Morpeth Camera Club
Dave Phillips, a member of the Hartlepool Photographic and Digital Group, kindly agreed to judge the club’s 2nd Open Print Competition on Tuesday, March 1.
A landscape and wildlife photographer specialising in the Lake District and the North of England, Dave has been Competition Secretary for his club since 1989 and took up judging shortly after.
He enjoyed judging the competition, but said it was not easy when it came to choosing the highly commended photographs as there were so many contenders.
Among the 38 entries in the colour section there was a wide variety of images — lone walkers on a pastel hued beach, a solitary fisherman on a sweeping riverside, skeletal trees against stormy clouds, a study of rope and rusty chains, bluebell woods, and majestic Kelpies.
Dave explained that he was looking for composition value, interesting viewpoints and an image that tells a story and encourages speculation.
He gave highly commended awards to Glyn Trueman for Buzzard, Davy Bolam for Smoke Trails and Street Musician, and Paul Saint for Kelpies. Fifth place went to Vince Rooker for Pink Tulip, and fourth was given to Oil Cans with Steam by Glyn Trueman.
Ice Flowers by Davy Bolam came third, Storm over Walkworth by Chris Earl was awarded second place, and the winner was Chris Earle with Bronzed Angel, a stunning cropped photograph of the Angel of the North. Dave liked the fact that, although there was only a section visible, it was instantly recognisable; the texture and light quality made it stand out.
Thirty-two images in the Mono Section followed, which included an incoming tidal scene with rocks leading the eye to Dunstanburgh Castle, Manhattan skyscapes, an upturned boat with Holy Island in the background, a study of a dandelion seed head, graffiti, a Sutcliffe inspired sepia-toned scene of lobster pots at Beadnel, a cityscape of the Gherkin, a moody rural scene on a misty morning and a portrait of a smiling Sri Lankan girl.
In portraiture Dave explained that he needed to see a connection between subject and author. In monochrome photographs he expected to see a good variety of tones and textures, and said that good printing was foremost in his decision making.
Highly commended awards were given to Lionel Bryan for Graffiti and Bikes, Copenhagen, Misty Morning, and Abandoned Stables by Davy Bolam. Fifth place was given to Chris Earle for Sri Lankan Smile, in fourth was Peter Downs with Three Benches, third was Davy Bolam with Kremlin View down Moskva River, and in second place was Letting Sparks Fly by Glyn Trueman.
The winner was Chris Earle with Uncle Tom, a gentleman resting on a bench, which Dave admired for the detail in the face. He said Chris had captured the character of the subject and it had made him inquisitive due to its excellent storytelling qualities.
Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Dave for his good, constructive comments and advice.