The normally decorous proceedings of the Annual Melbury Osmond Photographic Society's Landscape of the Year Competition were thrown in to turmoil yesterday as one of the hottest tips for photograph of the year was disqualified and its creator removed from the list of members. The creator of Dawn Over Dorset, who cannot be named for legal reasons was castigated by Chair of the Judging Panel Mrs Amanda J Threadbone for "knowingly attempting an illegal entry" and "attempting to secure an advantage via the back passage".
Rule 532b of the Melbury Osmond Photographic Society's Competition Rules clearly states that all photographs must be of Dorset landscapes take during the year in which the Competition is held - in this case 2016. After intense forensic investigation by staff of The Threadbone Forensic Photo-Digi Laboratories in Great Heaving, the photograph clearly labelled Dawn Over Dorset (Catbells Sunrise, Cumbria, England October 2010) was judged to be "not provably of a Dorset landscape nor provably taken in 2016". "It was, therefore disqualified on both counts", Mrs Threadbone explained. It is understood that there is no right of appeal under the Society's rules. The disgraced photographer was unavailable for comment.
On a happier note, winners included: Snowden Oates' s Mist over Corfe Castle (over 85s category); Bailey Stourpaine's Sunrise over Great Heaving (under 85s category); and - in a category new to the competition and especially created by Mrs Threadbone - Sheldon Threadbone Jnr's Autumn Shades in a Cornwall Wood 2014 (Overall runner-up).
Category Winners in the Annual Melbury Osmond Photographic Society's Landscape of the Year Competition, together with the controversially disqualified entry