Portfolio of the Year, DPI’s, March 29th, 2023

This week’s meeting of the photographic society was part one of the Portfolio of the Year competition.  This year, because of the large number of submissions, the judging will be  taking place over two meetings with the first being the judging of projected digital images (PDIs) and the second meeting, on 12th April, for prints.

Our judge this week was Dave Best LRPS a long-standing committee member of Hexham and District Photographic Society and a judge of some experience.  He acknowledged that the collection of 72 images were of a high standard and as the evening unfolded those present would concur with that.

The Portfolio of the Year competition allows competitors to submit up to four PDIs but with a restriction that each image must be of a different genre.  The genres include for example, Nature, Creative, Landscape, Mono, Portrait, Sport, Photo-journalism etc.  This is challenging for our members, several of whom specialise in perhaps one or two genres. It is quite revealing to discover that accomplished Nature or Landscape photographers are often very good in other fields of photography.

The winner of the competition, which is determined by the combined score of all the entries, was Alan Walker whose submission included a portrait of a ‘down and out’ sitting against a graffitied wall in Belfast (who was actually a very good actor/photographer/model and a member of our club!).  It was called Just a Statistic. Other images of Fighting Sea Eagles, a dramatic landscape entitled Storm over the Dolomites and a top scoring sport image of a head-on shot of a long jumper completed the winning submission.


The ‘down and out’ was actually Bob Given, who was second equal in the competition with Ade Gidney. Bob’s monochrome and quite dramatic image of three women posing as ‘The Management’ was the overall best image of the night.


Ade Gidney’s images included a beautiful view of mist over White Moss


The best natural history image was a superb pin-sharp and very colourful portrait of a Golden-fronted Woodpecker by Ronnie Gilbert.


Jo Knight, who specialises in very artistic and creative images submitted the winning Still Life image called Gravity.  It was of a bowl of apples with an apple in mid-air, apparently falling into it.


Julie Walker’s studio portrait, Holly in Green was of a well known red haired model wearing a very ornate green dress. The very detailed image with perfectly captured and portrayed skin tones won the best Portrait of the competition.


David Woodthorpe