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Hadrian’s Wall Sunrise

by Richard Turnbull

‘The image was the result of a sleepless night when I looked out of the window at two o’clock in the morning, and seeing misty conditions, made a spur of the moment decision to go to Hadrian’s Wall. I remember making my way up through Housesteads by torchlight and being occasionally startled by sheep, which can be surprisingly spooky in the dark. As the sun rose, the ground fog lingered in the dips and gave the shot that extra magical difference that made my efforts so worthwhile.’

About Richard:

‘In 1975, at the age of 18, I joined the Merchant Navy, employed as a Deck Cadet with a major energy company. My first ship was the oil tanker Axina, which is now long gone. I progressed through the ranks but retired in 2018, and now my seagoing time is in my 12-metre motor cruiser, also Axina. I took up photography in 2013 and mostly my subjects have been all things nautical, when at work, and landscapes, when at home. I joined Ashington Camera Club when I retired, and I think that participating in the in-house competitions helped inspire me to enter this one.’

‘I am delighted to be shortlisted in such a significant competition. This shot is all about being there to capture the moment, and it meant a very early start and a torch-lit trek through the dark to get in position in time. The effort paid off, and now I am happy to be able to share that moment with a wider audience.’

Dancing Trees

by Dr Julie Smith

‘My day job is tackling domestic abuse. Getting out with my camera to photograph our night skies and wildlife really helps me decompress. I live on the edge of the best Dark Skies National Park in the country (Northumberland) and there’s nothing better than capturing its raw beauty as simply as possible. Being up on Hadrian’s Wall for night-time photography is a tonic for the soul. September is one of the best months for the Milky Way as it appears vertically in the sky. The location was up on Walltown Crags, close to the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail. Sadly one of those trees was damaged in a storm just a few years ago so it’s bitter sweet that they no longer ‘dance’ like they used to. This memory of them is preserved in my photograph.’

About Julie

‘I went to school in Newcastle followed by seven years away at Coventry University. I came back to the North East in 1997 and for the last 12 years I’ve been working to tackle domestic abuse. It’s an incredibly rewarding but difficult job so my hobbies are a great way to unwind and re-charge. My photography experience started in 2016 when my husband bought me my first DSLR. Living right on the end of the National Park, I desperately wanted to photograph the Northern Lights and the night sky and so had to learn how to use the camera in full manual mode and in the pitch black. My Dancing Trees photo was taken with that first DSLR (Nikon 3300) and is still one of my favourites.’

‘I was absolutely stunned to be shortlisted for Spirit of the North East. For the judges to like it makes all the hours I’ve put into capturing what’s incredible about our region feel all the more special. My family, friends and colleagues regularly nag me to enter competitions and I took the plunge with this one. They’ll now be saying “I told you so” so thank you!’

Sea Fret at Saltburn

by Jonathan Baillie

‘It was a very warm and lovely summer evening and we (my wife, sister-in-law and brother-in-law) decided to go to Saltburn. As we were getting closer to Saltburn the fog rolled in and we thought it was going to spoil our evening, but no! When we got there the sun was piercing through in patches and the light was amazing. I caught my wife and sister-in-law wandering along the beach while I was on the pier taking some photos, trying to capture the astounding scene. Not only was it great to be able to get out and about again with family after all the lockdowns, but mother nature treated us to an astounding experience. I’ll never forget it.’

About Jonathan

‘Born and bred in Darlington, County Durham. I have always leant towards the arts and after sixth form I moved to Wakefield to do a foundation course in Fine Art, and then to Hull for a Fine Art degree. I now work in telecommunications. My dad loved photography and I definitely picked up my passion from him. I’ve been taking photos since my teens with lots of different equipment, film, digital/ mirrorless and have recently bought a medium format TLR 120 film camera. I love different styles but focus mainly on landscape and street photography.’

‘I was absolutely stunned to receive the email letting me know I was shortlisted! My family are all proud of me being shortlisted, however my dad would have been especially so, as he also loved photography!’

Any Port in a Storm

by Scott Wynne

‘Storm Arwen in November 2021 was an awesome reminder of the power of nature. The churning seas were almost acting out the invisible script of the wind, the power of which was never more obvious than when waves were sent smashing into the breakwater at Roker, Sunderland.’

About Scott

‘I currently work for the Civil Service having held my current role for just over 15 years. I originally took up photography as a hobby around 18 years ago, but lost interest soon after (at the time I didn’t realise that simply buying a half-decent camera would not make my photographs any better). I rediscovered photography around eight years ago and it’s a great excuse to get out in the open to enjoy some beautiful places – the photographs are a happy consequence of that.’

‘It was completely unexpected and a huge shock to receive the notification that my photograph had been shortlisted. I’m really passionate about the area in which I live and have grown up, and so to be shortlisted in a competition which really celebrates the beauty of our region is truly an honour.’

Fire & Ice

by Michael Wake

‘I had tried several times to capture this composition of Penshaw Monument, each time hoping for a sunset sky above. Sadly luck was never on my side, resulting in a disappointed drive home every time. But on this occasion, I had a good feeling that, finally, I may get the shot. What I didn’t expect was the dusting of snow that day had not melted away, which, combined with the sunset sky, just added to the image. That day luck was definitely on my side.’

About Michael

‘I’ve been involved in the printing trade since I left school 30 years ago. In my early twenties, I enrolled on photography evening classes, but in those days it was all black and white film. As family and work took priority, I put the camera down for 20 years, only to renew my passion for it in late 2019 – it’s now an obsession. I always have the camera with me ready to pull the car over and jump out to get the shot.’

‘I’m still shocked after discovering I’ve been shortlisted for this year’s Northern Photography Prize. It’s such an honour to be included in a competition that promotes the beauty of the North East.’

Counting Sheep

by Alan Rees

‘This photo was taken on an August bank holiday weekend stay in Weardale. I set off on an early morning cycle ride in the dark, and rode through White Kirkley to reach the top of Harehope Burn near the Elephant Trees as the sun was rising and the mist started to lift over the valley with only some inquisitive sheep for company.’

About Alan

‘I’m an architect, amateur photographer and keen cyclist living in Ryton and working in Newcastle with an enthusiasm for architecture, street and landscape photography and can often be spotted at my favourite North East photography locations Weardale, Holy Island and Newcastle Quayside.’

‘I have followed the Northern Photography Prize since its start a couple of years ago and love its aim of celebrating the spirit of the place found in the North East and giving recognition to amateur photographers, so I was absolutely thrilled and honoured to find out my entry this year was shortlisted. Many thanks to all the judges!’

The Heart of Teesside

by Andrew McCardle

‘It was a late summer’s night, I just saw that the steelworks looked so beautiful so I got my brother to turn the car around and I walked up the bridge, snapped the picture and got straight back in the car. I feel like the steelworks captures the heart of Teesside – the pride, the passion that still burns within the people of this place. They’ve knocked it down now but it will always be the inspiration for our county, it’s what the foundations and the future of Teesside were once built upon. It’s something we cannot let ourselves forget. This place is built different, the people are built different, we come from fire and steel: WE ARE TEESSIDE.’

About Andrew

‘I was born in Edinburgh but moved to Middlesbrough when I was around six. I live with my beautiful partner Sophie, my son, 15, who is autistic and my little girl who is nine. Currently a stay-at-home dad, I have done security for most of my adult life and I’m an amateur photographer with no training or real photography skills, I just love to shoot beautiful landscapes. I love sunrises and sunsets, and I love to see the beautiful colours of the sky.’

‘I couldn’t believe it when I heard I’d been shortlisted, I thought it was a wind up. I have had a rough time recently and currently have no camera and have been finding it hard to get the motivation to get up and get out. This has given me a massive boost, mentally as well as being a huge motivational boost. I can’t thank the organisers and judges enough. I am honestly so humbled and delighted that people would look at my work and think it’s good enough to be shortlisted in a competition. Thank you.

Fog On The Tyne

by Rachel Riley

‘This was the first time I’d ever witnessed just how fast the sea fret can roll in at Tynemouth. There were clear blue skies, sun shining and then it was all quickly masked by the fog. I loved the spooky feeling it created slowly creeping in over the lighthouse, sometimes hiding it altogether and working its way into the land.’

About Rachel

‘I have always been creative and have an educational background in Art and Fashion. I now run my own handmade jewellery and gift business. The sheer beauty of the North East coast is what inspired me to take up photography. After moving near the coast two years ago, I started going out for daily walks and I grew a love for being out early to catch the sunrise. This has become my favourite time of the day and I am always excited to develop my skills and to see what I can photograph.’

‘I was so shocked to be shortlisted, especially as this is the first competition I have ever entered. There are so many amazing photographers in the North East and I am honoured to be considered amongst them.’

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