This year's winning photograph for the front cover of the 2019 Visitor Guide was taken by Embleton photographer, Andy Craig.
Ever since we published the first Visitor Guide way back in 2010, we've run a competition to find the front cover image for the following year's guide. We've had some stunning images submitted, which has made the competition very difficult to judge.
This year, the judges - Jane Coltman (Johnston Press), Ken Stait (Stait Photo) and Cllr Jeff Watson (AONB Partnership Chairman) - were looking for an image that not only summed up what the AONB 'means' to so many, but also a one that would work with the new A4 format of our Visitor Guide. The perspective of Andy's photograph along the beach back towards Dunstanburgh Castle, with its human and canine footprints, met that brief perfectly.
We asked Andy if he could explain to us how he came to take the winning photo. He said:
"This photograph summarises what Northumberland means to me. A quiet beach at sunrise with my footprints leaving their trail beside Daisy's paw prints. For the 10 years I have lived on the Northumberland Coast I have walked with my dog beside me. I have seen many such sunrises and I try to find something unique to photograph every day so I can share those moments on my blog. This beautiful, special and fragile coastal environment, that is so well protected by its status as an AONB, is the inspiration for my photography and my songwriting and the title of this photograph "Sand Beneath My Feet" is also the title of one of my songs".
Scottish-born Andy turned a hobby into his profession. He has captured weddings and family occasions in Northumberland for the past 12 years, but he also offers photography training and video and film making production. He can add musician to his list of talents too.
Andy can often be found on the beach. His blog - Northumberland360.com - provides a photographic diary of his walks with his rescue lurcher, Daisy on the Northumberland Coast. She even has her own instagram account: @DaisyofNorthumberland
We'll be printing Andy's song in our Visitor Guide so make sure you keep an eye out for it ...