Merv captures spirit of farm life

Countryman

Northam resident Merv French has taken out top honours in the 2012 CBH Photo Competition.

Mr French's photo of farm dog Sally perched on the bonnet of an old Mack truck was judged the overall winner from a field of more than 200 entries.

Judged last week by _Countryman _ photographer Danella Bevis, Clarity Communications design director Daniel Carroll and CBH business relationship manager Reid Seaby, 14 winners were selected from the categories CBH members and their immediate families, rural community residents, children up to 15 years, CBH employees and overall winner.

The judges singled out Mr French's photo, which carried the caption 'The farm dog is always part of the family', because it encapsulated this year's theme - Year of the Farmer.

The judges applauded the lighting and composition of the image, which emphasised the rustic tones and captured the essence of life on a farm.

Mr Carroll said the talent across the field of entries this year was exceptional, but the winning entries were particularly outstanding.

"The broad theme of the competition, Year of the Farmer, encouraged entries across all aspects of life in rural WA, however, there was strong recurring imagery depicting young families, hard work, companionship and the dependence on the weather," he said.

Mr Carroll said Debbie Cristinelli's photo of a young boy checking the rain gauge and Dani McCreery's image of a young boy celebrating next to a hay bale were both standouts in the CBH member category.

"Liz Robertson's image of a young girl waiting on the porch of a homestead for her father to return home from a day of farming and Christine Bairstow's photograph of innovative harvesting were captured in dramatic lighting and picturesque locations, making them powerful references to the isolation and hard work of life on the land," Mr Carroll said.

The judges noted that Tenindewa local Liam Mann's winning entry in the rural community residents category, titled 'Jack Frost', captured the sentiment of many WA growers who had faced frosty conditions this growing season.

The judges also made particular note of the quality and creativity of the entries in the children's category this year.

"It was fantastic to see what farm life in rural WA looks like through the eyes of a child," Ms Bevis said.

Ms Bevis said Corrigin local Tyson Bell's image was a standout in the children's category.

"Tyson took a creative concept and executed it superbly with his use of colour and composition," she said. "It was playful and simplistic yet perhaps also told the story of a young boy's dream to one day drive a tractor and boomspray just like his father."

The winning entries will be on display at the CBH marquee at the Dowerin and Newdegate field days and Mingenew expo.

Dowerin field days visitors will be able to view every entry in the competition and have the opportunity to vote for their personal favourite in the _Countryman _ People's Choice Award.

You can also vote for your favourite photo from August 23 at www.countryman.com.au .

The _Countryman _ People's Choice Award winner will be announced after the field days season.

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