• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

North East Connected

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Students snap up judging roles in BBC photography competition


“This is such a fantastic real-world opportunity for their CV”

Photography students at the University of Sunderland are using their creative expertise to help judge BBC Look North’s popular weather picture competition.

The group of first year students were asked to cast their eyes over viewers’ entries from April this year.

The winning photo, which has to portray spring, will feature in the BBC Look North Weather Calendar 2025, which is being sold to raise money for Children in Need.

Nicole Selby, who is studying Photography, Video and Digital Imaging at the University, said: “It is an honour to be a judge for such a well-known competition.

“I was able to look for photography techniques such as depth of field, composition, leading lines and the exposure of the overall image.

“A winning photo for me would help me as the viewer feel as though I was there in the moment the image was taken, as if I’m looking through the lens of the camera. For me, photography is about capturing a moment or telling a story without using words and I feel the winning photo successfully achieved this.”

Fellow judge and Photography, Video and Digital Imaging student, Emily Saunders, added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be a judge. It was exciting to see everyone’s different takes on the photographs and what people are interested in taking photographs of.

“It was a great filming experience with Paul Mooney. He made us feel at ease and comfortable with talking about the photographs.”

The competition sees hundreds of viewers send in their photos each month representing the weather from across the North East and Cumbria. Some are featured at the beginning of the weather broadcasts, and they are all sent to an external judge, who picks the winner.

Paul Mooney, Senior Weather Presenter for BBC North East and Cumbria, said: “The BBC Look North weather picture competition is in its 22nd year and is still as popular as ever with our viewers.

“We try and keep the feature as varied and interesting as possible and one of the ways we do that is by inviting guest judges from a range of backgrounds with a range of experience. We thought it would be great to have some young people share their enthusiasm and knowledge for photography and our beautiful region, hence our invite to the University of Sunderland photography students to help out by choosing our winning image for the month of April.”

Johannah Churchill, Lecturer in Contemporary Photography at the University of Sunderland, who helped judge the competition in 2021, said: “I am very proud of our students here at the University of Sunderland for their professional attitude to judging the competition – they are continually developing their photographic eye. This is such a fantastic real-world opportunity for their CV but also to make friends and family proud.

“Not only have they had insight into the inner workings of how competitions are run and judged but they have also been able to see how film and television like this works. From my own experience judging the weather picture competition, I know that Paul makes it incredibly fun and quite an occasion, so they will remember it.  He is welcome back anytime.”

To find out more about the University of Sunderland’s Photography, Video and Digital Imaging degree, visit https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/art-design/undergraduate-photography-video-digital-imaging/