There was a good atmosphere at the Courtyard, Longford town on Thursday evening last as people milled in and out of the spectacular Longford Landscapes photographic exhibition.
Almost 600 local photographers submitted images to the first Longford Landscapes competition, proving that the art of photography is alive and well across the county.
There were even some entries from outside the country, according to judge, Shelley Corcoran, who explained that several people who had visited Longford and taken photographs decided to enter the competition.
“The standard was extremely high, we had such a difficult job getting it down to just 31 finalists,” she said.
“The fact we got entries from abroad also shows that Longford is a county that is photogenic, has beautiful landscapes, has interesting townscapes, and visitors see how wonderful it is, they want to photograph it.
“We know that places such as Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Waterford are all so scenic but now this competition has proved and shown that Longford can join these counties with scenery and townscapes worth being photographed.
“Entries were from all ages which again shows that Longford is viewed as a place that has something for everyone. The standard of photography was so high that a book is now in the pipeline.”
The photographic book, according to County Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy will be a coffee-table styled book that work as promotional material for the county, showcasing the very best of what Longford has to offer.
Competition judge, Cllr Peggy Nolan congratulated all of the finalists on making it to the exhibition and expressed her delight that almost 600 entries were received.
“Over the past number of years, I have seen so much fantastic work done by non-professionals and I think tonight is a time to say thank you to all of you that can go out in our beloved county and take pictures that are there for posterity,” she said.
“It's not just going to end here tonight because the main concept was that when this competition was over, we would go back to our Arts Officer and get the funding to put all of them in a book with the names and maybe even a little story, to have those forever.”
Cathaoirleach of Longford MD Cllr Seamus Butler also congratulated all of the photographers present.
“The light is different in the midlands than it is in the west. It's particular to the midland in that the landscape is flatter and there are some remarkable photographs here and all of you should be proud to be finalists out of 600,” he said.