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Running the photo-marathon

(Back row L-R) Kaloyan Cholakov, Llio James, Tegwen Morris, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg: (Front row L-R) Lynne Blanchfield, Wendy Phillips, Siwan Fflur, Kiera Ellis, Tony Hicklin
(Back row L-R) Kaloyan Cholakov, Llio James, Tegwen Morris, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg: (Front row L-R) Lynne Blanchfield, Wendy Phillips, Siwan Fflur, Kiera Ellis, Tony Hicklin

67 COMPETITORS took part in this year’s photo-marathon, which produced a very high standard of entries.

FfotoAber’s photo-marathon came under starter’s orders at 10am sharp in the Morlan Centre in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Oct 22). Supported by Aberystwyth Business Club, Cambrian Printers and Aberystwyth Town Council, this was the sixth annual photo-marathon competition.

Once again this year, the challenge was to take six pictures on six themes in six hours. The themes, revealed in pairs every two hours in the Morlan Centre, were: ‘The other side’, ‘Four’, ‘Raw’, ‘Pattern’, ‘Collection’ and ‘Blue’. Throughout a blessedly fine day, Aberystwyth was inundated with photographers rushing every which way, lenses poised.

Some retailers were very patient and even creatively helpful as shutterbug after shutterbug arrived asking to take a shot. The final collection of over 400 photos, revealed in an awards ceremony in the Morlan on Sunday (Oct 23) at 6pm, suggest that Aberystwyth butchers and fishmongers were particularly supportive as the photographers went in search of ‘raw’ images.

TO THE WINNERS THE LAURELS!

On Sunday, Tony Hicklin was announced as the winner for best collection in the camera with removable lenses category. Tony’s set of photographs included a remarkable close-up of the veins on a leaf as his ‘pattern’ submission. Llio James took the prize for best set of photographs taken with a fixed lens camera, with a close-up of sheep’s wool catching the eye. The prize for the best collection in the 16 years and under category went to Kiera Ellis for a memorable set of close-up photos, which included a knot in a frayed ‘blue’ rope. Charlotte Rigg won for best collection of photos taken on a mobile phone. Charlotte’s photographs show what great results can be achieved with a mobile phone camera. Once again, close-ups were the flavour of the day, and Charlotte’s shot of a daisy against the sun is spectacular.

The winners for the best photograph for each theme were: Samantha Rigg (‘The other side’), a black and white shot of a gravestone angel; Tony Hicklin (‘Four’), a panoramic shot out to sea which features four bollards in the foreground; Tegwen Morris (‘Raw’), a striking shot of four legs of lamb hanging in a butcher’s shop; Siwan Fflur (‘Pattern’), a topical close-up of a pumpkin; Wendy Phillips (‘Collection’), an ingenious shot of five charity collection boxes; Kaloyan Cholakov (‘Blue’), a surreal image of a one-way arrow framed in a diaphanous blue mist.

Tony Hicklin, Llio James, Kiera Ellis, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg, Tegwen Morris, Siwan Fflur, Wendy Phillips and Kaloyan Cholakov were all presented with a large print of their winning photograph, courtesy of Cambrian Printers. The judges made a special award to Lynne Blanchfield whose set of photos, they felt, represented Aberystwyth. Lynne was pleased to receive a Siop y Pethe voucher, particularly as she has just embarked on a course to learn Welsh. Winners of the collections were given additional rewards for their efforts. Tony Hicklin was presented with a voucher from Ultracomida, Llio James received photography books from the National Library, Kiera Ellis was presented with a voucher from communications company 52-4, and Charlotte Rigg received vouchers for use in Siop FfotoAber, courtesy of Four Cymru.

MORLAN EXHIBITION

David Lowe of Cambrian Printers, who processed all the photographs in double-quick time, said they were once again happy to be involved: “It’s a hectic Saturday evening and Sunday morning for us, from receiving the downloaded images to printing them all ready for the awards ceremony on the Sunday evening, but it’s worthwhile when we see them all hanging in the exhibition. I was glad for the competitors that the weather was kind this year as well.”

Returning as one of the judges was Jonny Morris from the Telegraph group. He was joined by professional photographer Betsan Evans and Aberystwyth Business Club member Aled Rees. Aled Rees admitted that the task, albeit enjoyable, was quite tough: “Looking at over 400 photos interpreting different themes and trying to come up with a winner was quite daunting – there was such an excellent array of images on show. It’s great, though, that the Business Club can be involved with the event and, being a partner since its inception, we’ve seen its potential growing year-on-year. If you get a chance, pop over to the Morlan to see the exhibition – it’s worth it.”

Deian Creunant from FfotoAber added: “It’s quite a challenge for people used to working in this digital age – taking six images in six hours on six themes. Many of the competitors say it’s tiring mentally and physically as they walk so much around the town. The final exhibition though is worth seeing – over 400 pictures capturing the story of the day. Don’t miss the exhibition in the Morlan – and look out for the pictures appearing in Aberystwyth shop windows as well in the coming weeks.”

All the photo-marathon images will be exhibited at the Morlan Centre until November 11. Winning entries from FfotoAber’s schools competition can be viewed at the Arad Goch Centre. For more information on FfotoAber, go to www.ffotoaber.cymru.

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Dayne Stone

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