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PICTURES: Stunning images from new members feature in winning line-up of Highland camera club's first competition of the year

By Caroline McMorran

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The long-running East Sutherland Camera Club (ESCC) has launched its 2021/22 season of meetings.

The club moved on to Zoom for its meetings when the coronavirus pandemic struck and intends to stay in the virtual world for the time being.

However club officials are keeping a watchful eye on the situation and will shortly be reviewing whether or not to resume in-person meetings at their usual venue - Brora Community Centre.

One exciting new feature this session is the introduction of training modules aimed at developing members’ camera skills, starting with the basics and moving into more advanced techniques.

This is in addition to the regular programme of twice monthly meetings – on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month – through to next June.

Regular field trips are also planned to encourage camera skills and enable social interaction.

So far these have included outings to Golspie Kart Track at Littleferry and a day trip to Assynt.

The October competition - efficiently organised over the club’s website - was the first of six. An open contest, it had no specific subject and was judged by club members.

More than 40 images were submitted in the colour and monochrome classes.

Club representative Andy Kirby said: “It was encouraging to see two new members featuring in the top four images in each class."

In the colour category, new member Martin Ross, Golspie, came first with his stunning autumn reflections, The Gap, which is on Loch Ard in the Trossachs.

An imaginative and striking take on the Dunrobin Woods by Alan Butcher, was runner-up. Alan called his image The Fairies will be Right Back.

And in third place was Emma Deeth, Tain, with her charming photo of an inquisitive weasel looking out from its rocky habitat.

Another wildlife shot, this time of an otter by another new member Zoe Gray, Portmahomack, took fourth place. Zoe called her image Figgy Otter.

In the monochrome class wildlife also had a strong presence.

Alan Butcher scooped first place with his nicely recessive composition of an inquisitive stag titled I See You.

Martin Ross was again showing his photographic skills with second and fourth placings.

His second placed photo Bike Reflections, was judged to have a great composition and range of tones – always the hallmark of a good monochrome image.

Members were impressed that Mr Ross managed to keep himself out of the reflections – not an easy task.

His fourth placed image was a close up of a leaf with raindrops, again demonstrating a good tonal range.

Sheila McKenzie, Bonar Bridge, was third with Triplet, a close up of three gull chicks in what looked like a most uncomfortable rocky home.

Mr Kirby said: “The club is always looking for new members and now at the start of the season would be a good time to join and develop your photographic hobby and skills.”

For more information on the club and its activities, visit its website: eastsutherlandcc.org.uk

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