Norfolk Photographer of the Year

Angi Kennedy As any great photographer knows it is the little things that can make or ruin a picture.Now a photographic competition is putting those little things into focus, as ANGI KENNEDY explains.

Angi Kennedy

From a kettle to cut-outs, a soaring seagull to a dead chick, the interpretation of the title Little Things has been as diverse as the photographers who have taken part. This is the Norfolk Photographer of the Year competition, which is now open at Norwich Arts Centre.

And as the exhibition of short-listed entries certainly shows, it is originality and quality that has caught the eye of the judges this year. The exhibition and competition are being hosted by the St Benedict's Street centre in a bid to highlight the region's photographic talent and to give the public a great opportunity to showcase their creative work.

From quick snappers to professional photographers, all have been encouraged to take part in the challenge, which has the theme of Little Things.

That could be taken as a straight interpretation or through a more symbolic approach. And judges have been looking for creativity and that little something special rather than professional experience, which means that amateurs will be displayed side by side with their more established counterparts.

Among the finalists are graduates of the Norwich School of Art and Design as well as one woman who has set up a darkroom in her own bathroom in order to hand print her entries.

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The youth section includes pictures by teenagers and even two-year-olds who snapped away at the Norwich and Norfolk Festival earlier this year.

The exhibition and catalogue displays the art of the 25 finalists, who have been chosen by an external judging team which includes the Cambridge-based photographer Richard Heeps. The judging panel will then select a winner in two categories - adult and under-18 - leading to the ultimate titles of Norfolk Photographer of the Year and Young Photographer of the Year.

The winner of the adult category will receive their very own solo exhibition at Norwich Arts Centre as well as membership to the Norwich Art Centre Darkroom & Media Lab, while the young photographer will receive membership plus photographic vouchers.

As well as runner-up prizes, there will also be the chance for the public to have their say in the People's Prize when visitors to the centre will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite image of the exhibition. It will be interesting to see if the public comes to the same decision as the judges.

Stuart Hobday, director of the centre, explained the idea behind the exhibition.

“We have a wealth of creative talent in the county and we wanted to shout out about the fantastic artwork being produced not just by professionals, but by everyday folk too,” he said.

“It's a great chance for artists to have their work exhibited and be in with the chance of winning their own exhibition here at NAC.”

The artwork on display has been produced by a wide cross-section of society, from professional photographers, to have-a-go snappers.

The winner of Norfolk Photographer Of The Year will be announced at a ceremony during the exhibition run, on Thursday, August 28, from 7pm.

The results of the People's Prize will also be announced at the ceremony.

t The Norfolk Photographer of the Year competition exhibition is at the Norwich Arts Centre in St Benedict's Street

until Saturday September 13. Entry to the exhibition is free and it is open Monday to Saturday between 10am and 7pm, plus during performances;