ASKED to capture scenes of nature, it is not unusual for Ilkley Camera Club members to produce some top quality images.

But last month’s nature competition saw a standard that particularly impressed visiting judge Monica Weller, a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Top of the list was a stunning image by Larry James of a Kestrel feeding its young. Said Monica: “This image has everything. The action is typical of the animal, the colours are vibrant and exciting and the focusing is spot on.”

Geoffrey Smith from Skipton took second place with a shot of a Sparrowhawk. “I know it is eating a pigeon, and we may be squeamish about that,” said Monica, “but it is natural behaviour and has been very well caught.”

Third place featured more eating with Tim Sawyer from Bramhope displaying a rather contented owl. Highly Commended were photos by David James, Helen Goodier, Keith Allen and Peter Wilson, and Commendations went to Marion Payne, Sharon Sawyer, Peter Wilson and Tim Sawyer.

Said Monica: “The lighting is very important in these images. It helps us not just to see the animal or the natural feature clearly but also to understand the natural context.”

In the unusual Multi-image spread competition Peter Farmer took first place with ‘Lockdown Vistas’, a wry depiction of the views around and up and down in a single room. “There’s a very contemporary feel to this work,” noted Monica. “It is fresh and the scheme has been worked out very carefully.”

Taking second place, Tim Sawyer opted for two images of balancing rocks, given an atmospheric treatment and some of Tim’s, by now customary, flying birds.

Third was ‘Timeframe’ by Nick Hodgson, a matrix of nine fossils treated in a lustrous way making the objects look almost like rare coins.

Highly Commended were photos by Len Downes, Nick Hodgson, Peter Wilson, Phil Reeds and Tim Sawyer. And Commendations were awarded to Andrée Freeman, Helen Goodier, Andy Thomas and Sharon Sawyer.

Monica commented that in this category it was important that the individual images looked good together. “I am looking for sympathetic tones and a common style. Sometimes I just squint so I can appreciate the structure rather than the detail.”

Ilkley Camera Club is currently meeting via Zoom at 7.30pm on Fridays. For more information see the Club’s website: