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A Reflection on the Tyne

As he warmly welcomed guests at last night's Port of Tyne Reflect awards, Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, Chairman of the Port of Tyne, described the evening as a celebration of talent. “The talent and creativity from the winners of this year's Reflect awards is more than amply illustrated in the Solo Eye exhibition,” he said “and it is good to see so many friends and colleagues here this evening to share in this celebration of talent and success.”

The Port of Tyne's Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Moffat, presented the awards. He explained “At the time we launched Reflect last year, we asked entrants to capture the essence of the river Tyne. We were overwhelmed with the entries and this year's Reflect has not disappointed us.”

The Port of Tyne Reflect awards were launched in 2007 and designed to encourage people of the north east to enter their perspective of the river Tyne. This year, photographers were invited to submit images in four categories, all based in and around the river; Artistic Tyne, Historic Tyne, Maritime Tyne and Wildlife Tyne. Matt Forster of the Art Works Galleries, Simon Greener, Picture Editor of the Journal, Tim Richardson, Chief Photographer of the Shields Gazette and Captain Ian McNaught of Cunard made up the judging panel who had the unenviable task of choosing one winner and three runners up from each category.

In thanking the judges, Andrew Moffat said “All entries were of such a consistently high quality that I did not envy the panel of judges their unenviable task of choosing the four winners and twelve runners up and I would like to thank our judges especially for their time and expertise.

To have had to choose so few from so many good entries can't have been easy.”

The winners were:

Artistic Tyne, Winner David Tiernan, Runners Up Anna Ridley, Shaun Keenan, Shaun Delaney
Historic Tyne, Winner Doug Pybus, Runners Up Sean Mantey, James Thow, Mark Dodd

Maritime Tyne, Winner Steve Middleton, Runners Up Mick Gibson, Carole Jeffery, Shaun Delaney

Wildlife Tyne, Winner Patrick Bibby, Brian Bolt, Fred Smith (Fred was also nominated runner up in this category)

Steve Middleton winner of the Maritime category said “I have been interested in photography for many years and made the leap to digital a couple of years ago using the birth of my daughter as an excuse to upgrade my old film SLR which has helped rekindled my interest in photography. I've even managed to sell some photos but Reflect is the first competition I've entered and winning is a great surprise! The prize money is obviously very welcome too – it will enable me to buy some more equipment to help expand my kit bag”.

Steve's advice for taking a good photo “I like photographs that tell a story. I was once told you should be able to think of a caption for each photo you take otherwise it's probably not worth pressing the shutter button – I think that is useful advice that helps me think a bit more carefully about each shot”.

Patrick Bibby's picture under the ships won in the Wildlife Tyne category. He said “I'm so pleased as wildlife is a passion of mine”.

David Tiernan winner in the Artistic Tyne category reported that he has been in discussions with a gallery about selling some of his work to use as Christmas cards.

Jennifer Dunn, the Port of Tyne's Marketing & Communications Manager, added “When we launched Reflect, our aim was not only to encourage creativity, but hopefully to open doors to enterprise, this has been brilliantly illustrated by one of last year's winners, who told us the prize money helped him buy photographic equipment to begin work as a wedding photographer.”

The Port of Tyne plans to follow the success of this years competition and every indication is that Reflect 2009 will be bigger and better than before – so what are you waiting for? Pick up your camera and start taking some photos!

To find out more information about the Reflect awards visit www.reflect-tyne.com

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