Keeping it simple works wonders

Morpeth Camera Club. First, Flowering Beach Huts.
Morpeth Camera Club. First, Flowering Beach Huts.

Morpeth Camera Club

On November 14, Morpeth Camera Club held its first open print competition of the season.

This popular evening attracted 112 prints from 24 members, split into monochrome and colour.

The club had invited Keith Suddaby to assess the work. A renowned national judge and photographer of distinction, Keith said it was a pleasure to come out of semi-retirement to return to Morpeth, the club he joined when he moved to the North East from Southport.

Keith had viewed members’ work at home, and although his deliberations on the night were brief, due to the number of entries, they were to the point and meaningful, demonstrating that he had studied each print in great detail.

Starting with the monochrome entries, he commented on the quality of work and said he could have given many awards, but was restricted to selecting four highly commended and his top five. Looking for prints with punch or impact, he extolled the virtues of black blacks and white whites when printing.

He stated that the use of the histogram, with levels and saturation sliders, can make a big difference, and that with little effort one can dramatically change the feel of an image.

A huge variety of subjects saw Keith offer advice on backgrounds, framing and composition.

He described some prints as “busy” and suggested that we should consider simplicity and look at what to exclude and leave in a photograph. Portraiture, studio work, architecture, natural history, landscapes, trees and water had all been beautifully captured, but to his eye had remained “record shots” as he felt they lacked engagement.

Keith awarded Highly Commended to Monster In The Woods by Dave Bisset, Ogling Owls by Roseanne Robinson, M.I.T by Chris Earl and Jubilee Bridge by Glyn Trueman.

Fifth went to I’m Watching You by Myra Jackson, fourth to Overview by Sue Dawson, third to Navigation Posts by Peter Downs, and second to The Old Man of Storr by Steve McDonald. First was Naughty Boy by Chris Earl.

Moving on to colour prints, Keith praised the high standard and said that a judge really appreciates seeing good work.

He was again looking for strong colours, impact or drama and gave tips to get that “wow” factor. He looked for the ability to tell a story or have a strong focal point. Recording real life could make powerful or emotional statements, and sometimes just being different was enough to draw attention.

He awarded Highly Commended to The Fire Demon Escapes by Ken Godfrey, Watching by Alan Barker, Cross of Nails by Glyn Trueman and Cornfields and Mountain by Peter Downs.

Fifth went to The Meadow by Davy Bolam, fourth to Tommy by Mark Harrison, third to The Photographers by Glyn Trueman and second to Whitby Goths by Roseanne Robinson. First was Flowering Beach Huts by Chris Earl.

Keith was thanked by club chairman Mark Harrison.