Club Meeting Report, 2nd Open Print Competition - Tuesday 1st March 2016.

On Tuesday 1st March 2016, Dave Phillips, a member of Hartlepool Photographic and Digital Group, kindly agreed to judge Morpeth Camera Clubs 2nd Open print Competition. A landscape and wildlife photographer specialising in the Lake District & the North of England, Dave has been Competition Secretary for his club since 1989 and took up judging soon after.

He opened the night by saying that he had enjoyed judging the competition but it was not easy when it came to choosing the final highly commended photographs as there were so many contenders.

Among the thirty eight entries in the Colour Section there was a wide variety of subjects, lone walkers on a pastel hued beach, a solitary fisherman on a sweeping riverside, skeletal trees set against stormy clouds, a study of rope and rusty
chains in bright green and orange, bluebell woods in vibrant blue and green and majestic Kelpies with menacing dark clouds and soft wild flowers in the foreground.

The West Highland Way with purple mountains, a sunlit glade with shafts of light through tall trees, a still life study of translucent petals, a graphic image of the Portsmouth Spinnaker in pencil sketch style, thought provoking smoke trails and coastal rock formations were all included.

Dave explained that he was looking for composition value, interesting viewpoints, an image which tells a story and encourages speculation. With these qualities taken into consideration he gave highly commended awards to four prints,"Buzzard" by Glyn Trueman, "Smoke Trails" by Davy Bolam, "Kelpies" by Paul Saint and "Street Musician" by Davy Bolam.

Fifth place went to Vince Rooker for "Pink Tulip", 4th place was given to "Oil Cans with Steam" by Glyn Trueman, "Ice Flowers" by Davy Bolam came third, "Storm over Walkworth" by Chris Earl was awarded 2nd place and the winner of the 2nd Open Colour Print Competition was Chris Earl with "Bronzed Angel", a stunning cropped photograph of the Angel of the North.

Dave liked the fact that, although there was only a section visible in the scene, it was instantly recognisable; the texture and light quality made it stand out from all the other entries.

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Thirty two prints in the Monochrome Section followed, which included an incoming tidal scene with rocks leading the eye to Dunstanburgh Castle, Manhattan skyscapes in amazing detail, an upturned boat with Holy Island in the background, a study of a dandelion seed head, graffiti, statuary, portraiture, a Sutcliffe-inspired sepia toned scene of lobster pots at Beadnell, a cityscape of the Gherkin with its highly reflective glass, a moody, soft toned rural scene taken on a misty morning and a beautiful portrait of a smiling Sri Lankan girl.

In portraiture Dave stated that he needed to see a connection between subject and author, and in monochrome prints he expected to see a good variety of tones and textures. Good printing was foremost in his decision making when making his selections. Three prints were then given Highly Commended awards, "Graffiti and Bikes,Copenhagen, by Lionel Bryan, "Misty Morning" by Davy Bolam and "Abandoned Stables" by Davy Bolam.

Fifth place was given to Chris Earl for "Sri Lankan Smile", in fourth place was Peter Downs with "Three Benches", in third place was "Kremlin View down the Moskva River" by Davy Bolam, in second place was "Letting Sparks Fly" by Glyn Trueman and the winner of the 2nd Open Mono Print Competition was Chris Earl with "Uncle Tom", a gentleman resting on a bench which Dave admired for the detail in the face and that Chris had succeeded in capturing the character of the subject and that it had made him inquisitive due to its excellent story telling qualities.

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Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Dave for his observations, constructive comments with good advice and for taking the time to travel from Workington for the evening.