The winners of the prestigious Alfred Vowles Photographic Competition were announced recently by The Exmoor Society.  There were four categories: Landscape, Exmoor Activities, Heritage Buildings and Wildlife, with a prize of £50 awarded to the winner of each category and the overall winner also receiving the Alfred Vowles trophy.

“The judges were impressed by the quality and wide range of subject matter in the four categories,” said Jill Edwards, Trustee of The Exmoor Society. “They admitted that choosing winners was a difficult task, particularly in the Landscape category, which has a large number of entries.  The care and attention which the photographers had given to their work is to be applauded.”

Leanna Coles, whose ‘Seat with a View’ looking towards Cloutsham and beyond was both the overall winner and winner of the Landscape category (pictured, top),  was praised for capturing a particularly vibrant Exmoor landscape with excellent lighting and detail, and a wonderful sky.  She also won the Wildlife category with her ‘Tippbarlake Exmoor pony herd gathering on Brendon Common’: a spectacular image of this iconic Exmoor event.

Also to be congratulated is Madeline Taylor who won both the Exmoor Activities and the Heritage Buildings categories with her photographs of the Allerford Forge and of the gated entrance to the Worthy Combe toll road; two images that capture the spirit and history of the National Park. Her ‘Having a “splashing” good time in Horner Water’ in the former category was Highly Commended.

In the Landscape category, Madeline Taylor’s ‘A Walk along the River at Watersmeet’ was Highly Commended and Sharon Bailey’s ‘Looking towards Twitchen’ and ‘Valley of Rocks’ was Commended. All these show the beauty and variety of Exmoor’s landscape.  In the Wildlife category Tricia Gibson’s ‘Exmoor pony, Persica, and her six-day old foal’ and ‘Tawbits Lorna Doone with her new born filly foal’ were Highly Commended for their good composition and sensitivity.  Highly Commended also, in the Heritage Buildings category, was Patrick Hoyte’s evocative black-and-white photograph of ‘The Stables at Dunster Castle’.

Alfred Vowles was a well-known photographer at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Rachel Thomas, Chairman of the Society, said, “The Vowles’ family kindly donated the trophy to The Exmoor Society in Alfred’s memory, in order to help inspire future generations to capture the essence of Exmoor and its special qualities through photography.”

The winning photographs will be on display at the Society’s headquarters at 34 High Street, Dulverton, and on its website www.exmoorsociety.com

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