PHOTOGRAPHERS from across the region will go head-to-head in the Guyra TroutFest colour photography competition.
The competition will run as part of the festival and entrants are invited to submit photos from across five categories, Fishing in the New England Junior and Senior, Landscapes, Wildlife, Agriculture and Festival Action Shots.
Professional photographers Terry Cooke and Thor Burey will judge the competition.
“I’m a photographer and the technical side is important, but for me the appeal lies in the personal side of it.
“I’m looking for things that will move people or tell a story through photography and then I’ll look at the technical side.
“Obviously if the technical side isn’t up to scratch it won’t make the cut, but first and foremost I’m looking for images that will really resonate with the public,” Mr Cooke said.
Mr Cooke picked up a camera early in his retirement more than eight years ago and has been capturing the region ever since.
“It started out as a hobby, I’m not a professional photographer, I worked as a land surveyor and in IT for a few years, it really wasn’t until I retired that I picked up the camera and really learned how to use it,” he said.
Mr Cooke doesn’t make a profit from his photography but he has crowdfunded a book and works with people around the region to teach photography workshops.
He most recently ran two workshops at Go Create in Kentucky and teaches night photography, tripod work, portrait work and more about the technical side of the camera.
“It’s really about learning how to use your camera in a basic sense first, I spend a fair bit of time on technique, composition and creativity with beginners,” he said.
The New England region is well known for its diverse and colourful landscape and Mr Cooke said that this will make for some fantastic opportunities and entries into the Guyra TroutFest competition.
It’s really not about having the best quality or most expensive camera. If you take a look at some of the really talented photographers out there you'll know that it’s not the gear that makes their work so incredible, it’s how they capture the subject and how they use the light. Light is so important to a photo, if you can learn to use the light to your advantage the pictures will be really brilliant. Especially when you photograph people in New England, the people here are so diverse in their backgrounds and the kinds of work they do and this is something photographers can really take advantage of in their work.
“It’s a brilliant place to photograph, we have such a range of landscapes at our disposal here.
“There’s anything from the gorge country to rural towns and the seasons are so clearly different here.
“The burnt Earth in the summer, the dreary winters, warm colours of autumn and the fresh colourful landscapes in spring.
“Even the weather here can completely change the look of the land, we have rain, we have fog, we have beautiful lagoons where the sky is perfectly reflected in the water.
“Especially the sunsets, watching the sunsets over the country is really brilliant," he said.
Mr Cooke is excited to see the entries that are submitted for the competition and encourages beginner photographers to focus on the subject rather than the quality of their camera.
“It’s really not about having the best quality or most expensive camera.
“If you take a look at some of the really talented photographers out there you’ll know that it’s not the gear that makes their work so incredible, it’s how they capture the subject and how they use the light.
“Light is so important to a photo, if you can learn to use the light to your advantage the pictures will be really brilliant.
“Especially when you photograph people in New England, the people here are so diverse in their backgrounds and the kinds of work they do and this is something photographers can really take advantage of in their work.
“All it takes is a little imagination and patience, it’s a fantastic place to live and photograph.
If you can get up early and catch the sunrise half of your work will be done for you,” he said.
Mr Cooke is a renowned photographer of the New England region and has crowdfunded a photography book titled New England High Country – Contrast and Colour.
The festival committee hopes to use the winning entries as promotional material for the Guyra region.
The cost to enter is $10 for 10 pictures and nomination forms are availble at The Hub at Guyra, the Guyra GALA Centre and at the Visitors Information Centre or New England Art Society Gallery in the Mall in Armidale.
The Guyra Troutfest will run from September 30 to October 2.
Entries for the colour photography competition will close on Wednesday September 28 at 4pm.
For more information about the Guyra TroutFest colour photography competition phone 6775 5735.