Commendations all round for club prints

Etherial Woods by Mark Harrison.
Etherial Woods by Mark Harrison.

Morpeth Camera Club

Guest judge Keith Suddaby came to Morpeth Camera Club on November 6 to give his comments on the prints submitted to the club’s first Open Print Competition of the season and to select his award winners.

Keith began by saying that there were so many commendable prints in the collection it was hard for him to whittle down the final nine places, and this was the case in both the colour and monochrome sections.

Among the diverse subject matter in the monochrome section was a forest carving, seascapes with big, thunderous clouds, statuary depicting war heroes, wildlife, shapes and patterns, and street scenes.

Keith went on to announce his four Highly Commended places and provided reasons for his choice.

Firstly, Paul Saint with Wreck at Corpach was chosen for its powerful sky and foreground.

Davy Bolam, with Treescape Different View, a viewpoint looking up to branches that converge in the centre, was also recognised as the picture worked well, with lead-in lines from each corner.

Rough Hewn, a statue of a miner, by Sue Dawson, was admired for its grittiness, which Keith said provided a voice for this area.

Looking for the Next Picture, by Glyn Trueman, a silhouette of a photographer standing on patterned tiles, was a simple, but storytelling image, the judge said.

Fifth place was also awarded to Glyn for Crossrail Place, a photograph of a symmetrical walkway with merging angular walls, which the judge said was clean and crisp, and visually satisfying.

In fourth place was Christine Wilson, with Goatsbeard, a delicate seed-head printed on silver-effect paper, which Keith said added magic to the delicate plant.

Through the Round Window by Dave Bisset was given third place. It was a photograph of a porthole-shaped mirror reflecting diners in a restaurant area, which the judge described as powerful.

Second place was awarded to Mark Harrison for Storm Approaching. This showed limestone pavements with a lone tree below dramatic skies, which Keith said was memorable and a very satisfying picture.

And the winner of the 2018 first Open Monochrome Print Competition was Ethereal Woods, by Mark Harrison. The picture showed woodland in the mist, which Keith admired because the photographer had used the mist to create a mystical presence.

The Colour section included images of Robin of Pegswood at sunset, impressionistic poppies, steam engines, dramatic cloud formations, an unusual abstract flowerscape and ancient archways.

There was an Ansel Adams take on a vending machine, local scenes, birds of prey, weathered shutters and muted seascapes.

Keith’s four Highly Commended choices followed, with Filling up, by Alan Harle, chosen for its pictorial quality of steam encircling the engine driver.

Dennis Locorriere, by Alistair Cooper, showed the Dr Hook guitarist in spotlight, which would not have been easy to capture.

Going Home, by Glyn Trueman, was a glass covered, curving walkway, which had a pleasing quality of colour.

And Winter Sky, again by Alan Harle, was of snowy hills under wonderful skies. Keith said he could almost feel the crispness of the scene.

Fifth place was given to Davy Bolam for Figure in a Street, a scene of a man with an umbrella, which appealed to the judge, who said it was photography turned into impressionism.

In fourth place was Glyn Truman with View from Tynemouth Lighthouse, a view of the town, which Keith liked for its unusual circular format, achieved by using a fisheye lens.

Davy Bolam’s Simple Still Life gained third place, with three tulips in a vase, which Keith said had been turned into a work of art and was simple and strong.

Second place was given to Dave Bisset for Arctic Tern. It showed a lone tern in flight, which the judge thought was a perfect piece of photography, beautifully presented.

And the winner of this year’s first Open Colour Print competition was John Barnes with The Patriot. It showed three figures behind a Union flag, which was singled out for its great treatment and muted saturation.

Keith said that it took effort to create simplicity and that we should be all recording life as it is now in our world. Photographs such as this will be valued and remembered long into the future.

Chairman Mark Harrison thanked Keith for his considered opinions on this tough set of prints, and for his constructive advice, upon which club members can build.

Each print was exhibited around the room for a closer view, after which coffee was enjoyed. It was a very enjoyable evening at the club.

For further information about Morpeth Camera Club and its programme, visit the website www.morpethcameraclub.co.uk

The current programme includes presentations by much respected photographers, teaching sessions on digital techniques, practical nights and social evenings.

The aim of the club is for members to enjoy themselves and to improve their photographic skills.

Prospective new members are welcome to attend three meetings with no obligation to join the club. However, there is a small cover charge for each visit, which includes tea or coffee and biscuits.