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Northern Photography Prize 2022 - shortlist announced


The top entries for the Northern Photography Prize were revealed today, following hundreds of submissions from amateur photographers who were invited to capture the spirit and heart of the North East of England through its people and places.

The prize, founded and sponsored by bestselling author LJ Ross last year through her publishing imprint, Dark Skies Publishing, invited entries from amateur photographers across two categories; landscape (Spirit of the North East) and portrait (Heart of the North East), with a £1,000 cash prize for the two winners, and the platform to develop their passion for photography.

The shortlist features stunning images of iconic landscapes in action showcasing the spirit of the region with a flight of birds on Holy Island, a winter sunrise at Sycamore Gap and an atmospheric day at Spittal Beach. The portrait category showcases the heart of the region through moving moments of local people enjoying beach days and city life.

The shortlisted images will be displayed in a free-to-enter exhibition at prestigious art gallery The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle from 10th – 23rd September 2022. The winner of each category will be announced on 31st September and will be judged by a panel of judges, including LJ Ross, Newcastle-based professional photographers Jason Friend and Adam Lang, The Alnwick Garden’s Daniel Russell, and Living North magazine Editor Janet Blair.

LJ Ross, who is best known for bringing the picturesque landmarks of north-east England to life in her bestselling novels, said: “I’ve always been inspired by the unique ability of talented photographers to capture the essence of a person or a place, and the people and places of the North East of England are particularly special to me, since they represent my homeland. After such a difficult time during the pandemic, I wanted to found a prize that celebrates the ‘spirit’ and ‘heart’ of our shared region and to continue to support and encourage the arts. We had an overwhelming response again this year, which made it no easy task for the judges to choose between so many powerful entries. It’s a privilege to be a part of the process.”

Full shortlist

Landscape Shortlist – ‘Spirit of the North East’

It's a swell day at Spittal Beach by Carol Reah, one of the shortlisted entries in the 2022 edition of the Northern Photography Prize

Carol Reah, Berwick Upon Tweed -

It’s a swell day at Spittal Beach

“It was the beautiful blue skies, the sea, the waves and the serenity of living on the North East coastline that inspired me to pick up my camera again after suffering a permanent brain injury in 2018. This is one of the very first images I took, the blue sky merged with the clouds and the white foam on the crest of the waves – a magical moment.”

Looking Grim by Peter Baker, one of the shortlisted entries in the 2022 edition of the Northern Photography Prize

Peter Baker, Royston, Hertfordshire - Looking Grim

“I have seen dozens of pictures of the Angel. As I stood in front of the sculpture, my challenge became to find a shot different to any I had seen so far. The Angel's solid metal construction, the sheen of rust across the structure and the way it stands proud in the face of yet another storm encapsulates the beauty of the countryside combined with the solid industrial heritage of the North East.”

Watching a winter sunrise at Sycamore Gap by Angus Reid, one of the shortlisted entries in the 2022 edition of the Northern Photography Prize

Angus Reid, Hexham - Watching a Winter Sunrise at Sycamore Gap

“I wanted an image of a winter sunrise behind Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall, and this was one of several attempts, when I was lucky that two unknown walkers stopped on the adjacent hill to admire the view just when I was ready to take the photo at 9am on a November morning.”

Early birds of Lindisfarne by Jim Scott, one of the shortlisted entries in the 2022 edition of the Northern Photography Prize

Jim Scott, Morpeth - Early Birds of Lindisfarne

“This was one of a number of images I took very early one morning on Holy Island, overlooking the grounded boats on the causeway with the castle in the background. I was lucky enough to notice a flock of sea birds resting on the sand. After waiting for a few minutes, they suddenly took flight, allowing me to capture this image.”

Autumn Sundown Alnmouth Harbour by Charles Hepplewhite, one of the shortlisted images in the 2022 edition the Northern Photography Prize

Charles Hepplewhite, Gosforth, Newcastle upon - Autumn Sundown Alnmouth Harbour

During a walk around Alnmouth, I noticed the incredible contrasts with the sea mist and the failing sunlight, so I took a series of pictures.”

Portrait Shortlist, ‘Heart of the North East’

The Journey by David Coser, one of the shortlisted images in the 2022 edition of the Northern Photography Prize

David Coser, Hartlepool – The Journey

“This photo of two friends looking out to sea was taken at the Headland Beach Front, Hartlepool. I really like the composition as its influenced by David Hockney due to the one-point perspective and simplicity. I wonder what they are thinking as they look out to sea.”

Back on track by Matthew Locke, one of the shortlisted images in the 2022 edition of the Northern Photography Prize

Matthew Locke, Morpeth – Back on Track

“On the train with my wife in Newcastle City Centre, I captured her staring out of the window, looking subtly excited about what lay ahead. The fact we were moving towards the light she was looking at struck me as symbolic of how we hoped the future would transpire.”