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Be inspired every day with Living North
castle in sunset and woman on a train
December 2022
Reading time 4 Minutes

These photographs capture the spirit (landscape) and heart (people and portraits) of the North East

Here are the winners of the Northern Photography Prize, founded and sponsored by international best-selling and much-loved local author LJ Ross, through her publishing imprint Dark Skies Publishing.

The prize competition attracted hundreds of submissions from amateur photographers across the region, who were invited to capture the spirit and heart of the North East of England through its people and places, and we are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Northern Photography Prize.

Two stunning images by two talented amateur photographers from Northumberland have picked up the landscape and portrait awards at this year’s Northern Photography Prize. The two winners will each collect a £1,000 cash prize.

Reflecting upon this year’s competition, LJ Ross says: ‘I’ve always been inspired by the unique ability of talented photographers to capture the essence of a person or a place, and the people and places of the North East of England are particularly special to me, since they represent my homeland. I wanted to found a prize that celebrates the ‘spirit’ and ‘heart’ of our shared region and to continue to support and encourage the arts. We’ve again had an overwhelming response, which made it no easy task for the judges to choose between so many powerful entries.’

Read More: The Northern Photography Prize: Five Photos That Show the Spirit of the North East Shortlist

The Spirit of the North East

Jim Scott scooped the landscape award, The Spirit of the North East Prize, for his image Early Birds of Lindisfarne – a glorious, multi-coloured sunrise at Holy Island with fishing boats grounded on the causeway sands and sea birds taking flight.

‘Given the standard of the other photographs in this year’s shortlist, I genuinely didn’t expect to win the award,’ says Jim. ‘I’m absolutely thrilled that the judges felt my photograph captured the Spirit of the North East. I started to teach myself photography in November last year as a way of capturing and combining my favourite places and my favourite time of day, sunrise. This was one of a number of images I took very early one morning on Holy Island. I was lucky enough to notice a flock of sea birds resting on the sand. After waiting for a few minutes, they suddenly took flight, allowing me to capture this image.’

The Heart of the North East

The portrait award, The Heart of the North East Prize, went to Matthew Locke for his entry titled Back on Track – a photo of his wife gazing out the window of a Newcastle metro train, expertly capturing the light and a moment of excitement and hope for a brighter future.

‘I’m over the moon to have won this year’s Heart of the North East award,’ says Matthew. ‘To be recognised by prominent local artists is something I had never expected, and is an enormous confidence boost to pursue my hobby in photography. My wife had a job she disliked for years. She applied for a new job in Newcastle city centre, which she was offered. We then took a day off to test-drive her new commute on the metro. On the train back, I captured her staring out of the window, looking subtly excited about what lay ahead. The fact we were moving towards the light she was looking at struck me as symbolic of how we hoped the future would transpire.’

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