As you may already know The Guild of Photographers run a monthly competition to find The Image Of The Month.  Entries are assessed and scored out of 100 by judges using an internationally recognised scoring system:

  • 85 plus… Images of exceptional or outstanding quality (A Platinum Bar) – only awarded to the ultimate of images
  • 80 – 84… Images of particular distinction at a professional level (A Gold Bar) – very rare
  • 75 – 79… Images that are very well crafted at a professional level (A Silver Bar) – difficult to achieve
  • 70.5 – 74… Images of a strong standard at a professional level (A Bronze Bar) – something to be proud of
  • 70… THE BAR – Images of an acceptable professional standard (Of Merit).

As you can see from the scoring being awarded anything above The Bar isn’t easy and is something every photographer should be extremely proud of!

However March’s Image Of The Month Winner, Marie Warwick, went above and beyond scoring a very impressive 84 points! With her image, titled ‘Tern to Heaven’.  Achieving the highest Gold score the Guild has ever given!  And as you can see from the image below it really is an amazing photo worthy of being awarded A Gold Bar!

Here at Infocus, we got in touch with Marie Warwick to ask her a few questions about her winning image.  Here’s what she said:

“My winning image was taken on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland last June; I went there with a few ideas in mind for images that I wanted to try out, one being a back-lit Arctic Tern. But like all wildlife shoots it’s all down to the weather on the day and your subject co-operating  if you can achieve those ideas or not.”

 “A few months after taking the image I went back to it with a particular Black & White conversion in mind, I’d had quite a clear vision of how I wanted the image to end up. After about 20 minutes editing using Silver Efex Pro software and with a final little twist that I added, I had my final image. I named the image ‘Tern to Heaven’.”

“As a wildlife photographer my inspiration generally comes from my subject, I’m always looking for different and unique ways to bring wildlife into people’s lives through photography and my images.”

Marie Warwick was also more than happy to share her advice on how other photographers can achieve success:

“If I was to give advice to any other Wildlife photographer or of any other genre that maybe just starting out it would be:  If you have goals and dreams and have the determination to succeed, work hard, don’t give up, find your own style, be true to yourself and nothing is more important than having the love and support of your family and friends because a photographers journey is not an easy one, especially if you are trying to break through as a Wildlife photographer, it’s definitely a roller-coaster ride, full of ups and downs.    But for me personally, I have to say that joining The Guild of Photographers was the best thing I ever did for my photography, the training/mentoring opportunities, the help/advice and the support that you receive from them is second to none, it’s like having an extended family around you.  And if there is one thing I have learnt on this journey so far is that some doors may close in your face, but if you bang on other doors hard enough another one will open, especially if you want something bad enough, don’t give up at the first hurdle..!!!!”

If you would like to see more of Marie Warwick’s work, visit her website at: or Facebook page: