Morpeth camera club
Throughout the season, Morpeth Camera Club holds competitions for members to enter their photographs and receive constructive critique from a recognised judge. On Tuesday, February 9, Dave Richardson, of Ryton Camera Club, accepted the challenge to judge the first Open PDI Competition.
Mr Richardson, who has been a member of his club for 30 years, said it was a privilege to have been asked to judge. He looks forward to judging open competitions as it is exciting to see what is included in the selection, but it is also challenging due to there being such a wide variety of subjects.
And there was a variety of images, including well-caught action shots of racing cyclists and runners, a silhouetted busker in a colourful park, old Tanfield trains, a distant house on moorland, a hen with chicks, bright blue shirts on a washing line against orange walls and rally cross drivers creating massive dust clouds.
Pictures of Oxborough Castle reflected in its moat, a dramatic back-lit image of daffodils, shore erosion, patterns on Amble beach, a passion flower and a stunning group of snowdrops were also entered.
Mr Richardson gave helpful suggestions regarding cropping, especially with foregrounds, and said that a letterbox format could often enhance a landscape, but it was the author’s choice.
The judge admired the quality and tone of a Derwentwater jetty, the variation of light falling on a white sunlit flower, and a lake house shot in early morning mist amidst frosty trees. He appreciated an inventive, shattered, backlit window, an artistic window display of a mannequin in variations of pink, a charming portrait of a boy with golden curls, a pastel toned straw sunhat, a stark Icelandic waterside village and a Lowryesque scene of walkers in sea fret.
Highly commended choices were Pat Wood for Watching You, a study of a barn owl; Last Light by Steve McDonald, the sun setting over mountains; Barn Owl Taking Off by Myra Jackson; and Grebes at Sunset by Stephanie Robson, a red sun reflected in water with silhouetted grebes in the foreground.
Fifth was Montbretia in Ice by Davy Bolam, a shot of frozen Montbretia in sharp textured detail. Fourth place went to Steve McDonald with How the Other Half Lives, a colourful image of yachts contrasting with simple street life in Venice. Third place was awarded to Elaine Illingworth for Long Eared Owl, a detailed image of an owl against tree bark, and second place went to Davy Bolam with Maelstrom, water recorded with movement, an abstract depiction which the judge said had simple beauty and great appeal.
The winner was Gordon Hine for Majesty. Mr Richardson explained that the image expressed grandeur and authority. He especially admired the fur detail and the wetness and light reflected in the eyes.
Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked the judge for his time, effort and generous advice given throughout.
For further information regarding the club, its programme and gallery, please visit our website at www.morpethcameraclub.co.uk