Club Meeting, 1st Open Print Competition - Tuesday 15th November 2016.

On Tuesday 15th November 2016, Peter Downs LRPS, a Northern Counties Photographic Federation judge and fellow member
of Morpeth Camera Club, kindly stepped in to judge the 1st Open Print competition of the season. Members had been invited
to submit up to three prints in both the colour & monochrome sections and over the last few weeks Peter had studied these
entries before returning to comment on each print and announce his award winners.

He started by saying that authors may consider that he was being ‘picky’ on occasions but this was because of the exceptional
standard of work submitted in both sections. Included in the 46 prints shown in the Colour Section were dramatic seascapes,
pastoral scenes, lone and clustered poppies, majestic castles and bridges, abstract portraits, farm machinery, meandering
woodland streams and a vibrant abstract shot of a peacock feather. Peter explained that he was looking for dynamic colour
rendition and tonal range, well chosen printing paper to compliment the subject and an appropriate choice of cropping and
format. On occasions distractive power lines and objects at the edges of compositions, which can take the eye away from
the subject, were pointed out and taken into consideration when judging.

Following this criteria Peter awarded Highly Commended positions to Sue Dawson for Riding into the Sunset, Paul Saint for
Phone Home, Little Sands by Vince Rooker and Watch the Birdie by Glyn Trueman. Fifth place was awarded to Davy Bolam
for Connections - Mother and Son, fourth place went to Alistair Cooper for Outside Kiasma, Derelict Beauty by Davy Bolam
a scene of abandoned buildings in muted bronzes and greys, attained third place. St Mary’s Island by Glyn Trueman, a simple, letterbox format scene of the lighthouse silhouetted in evening light came second and the winner of this years 1st Open Colour
Print competition was Vince Rooker with Barley Vase, a lovely still life toned composition of a vase of barley surrounded by
forest nuts and pinecones.

    1st  2nd  3rd

The Monochrome Section which attracted 41 entries included examples of abstract architecture with dramatic struts, lines
and angles, the Forth Road Bridge over milky water, shadowy pedestrians in a piazza, textured rooftops, sepia toned woodland, pastoral scenes with deer, moody portraits, a striking ‘Dylanesque’ portrait of a busker, a lovely sepia toned scene of Dutch windmills, a reflected derelict boat with dark skies, dramatic rib racers, a rusting tank among long grass, a soft focussed
wartime lookout post set in dunes, abstract patterns of coiled rope and a spiral staircase.

In judging the monochrome section, Peter stated that in his opinion, the use of gloss paper was not always the best option,
especially in portraiture; a matt or textured paper can often enhance the mood and atmosphere of a subject. Occasionally
he pointed out instances where prints, in his opinion, had been too large for the mount and vice versa, and added that
together with alternative cropping options one can improve the overall effect of work submitted for competition.
Highly commended places were awarded for Remembered by Myra Jackson, Cloistered Spire by Lionel Bryan, Coming Back
by Glyn Trueman and The Fugitive by Vince Rooker. In fifth place was Plockton by Vince Rooker, fourth place went to Glyn
Trueman with Fairy Pools, third place was given to All That Remains by Mark Harrison, a moody shot of a dilapidated landing platform set in milky water. Peter then placed the two images which were to be awarded second and first place side by side
on the stand and told the audience that he had thought hard and long about these two images, finding it very difficult to
choose between them. Finally he had chosen for second place, Street Scene, A different View, a view taken from above of
a town square, with stone slabs, street furniture and a lone person forming a striking abstract image by Davy Bolam. So it
was quite understandable why Peter had such difficulty in choosing between the two, as the other photograph was also by
Davy and was selected to win the mono section entitled Winter Trees, a scene of tall trees reflected in water explaining
that it was different, and that one could almost sense the cold atmosphere of this winter scene.

    1st  2nd  3rd

Chairman, Glyn Trueman thanked Peter for undertaking the task of judging so many photographs with a wide variation of
subject matter, all of which were displayed around the room for members to enjoy in close up, after which coffee was served.