Morpeth Camera Club
At the meeting of Morpeth Camera Club on November 20, Peter Maguire, a member of Gosforth Camera Club, visited to present the results of the club’s Browell Natural History competition.
In this competition members were invited to enter up to three digital images in colour and/or monochrome, the main criteria being that subjects must be in a wild or natural setting and that they should not include pets, farm animals or captive animals, including those in zoos or wildlife parks.
Among the 52 images were Burnett and humming bird moths, tortoishell and swallowtail butterflies, a bright green bush cricket, a variety of seabirds including guillemots, black headed gulls, arctic terns, curlews, shags and swans.
Several varieties of fungi, balcony, grey capped mushrooms and woodland whites followed, which led to Peter advising that although woodland flora and fauna should have a sense of place, the background should not detract from the subject.
Also included were puffins jumping, soaring and flying towards the camera; an unusual Austrian black squirrel, a ‘starling choir’ on telegraph lines resembling a stave, and a sea anemone and giant jellyfish stranded on the shore.
Before announcing his results, Peter stressed the importance of depth of field, which plays a vital part in judging natural history, adding that when judging photographs of birds he concentrates on sharpness in the plumage and a catch light in the eye.
Highly Commended places were given to Alan Barker for his Great Spotted Woodpecker for its great viewport and sharpness; Paul Appleby for Zebra Spider with Prey which, for a very speedy insect was well captured; Winter Robin by Alan Barker for its sharp plumage, seasonal aspect and good proportions; and Karin Jackson with Puffin, which Peter admired for its detail in all aspects.
Fifth place was awarded to Glyn Trueman with Precision Landing, a lone guillemot landing among many others, appreciated for its great exposure and feather detail. In fourth was Christine Wilson with Goat’s Beard, Peter liked its graphic quality in sharp mono and detailed feathery effect.
Mark Harrison was awarded third place with Male Bull Finch. The judge said it had all the attributes of a bird portrait, a good catch light in the eye, the salmon pink feathers contrasted perfectly with the sharp green foliage. Fox, by Alan Barker, was second for its fur detail, catch light in the eyes and pin sharp whiskers.
The winner of the Browell Natural History trophy was Karin Jackson with Shag. The judge said that although there were other images of shags in the competition, this one hit the spot.
Its unusual composition of the bird preening its feathers with an arched neck, highlighted the bottle green and purple feathers together with a nicely out of focus background.
For details about the club, visit www.morpethcameraclub.co.uk