Alnwick, Camera Club

Alnwick Garden
Alnwick Garden

It’s a knock-out

The print knock-out produced a large number of entries and participation from club members as they were the judges of this competition at Alnwick and District Camera Club.

Although judging was taken seriously, it was a light-hearted evening where members enjoyed a bit of banter with Laine Baker and Jane Coltman, who organised the prints through the rounds.

The standard was high. In fourth place was Boats by Margaret Whittaker, and third was Over the Bridge by David Burn.

The last two prints had been strong favourites throughout, but eventually second place went to John Thompson with ‘Alone’, a graphic abstract based on the Weeping Window display at Woodhorn, and the winner was Andrew Mackies’ Early Morning at Caistron, a serene image of mist rising in the morning light.

On November 18 chairman Richard Stent started proceedings with a talk about interclub competitions. He showed projected images from the most recent knock-out competition in which Alnwick came second out of seven clubs. He talked about further competitions that will take place over the next few months in the hope that more members will submit pictures.

Three members then showed pictures they had taken during the year. First was Peter Downs, who is undertaking a project to document Tanfield Railway. He showed a fine series of images, which he had converted from colour to monochrome, subtly vignetted and sepia toned to produce a convincing antique effect. He also presented an excellent gallery of the same images as colour prints.

Jean Findlay followed with a hair-raising account of her experiences of a freak storm in Zion Park in Utah. Her pictures included spectacular rocky landscapes with deep canyons bounded by sheer sandstone cliffs. Jean climbed up rocky footpaths in fine weather, but on starting her descent was overtaken by torrential rain. She narrowly escaped flash floods, which filled the canyons through which she had been travelling, but despite the danger, still managed to take a brief video.

On safer ground, Margaret Whittaker gave an excellent talk about the Alnwick Garden. Earlier this year, thanks to the co-operation of head gardener Trevor Jones, members were invited to spend 24 hours in the garden to take photographs, which formed part of an exhibition.

Margaret showed pictures from this exhibition, including many taken at night when the garden’s illuminations create a magical world of their own.

She talked about the possibility of a similar event for the future and showed some of her own fine images of the garden.

The chairman pointed out that Margaret had put an enormous amount of time and effort into organising this event and his vote of thanks was warmly applauded.

There was then a presentation of a framed photograph to Trevor for his help and co-operation with the club.