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Image of the Year Awards

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

With the Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club’s season drawing to a close, it was time for the Image of the Year competition. This year it was judged by Gordon Aspland, who is a member of Newton Abbot Photographic Club.

There was an even split of entries between colour and black & white, although the diversity of subjects gave Gordon a difficult job of selecting his winners out of a total of 44 digital images.

The awards for Colour image:

Gold – Bob Kent

Silver – Nigel West

Bronze – Bob Normand, Alex Rosen

Highly Commended – Howard Sheard, Ken Holland, Tejas Earp

The awards for Black & White image:

Gold – Nigel West

Silver – Bob Kent, Ken Holland

Bronze – Tony Wilson, Marc Dunlop, Naomi Stolow

Highly Commended – Gwynneth Chubb

Tranquility © Bob Kent
Tranquility © Bob Kent

The Gold-winning colour image, aptly named Tranquility, captured a serene moment as a swan and its young emerged from the mist. Photographer, Bob Kent, explained “It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I had only recently bought a new 70 -200mm lens and I took an early morning trip to Dawlish Warren to play with my new toy. It was a great morning with some interesting cloud colour and I took some nice images of a fishing boat at distance which I was pleased with. After the best of the sky colour had ended (not long after sunrise) I decided to head off home. I was just walking past the lake when I noticed the mist on the water and realised there may be a photo opportunity. After a while a swan swam into view at the far end of the lake and it was then followed by two cygnets. Luckily, I had the new lens and it was zoomed out to the max, which was just enough to get the shot. As I was taking the photos, I could see the mist being burnt off and a very slight breeze started to develop causing the mist to disappear altogether. So, as you can tell, the shot wasn’t planned and I was lucky to have the right lens at the right time.”

Alone by the sea © Nigel West
Alone by the sea © Nigel West

Nigel West, whose gritty, black & white image Alone by the sea won Gold, had this to say “The lockdown and its gradual release has presented a lot of opportunities for exploring the local area and for attempting to capture the different feel of each place. Alone by the sea was taken through the windows of the ferry shelter on Shaldon Beach. It had been a bright, if gusty morning, but then the weather began to close in and such people as there were around began to hunch their shoulders as they sought out cover. The three panes of the window allowed me to tell a narrative encompassing the boats, the back beach of Teignmouth and the character- almost like the stained-glass stories found in Victorian churches. Once I had seen the pattern, it was just a matter of waiting until the next person came up the beach. For me, the image captures the solitary nature of much of the previous year so is a ‘pandemic picture’.

Covid: Last plane home © Nigel West

Nigel narrowly missed getting a Gold for his poignant colour image Last Plane Home, which was also linked to the pandemic. He was trying to get one of the last flights back to the UK from Melbourne Airport at the end of March 2020. “It was a surreal experience walking through the deserted and largely unlit corridors of the departure area, past shuttered shops with only the distant sound of passengers waiting for the last two or three planes. This couple in the picture had found a corner with a view over the tarmac and were whiling away the time reading, oblivious of me and my phone. They personified the feel of the times. And it shows that with just a standard camera phone, you can capture the moment - you don’t need to have something expensive and fancy.”

Since returning to the UK a Teignmouth artist, Chris Pitman, used the image to create a painting which was bought by a pilot who said that it reminded him of one of his favourite airports.

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