Winners of the Discover our Land Photo competition, Charlotte Christian, 12, with Ashley Corr and photographer and competition judge Neil Denham (Centre)

Winners of photo competition announced

The winners of the Discover our Land “Days Out” photo competition which celebrated fantastic places to go in Northumberland have been announced. 

Following a huge public vote with more than 5,500 votes received on the Discover our Land Facebook page the winners were announced last week. They are: Ashley Corr, of Houghton-Le-Spring for his stunning Northern Lights at Holy Island shot, runners-up Colin Balmbro, of Wooler with his breathtaking photo of Bill the Collie Dog gathering sheep in the College Valley and David Southern, of Warkworth for his dramatic Waves at Howick pic. The Under 16s winner was Charlotte Christian, 12, of Prudhoe for her beautiful autumnal shot of the River Tyne from Ovingham Bridge,

The winning photos were shortlisted from more than 200 entries to the competition by an independent judging panel before being put to the public vote on social media. 

Charlotte, a pupil at Ovingham Middle School, is now looking forward to enjoying her prize of a 3-hour photography class with professional photographer and one of the judges of the competition, Neil Denham.
 
She said: “I have been taking photos, just on my phone, for a little while now and I really enjoy it. 

“I was on my way home from school when I took this one and just loved all the different colours and the way the water was moving in currents.

“My mum entered me in the competition  and I was so happy when she told me I had won. It’s really exciting to now get the chance to go out with a professional photographer. I would love to do it as a career when I’m older and I’m hoping to get a camera for Christmas so when I go out with Neil I can take some really good photos.”

Charlotte’s mum Louise, said: “She is absolutely over the moon to win and so is excited to get the opportunity to learn some tricks of the trade from a professional photographer.

“We can’t thank everyone enough for voting for her, it was very close at the end and I was making lots of frantic calls to friends and family to vote!”

Ashley, who works at Nissan in Sunderland only entered his photo minutes before the competition closed after hearing about it from a friend.

The amateur photographer, who won an overnight stay for two at Langley Castle, said: “I have been taking photos in our region for quite a few years now just as a hobby, but this is the first time I have entered a competition so I am delighted to have won.

“There were some excellent photos on show and I want to thank everyone who voted and commented on mine. The photo is a nod to the fact that the beauty and splendour of Northumberland isn’t just apparent during daylight. Quite often the magic begins when darkness falls and on this occasion Mother Nature played her part and put on a stunning light show from the refuge hut at Holy Island. It’s a memory that will stay with me for a long time and another reason why my hobby is so enjoyable.”

Neil said: “Once again the standard of entries was outstanding and we were particularly excited by the standard of the youngsters who entered. It’s fantastic to see young talent coming through and I am very much looking forward to passing on my knowledge to Charlotte.

“Northumberland has so many stunning locations it’s a real playground for photographers and all those shortlisted show the breadth of things on offer and the great days out you can have in the county. The Discover our Land campaign is really bringing the county to the fore and sharing the county’s best stories.”

Many of the photos from this competition will now be included in a photography exhibition which has been shown in various locations in the county since the summer. The winning photos will also be displayed in meeting rooms at County Hall, Morpeth.

The Discover our Land campaign was launched in January and is raising the profile of Northumberland as a place to live, work, visit and invest. For more information go to www.discoverourland.co.uk

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