SUNDERLAND snapper Yul Pitallano is all smiles after being named a winner in the region’s top photography competition.
The Port of Tyne Reflect Awards stretches over six months and although it focuses on the people and places of the North East, it attracts entries from all over the world.
At an event at Gateshead’s Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, this week the finalists found out who had won each of the six categories.
Yul, 36, scooped the People category with his photograph of children and families playing games in the street.
Durham and England cricketer Paul Collingwood, who judged the category, said: “The photos evoked the spirit of North East England and even with some help it was an incredibly difficult job to select a winner.”
Other judges included author David Almond, former BBC weather presenter Trai Anfield and Academy Award-winning film producer David Parfitt.
David, who is originally from Sunderland and judged the over 16s film category, said: “It was a privilege to be a judge and I was very impressed with film techniques that had been used; many of the films entered are of commercial standard.”
This year, the number of people entering Reflect was up 40 per cent to almost 1,300 people and 4,000 photos and films were entered.
Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne’s chief executive, said: “All of the Reflect winners and runners up are of a very high standard. The competition was outstanding this year with entries submitted from as far afield as Italy, Australia and the Czech Republic.
“Reflect is an important part of our commitment to the community and it is fantastic to see how many people feel moved to go out and take pictures or make films inspired by the North East region.
“That’s exactly what the competition set out to do and we’re very pleased that it’s become such a big event.”
The Reflect Awards finalists’ exhibition will be on display in Level 2 at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art until Thursday, January 31, before going on tour venues throughout the North East.