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Music, laughter and knock-outs at club

Morpeth Camera Club. Passing Storm Holy Island. Davy Bolam
Morpeth Camera Club. Passing Storm Holy Island. Davy Bolam

Morpeth Camera Club

Morpeth Camera Club held a fun knock-out competition, where images were randomly projected two at a time and the audience invited to choose their favourite to go into the next round.

The 80 images on view covered a wide variety of subjects.

The first round appeared relatively easy as one is inclined to choose a photograph that appeals personally.

Images of cyclists vied with skydivers, a still life with a toucan in flight, a leopard was placed next to a flower, and a crocodile was next to a train. A mandarin duck, church interiors, a rusty steam iron at a French market, landscapes, waterfalls, graffiti, flowers, street life, studio portraits and wildlife were also among the eclectic contributions.

With Chairman Mark Harrison controlling the computer and Vice Chairman John Barnes presenting, there was plenty of cheeky banter, but as the rounds progressed it became more important to choose an image that demonstrated thought, imagination and expertise.

In round two tgroans were heard when two favourites were pitched against each other.

Round three saw a silhouetted lady placed next to a church interior, a red fox and sand patterns, an owl vying with the Holy Island causeway, and waterfalls versus a hummingbird.

Then we came to the semi-final, with an image of a girl looking over green rolling hills by Roseanne Robinson competing with an atmospheric shot of a steam train by Alan Harle, then Morpeth’s Telford Bridge and St George’s Church from the snowy river bank by Sue Dawson, and an atmospheric image of Holy Island causeway by Davy Bolam.

There was a strong contrast between the two final, with the audience opting for Davy’s causeway as the winner and Alan’s steam train runner-up.

John thanked all who took part, adding that both the final images were excellent.

• At the first meeting of 2018, members enjoyed a wide variety of subjects in Audio Visual Night, where they showcased their work with music.

First was Sue Dawson’s first venture into the genre with Aspects of Northumberland. Set to traditional Northumbrian music, it included scenes of evening-lit stepping stones and churches in Morpeth, big skies over the Cheviots, bridges, villages, lakes, horse riders and stunning shots of castles, sand dunes, wild flowers and bird life.

It perfectly illustrated the beauty of Northumberland, prompting Chairman Mark Harrison to ask with our lovely scenery, why would anyone prefer to go abroad?

Next was Alan Barker, firstly with Watching Wildlife, which opened with Alan in a safari suit, a tiger walking past, followed by an elephant. The next scene showed him being eaten by a shark and was followed by beautiful shots of birds of prey, wildlife and animated birds. Mark commented on the great use of 3-D effects.

His next piece, entitled Pickering, included re-enactment shots of the Second World War set to 1940s music. On the station platform were spivs, women in jaunty hats, railway workers, old cars and service personnel. Mark said it was well-handled and contained no 21st century intrusions.

Alan concluded with Dogfight, a sharp, exciting piece that re enacted a wartime dog fight. The scramble bell was sounded, spitfires took off and, from a pilot’s point of view, enemy planes flew across the screen with sound effects of gunfire. It ended with pilots parachuting from their aircraft. Mark spoke of Alan’s extraordinary use of effects and transitions.

Glyn Trueman’s Isle of Skye was a gentle audio visual, set to Highland music, with views of a bridge at sunset, mountains in low cloud, rocky coves, towering cliffs, Old Man of Storr, Dunvegan Castle, seaweed, seals and waterfalls. Colourful coastal cottages were followed by seabirds in flight, and on the Strathaird Peninsular, an ancient graveyard. It was an atmospheric piece, which Mark said would make anyone want to return.

Paul Appleby’s All About Colours included vibrant shots taken in Italy, the Lakes, Manchester, and still life. There were colourful shots of Lucca’s Cathedral and Piazza, Livorno, Pisa’s Tower and Camposanto, terracotta roof tiles, a glowing cityscape of Florence and Pont Vecchio.

The Lake District followed with tranquil views of Elterwater, Grasmere, the Langdales, Rydalwater, golden bracken and waterfalls. Then there were evening views of Salford Quays, the Royal Exchange Theatre and Lowry Centre.

Pressed flowers, back-lit in vibrant colours, butterflies, autumn leaves, window boxes and colourful shutters concluded Paul’s presentation.

Stephanie Robson continued with I’m New. It opened with a group of already seen AV files lined up. A file, labelled ‘I’m New’, strutted across the screen and the others gathered around. It opened to show colourful images of graffiti, street signs, posters, bicycles, abstract statuary and unusual objects.

Mark then showed What I Did This Summer, which included steam rallies, Beamish, Durham, old wrecks and shacks, seabirds, butterflies and insects, The Sage roof reflections, River Tyne and Saltburn Pier.

He finished with a humorous AV of the club’s summer walks and studio portraits taken on portrait night.

The evening encouraged much conversation, with hints and tips on technique and composition, after which coffee was served.