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What Lies Beneath Our Feet:
Photographic Contest 2014

As the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Geoscientists understand the value of diagrams, conceptual models and photographs to describe complex environments to each other and to the public. Visual evidence remains a key part of field work – from the most basic ground investigation to cutting edge research, particularly for in-situ features that can not be taken away for later study. With this concept in mind the West Midlands and Southern Wales Regional Groups and the Black County Geological Society (BCGS) launched their joint Photographic Competition in January 2014. The theme: ‘What Lies Beneath our Feet’.

The competition was first launched for West Midlands-based Fellows and BCGS members in 2013. This year the two Groups and the BCGS decided to throw open the Competition to any local geologists; amateur or professional, working or retired. Provided you lived in either of the regions, you could enter!

Nearly one hundred entries were received, representing famous geological locations from Nambia to Iceland and Bude to Torquay. Judges comprising Jon Clatworthy (Lapworth Museum), Bill Gaskarth (Geological Society of London) and Adrian Durkin (Dudley Museum & Art Gallery) gathered at the Lapworth Museum, University of Birmingham and deliberated over the images.

A sneak preview of the top ten images was held at the New Dudley Archives building in Dudley on 22 September, before the official award ceremony at the University of Birmingham 23 September. After such a successful year we hope to roll it out nationally next year.

See all the entries to the 2014 competition on Flikr. 

The winning images

Malcolm Nugent’s picture entitled ‘Etna Beneath Our Feet’ was awarded the first prize of £200.

Malcolm Nugent's Winning Photo 

Second and Third places were taken by John SchroderHafrahvammar Canyon, Iceland’ (Below: Top Left), who receives £150 and Scott O’Neil GwilliamsDramatic Cliff Failure of Permian Red Beds at Babbacombe near Torquay’ (Below: Top Right), who receives £100.

Runners Up and Highly Commended 

Also Highly Commended was Fiona Townley’s photograph of the ‘Strokkur Geysir, South Iceland’ (Above, Bottom Right) and Tim Wright’s photograph of the ‘Whaleback Fold, Bude, Cornwall’ (Above, Bottom Left). Each will receive one of the Geological Society’s coveted geological hammer USB-storage devices.