Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye by James Goodchild

In a change from previous years, voting in the 2009 Digital Dawn Image of the Year competition was restricted to photographers from the courses which meant that the number of votes cast was slightly less. But course leader Garry Brannigan still received more than 300 emails and many made the point that the task of choosing the eventual winner was far from easy as the standard was particuarly high.

After such a close competition last year when just three votes separated first and second place, the 2009 contest was surprisingly even closer and sent Garry with furrowed brow into a quiet corner for a re-count. Eventually the winner of our £250 course voucher was James Goodchild's dramatic sunset image from Talisker Bay made during our October course on the Isle of Skye.

James received 74 votes, just one more than Image No 4: Grant Willoughby's quieter but equally individual sunset photograph made at Budle Bay during our March course in Northumberland. So despite Garry preaching that there is much more to landscape photography than only sunrise and sunset, nearly half the votes were for two images made right at the end of the day!

In another break with convention I have decided that now the competition has closed I will allow myself the luxury of casting my own vote, which this year goes to Mike Cheetham for Image No 23, made in the middle of the day during our Ullapool course in February. The forces of nature always catch my eye as a subject for a photograph and here the swirl of snow dusting an iced-over loch has been formed by the wind. Usually so powerful, especially in the Scottish Highlands, here the wind has worked in subtler ways to produce a shape with so much free-flowing energy. And just as the two sunset images are magical moments captured, the wind across Lochanan Dubha gusted just a moment after Mike made his image and the swirl's beauty was gone.



1: Grinton Moor, Swaledale by Michael Lyall


2: Achnahaird Bay, Inverpolly by Jill Eastham


3: Howick Haven, Northumberland by Rachel McCann


4: Budle Bay, Northumberland by Grant Willoughby


5: Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Rob Appleby


6: Hudswell Woods, Swaledale by Julie Wilks


7: The Ings, Derwent Water, Lake District by Hilary Kirk


8: Loch Airigh na Saorach, Sleat Peninsula, Isle of Skye by Jill Eastham


9: From Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Mark Saunders


10: Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Gordon Gibbons


11: Monk's House Rocks, Northumberland by Eleanor Coate


12: River Swale, Richmond, Swaledale by Annette Kuhn


13: Loch Hourn, Sound of Sleat, Isle of Skye by Sasha Viergever


14: Beadnell Bay, Northumberland by Will Thompson


15: Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Hilary Kirk


16: Wain Wath Force, Swaledale by Martin Doonan


17: Embleton Bay, Northumberland by Eleanor Coate


18: Hudswell Woods, Swaledale by James Goodchild


19: Loch Lurgainn, Inverpolly by Andrew Leaney


20: Low Hows Wood, Borrowdale, Lake District by Martin Worth


22: Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye by Will Thompson


23: Lochanan Dubha, Inverpolly by Mike Cheetham


24: Howick Haven, Northumberland by Margaret Martin


25: Budle Bay, Northumberland by Paul Pickard


26: Hudswell Woods, Swaledale by Martin Doonan


27: Latrigg, Derwentwater, Lake District by Ken Dickenson


28: Lower Breakish, Isle of Skye by Lisa Burdett


29: Cul Beag from Stac Pollaidh, Inverpolly by Len Mackland


30: Low Hows Wood, Borrowdale by Julie Skelton


31: Wain Wath Force, Swaledale by Lesley Pegrum


32: Monk's House Rocks, Northumberland by John Hendrickson


33: Low Hows Wood, Borrowdale, Lake District by Hilary Kirk


34: Catbells from Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Jackie Matear


35: Grinton Moor, Swaledale by Ruth Ricketts


36: From Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Gordon Gibbons


37: Hawes End, Derwentwater, Lake District by Julie Skelton


38: Catbells from Calfclose Bay, Derwentwater, Lake District by Katrina Brayshaw


39: Hudswell Woods, Swaledale by Christine Payne


40: Bamburgh, Northumberland by Richard Waller


41: Grinton Moor, Swaledale by James Goodchild


42: Buttermere, Lake District by Maurice Baker


43: Rumbling Kern, Northumberland by Chris Wragg


44: Buttermere foreshore, Lake District by Bob Roberts


45: Hawes End, Derwentwater, Lake District by Jean Walker


46: Wain Wath Force, Swaledale by Margaret Harding


47: The Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye by Jill Eastham


48: Grinton Moor, Swaledale by Ken Grace


49: Sleat Peninsula, Isle of Skye by James Goodchild


50: Buttermere foreshore, lake District by Alastair Ratcliffe


51: Hudswell Woods, Swaledale by Margaret Harding


52: Monk's House Rocks, Northumberland by John Hendrickson


53: Neist Point, Isle of Skye by Sasha Viergever


54: Loch Hourn, Sound of Sleat, Isle of Skye by Jamie Bodley-Scott


55: Hudswell Woods, Swaledale by Julie Wilks


57: Borrowdale from Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District by Julie Skelton


58: Loch Lurgainn, Inverpolly by Robert Hewitt


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