So many skills on show in club contests

The winner of the Colour Section Still Life.
The winner of the Colour Section Still Life.

Morpeth Camera Club

On Tuesday, January 23, Morpeth Camera Club welcomed Bill Broadley, a member of Blyth Photographic Society, to announce the results of the Set Subject print competitions.

In two categories, People on the Street in Monochrome and Still Life in Colour, Bill stated that he had expected a high standard of prints from Morpeth members, and he was not disappointed as he had great difficulty selecting his award winners.

On judging the prints his main criteria was adhering to the brief, use of good cropping, contrast and composition, together with crispness and clarity.

In the monochrome section, which had 35 entries, the prints included street entertainers at the Edinburgh Fringe, scenes taken in Vietnam and at Beamish, people using their mobile phones, using umbrellas in the rain, and people tucking into lunch on benches.

Bill continued with suggested tips on street photography. If possible achieve eye contact with the subject to create a connection, eliminate objects that are not relevant, and try to leave a space for people to walk into.

Highly commended awards went to Davy Bolam for Entertaining the Crowd, which Bill admired for the expressions of the onlookers’ faces; Sue Dawson with Caffeine And Tabs Diet, which told a story and prompted curiosity; Steve McDonald for Beware The Plunger Of Doom, a graffiti-based shot that Bill said was well thought through; and Glyn Trueman’s Three Mobiles, a graphic scene of three people on mobile phones with a backdrop of iron panels.

Fifth place went to Paul Appleby with Pause In The Flow For Snapshot. It showed a man taking a photograph of his children, with varying levels of movement of others in shot, but which retained razor sharpness where needed and had great tones, which were lifted by the use of metallic paper.

In fourth place was Davy Bolam with Street Performer, Human Statue, which Bill found intriguing, and together with its excellent tones, he said he could almost feel the texture of the highly detailed face.

Scam Donors, by Steve McDonald, was awarded third place, a documentary photograph of a man in sharp detail in the rain with a newspaper on his head, surrounded by a suggestion of other people around him.

At The Sign Of The Cordwainer, also by Steve, came second. A couple in the rain drew one into the scene, Bill said, with great depth and light, which he described as a technically good print.

Bill then declared the winner of the monochrome section of the Set Subject competition Sue Dawson with The Look Of Love In Your Eyes. Graffiti-daubed walls and steps leading to a subway led the viewer down to musicians playing and a couple gazing at each other, which Bill admired for its crisp tones, and, in his opinion, it best fitted his criteria.

The colour section, which had 26 entries, included an abandoned umbrella, World War I memorabilia, floral and fruit displays, an abstract tambourine shot with bokeh effect, a bad pencil with shavings and broken lead remains, abstract red peppers and a glass vase trio in filtered turquoise and pink.

Bill offered advice on depth of field and grouping, and he considered shaping of objects, especially with flowers.

He added that he appreciated the very good ideas and images submitted, which were of a very high standard.

He then announced the Highly Commended prints — Davy Bolam’s Simple Study, a bottle, fruit and flowers in orange and brown, which he admired for its watercolour effect; Beach Pebbles by Steve McDonald, pebbles stacked to form a triangular shape with a colour popped brown leaf, held Bill’s attention to its simplicity; Light and Shadow by Davy Bolam, a study of an apple and pear, which was liked for its textures, colours and clarity; and Glyn Trueman’s Boiled Egg, a boiled egg supported by tines of two forks linked together, all reflected in perfect symmetry.

Fifth place went to Dave Bisset with Three Feathers, showing three detailed peacock feathers, perfectly focussed in good light, which Bill described as technically spot-on.

Pomodori, by Sue Dawson, was placed fourth. It depicted a can of tomatoes with the contents flying out, which the judge described as very clever and creative and had a great sense of movement.

Glossy Cherries, by Paul Appleby, was awarded third place, showing a tightly cropped group of dew laden cherries, which Bill said looked so juicy he could eat them, and he praised a great use of depth of field.

Three Fruits, by Sue Dawson, was given second place, Bill describing it as a piece of artwork with a pear, mango and halved kiwi fruit simply presented, with great use of shape and form.

Bill then announced the winner of the colour section Still Life as Sue Dawson, with Cheese And Wine Party.

He felt as soon as it came out of the box that it was a winner, with all the elements tying together, perfectly exposed and razor sharp. Bill said that it had the quality of a magazine illustration.

Club Chairman Mark Harrison thanked Bill for taking the time to judge and for his technical advice throughout the evening, after which members enjoyed viewing the collection of prints over coffee.

For further information about the camera club visit www.morpethcameraclub.co.uk