional quality she was looking for.

She continued by announcing the highly commended places, which went to Paul Saint for Shades of Green, Marina Morning by Chris Randall, Myra Jackson for Dead Vlei, Greenleighton Moor by Peter Hetherington, Misty Mountain by Chris Randall, and Perthscape by Bryan Morris.

Fifth place was awarded to Stephanie Robson for Lake View, and in fourth place was Paul Appleby, a new member of Morpeth Camera Club, with Skye Splash.

Third place went to Glyn Trueman with Cuith-Raing, and second place was awarded to Mark Harrison with Preston Old Mill.

And the winner of this year’s Bates Cup Landscape competition was Paul Appleby with Silver Lake Sunset.

Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Anne for her comments and suggestions, which were most welcome.

After the judging and the main business of the evening, coffee was served as usual.

For further information regarding the club, its programme and gallery, please visit our website at

Please note that anyone is welcome to attend three meetings with no obligation to join the club. There is, however, a small cover charge.

The club meets most Tuesdays between September and May in Morpeth Methodist Church.