The Five Towns Monochrome Print Competition sounds as if it should be taking place in Stoke-on-Trent but it is, in fact, a competition between five local clubs; Crewe, Alsager, Nantwich, Sandbach and Whitchurch. We all take our monochrome seriously and this is a prestigious event, much anticipated. This year the host is Whitchurch PS and they have, as usual, engaged a highly respected judge, Margaret Salisbury to preside. The event is not until September but we are already looking at potential entries not least because some reprinting may be required.

The picture above is one of my favourites from last season. It has the look of a classic landscape, the pine tree, people, creamtone treatment all contribute to that. It also typifies the Norfolk landscape – it was taken at Wiveton Hall near Cley and looks out to sea over salt marshes whose flatness is emphasised by the mid-ground vegetation. What many notice first though is the way in which the cloud above the tree echoes  its shape. A combination of waiting and moving position was needed to get that but of course it was sheer luck that nature helped to complete a pleasant composition by sending the cloud along! Should I have waited until the cloud formed a diagonal with the tree and man?

Will this be in the Five Towns? You will have to wait and see.