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May 10, 2014

Usway Burn at Sunset wins The Sill Photography Competition

Sill-Martin Ellis-first place with Usway BurnGateshead's Martin Ellis placed first with his Northumberland landscape, Usway Burn

Well, I am constantly telling southerners just how breathtaking Northumberland really is, and now I can simply point them to the entries in this competition as these pictures certainly say more about the northern county's stunning natural beauty than I ever could.

The winners of a popular photography competition launched in a joint initiative between The Sill (a partnership between Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England and Wales) and award-winning wildlife photographer and film maker Cain Scrimgeour, have been announced.

Nearly one hundred entries were submitted to the competition with the overall winner announced as Martin Ellis with his entry, Usway Burn. The Gateshead photographer will now be able to pick up tips from Cain with his prize of a one-to-one photography workshop with the competition's founder. 

Martin, 52, said: “I am really pleased that my photograph has been picked as the winner out of all the many wonderful images submitted. I do love this part of Northumberland, it never fails to put a smile on my face even when it's raining or blowing a gale, as it so often does.

A range of images were submitted featuring everything from the lush landscapes in Kielder to a roe deer in a frost-covered field, leaving the panel of eight judges with the challenge of picking their top three entries.

The runners up were Philip Whittaker and Anita Nicholson. To view a selection of entries to the competition and the winning images, visit the Sill's website

Sill-Philip Whittaker - runner up with Mysterious Tree at Black CartsRunner up Philip Whittaker with Mysterious Tree at Black Carts

In a bid to encourage people to explore the stunning Northumberland countryside all year round, the beauty of the National Park and its surrounding areas were captured in a series of emotive images at the hands of aspiring photographers from across the region. The competition is closely tied to the aims of The Sill, Northumberland’s planned £11.2m National Landscape Discovery Centre, which hopes to become a centre for exploration and discovery for the whole of Northumberland National Park and landscapes beyond.

Established photographer Cain, 23, from Whitley Bay, called on people to venture out into the breath-taking Northumberland scenery, from the stunning Cheviots, North Pennines and Northumberland Coast, to the rugged landscape of Hadrian’s Wall country, to capture pictures that really encapsulate the beauty of the winter months.“The winning photographers have really taken on board the essence of the competition brief and have immersed themselves in the rare beauty that Northumberland has to offer.

Sill-Anita Nicholson - runner up with Little Tree on Hadrian’s WallRunner up Anita Nicholson's Little Tree on Hadrian's Wall

Now, photographers are being asked to submit their spring-inspired images for the next phase of the competition, which is open to all ages and experience levels. Photographs are welcomed to capture the essence of Northumberland National Park and other special Northumbrian landscapes in relation to one of three themes; environments (including lakes and rivers, crags, hills, iron age hillforts and traditional buildings etc), flora and fauna (all forms of wildlife from cattle to forests) and activities (including everything from people working on the land, children’s bike rides to rock climbing and astrology).

The best entries will be uploaded to The Sill’s social media profiles so anyone interested in seeing contributions from budding photographers of the North East should search ‘The Sill’ on Facebook and follow the project on Twitter @thesillproject.

For more information about The Sill and the upcoming events, visit www.thesill.org.uk , find The Sill on Facebook or follow The Sill on Twitter @thesillproject


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Many thanks for the article Denise. I was very pleased to be announced as the winner, Northumberland is such a beautiful place. Hopefully my photograph, as well all the fantastic images will help make your life a little easier in future.

I was up in the hills again last weekend, it was very windy, it rained, it was still breathtaking. Some of the photographs I took are now on Flickr here https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinellis/

How nice to hear from you, Martin! Congratulations on your win! I spent quite a long time looking at your photos on Flickr. I was completely mesmerised, you have such a great talent. I actually went over each page several times and I hardly ever do that! I recognise some of the landscapes from drives through Northumberland into the highlands and my first thought was - now THAT captures the beauty of those hills! (My shots from the car window....not so much.) I'll be in touch about prints....

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