Five of us gathered yesterday for the
Sussex Federation Photographic Competition. We met at a new venue, The Kings
Centre Burgess Hill, and also on a new day a Saturday. I am not sure if the
change of day had an effect on the attendance generally or not, but I felt there
were fewer people than last year when it was clear we had out grown Wivelsfield
Village Hall. The Kings Centre can hold 500 people.
The doors opened at 1.30 so there was
plenty of time to view the prints prior to competition, buy raffle tickets, and
get refreshments. The number of competition entries I have also seen at other
competitions struck me. Now at Print Competitions the images are also projected
as PI’s so that everyone can see the image if they are not able to view the
print so well. This made me think how one almost needs to Print an image and
also have a PI to compare it with to see which medium suits the image best, as
certainly some viewed better as PI’s than Prints. I don’t know about you but by
this stage of the season I am usually scrabbling around for Competition entries
and put in whatever comes to hand rather than thinking which medium suits the
This evening we were treated to a show of superb artistic talent by Diana Goss MSc UKCP ARPS who specialises and thoroughly enjoys Night Photography. She was going to be accompanied by a gentleman who partners on her night adventures, but unfortunately he was unable to attend. Diana emphasised that for personal safety it is unwise to venture out alone at night and in any case her partner works with her (and sometimes with more assistants as well) to enable her to get the results she is seeking. She, like Rosie Armes who also came to us from Chichester CC, never sets out with her camera to take random pictures (as I do, and I suspect most other SCC people do!?); all her images are thought up in advance and the appropriate props taken along with her.
When Diana arrived with us, she set out all the kit she takes with her on her night photography on a table for us to examine. She told us that none of it was costly. It included, apart from her camera, a fisheye lens; flash gun; wire wool; electro-luminescent wire; stencils; coloured gels, to name but a few of the items, several of which were purchased on e-bay.
We arrived at Lancing Parish Hall for the Crouch Shield PI competition which was hosted by Worthing CC. We paid, bought raffle tickets, as you do, and had a large 'goody bag' thrust upon us containing Olympus catalogues, a very useful lens polishing cloth and very luckily a pen, since I immediately found out that my own pen had expired. We then met up with fellow SCC supporters, I counted eleven, and sat down.
Then proceedings began and we were introduced to the Judge, Marcus Scott-Taggart from Surrey, who is very experienced. He trains judges and checks them out 'in the field'. He started by telling us that all the images entered were very good, but that it was his job to judge harshly in order to separate them from one another to pick the winners.
There were eleven clubs entered, so Six rounds of eleven images. Our first image was 'Red Hot Chilli Pepper' taken by Liz Barber and Marcus remarked on what a very good job had been done setting up and taking the image and gave it 18, which gave us 2nd equal position.
There was a good number of entries
to this set subject, and a very high standard of varied images. Most
were black and whites, but there were a few sepias, although one of
mine was a “false orangey colour” in our judge’s words, so take
care out there next time round! The main advice was to think whether
the toning added or subtracted from the image. With just a couple of
the entries, he would have liked to see the colour version, as he
felt that converting to black and white doesn’t always work.
The judge was David Eastley, and I
would highly recommend him for future competitions. He marked between
13 and 20, and there were not too many hitting the top scores. It
certainly felt like a fair reflection of the images. As our chair,
Anne said in her summing up at the end, we had heard some interesting
comments and critique, and we all had things to go away and work on
to improve our understanding of monochrome.
This evening we had our second 'Knockout' competition devised and run by John Gauvin, ably assisted by Alex. Last season we had our first similar competition using prints from everyone entering. This time it was three PIs and 69 were entered. Two images were projected side by side on the screen and we voted with a show of hands with our choice of the best image. Alex counted the votes and if there were an equal number of votes for each image, Alex settled the result with the toss of a coin,(a £1 before the break and a 5p after_ the tea must have cost a lot!)
As there was no age limit on the images, we were treated to a selection of very good and interesting pictures. As the competition progressed it became more and more difficult to choose between the images as they were all very good. Someone remarked that we had all had a taste of the hard job that our judges have! I remember a few off the top of my head, two Ice Berg pictures; a Polar Bear taking a dip; the running gear of a steam locomotive, all stick in my mind, but the eventual very worthy winning image was of an Iceburg with lots of atmosphere taken by Roscoe Turner, (he should have been a radio DJ with a name like that?) who won the winner’s bottle of wine presented by Anne.
I always look forward to having these SCPF P.I. competition rounds held at our venue, because one can get nice and close to the images and hear exactly what the judge is saying, where as if similar comps are held in their usual necessary big halls you can miss quite a lot sometimes.
Martin gave us a talk on last year’s 'One a Week’ project which a number of us took part in during 2013. The idea is that you are given a new topic each week and you must take at least one image of the subject during that week, which you then upload to the Flickr site. Once there, your fellow members of the group can tell you what they think of your efforts. If you get no comments, as happened with most of my shots, you can take it that nobody thinks them worthy of comment! Not good, but in my case predictable.
Martin explained the whole 2013 challenge to everyone and then randomly showed us an example of each topic as taken by those partaking from each week. He had produced little prints of all 52 of his images from last year, and Liz brought the prints that had been on show at the Storrington library for our Christmas exhibition, some of which were also from the project.
After the break, Chris West, Vice Chairman and generally OK chap, gave us a show illustrating two trips that he had made to Napal in 2007 and 2008. Paul Hayward had been going to give us a show of one of his trips, but sadly was taken ill and had to step down. Chris’s show was very well presented and it was hard to believe that he had got it all together at very short notice.
Our final meeting of the year used to be called the Chairman’s evening and this one certainly was just that. Anne bought all the food and drink and engineered the evening as she thought fit, which was to get everyone talking to one another. She was very ably assisted by liz who prepared and heated up the very tasty punch and organised and ran a quiz; by Daisy who helped setting everything up; and by Chris who also ran another quiz. I was teamed with Martin and Terence and we were rubbish in the first quiz and a great deal better in Chris’s quiz, which was technical and having the club technocrat on board helped! - a lot.
Our first print competition was judged by Roger Crocombe ARPS, who was also from Bognor Camera Club. He started the evening
by telling us that he was going to favour a picture which tells a story well over one which was technically perfect e.g., a slightly soft photo which told a story well would not be penalised heavily for its technical defects. He then went on to talk about the 365 group in which he was taking part and of which Janet is also a member (Janet is also doing our own weekly challenge). He is taking around 700 photos a week, it must be nice to have that sort of time. Roger
then went on to show some photos of his work before judging, they were a mixed array
of flowers, seascapes and his favourite storm drain near to where he lives, all of his pictures were of a high standard. His flower photos are mainly taken in West Dean greenhouse or
a supermarket purchase of flowers, he takes up to around 30 frames at different
focus points and then stitches them together to make one photo (photo stacking)
to give a lot more front to back focus
of the flower than would be possible with one shot. We were in for a good
evening of judging.
We had 59 entries which is a lot less than
we have on the projected competitions, Roger was a fair judge looking at all
the entries and talking about the stories that came across or not as some was
Ten members of SCC attended the Sussex Fed P.I. competition at Wivelsfield Village Hall which was hosted by Mid Sussex Camera Club, whose Chairman Alec Pelham introduced the gathering to the Judge Steve Lawrenson ARPS APAAGB, who is a member of Reigate CC. Alec said that Steve had visited a lot of the clubs in the Region; however he has not visited us and he seemed to penalise us for this oversight in his marking of our entries! (joke)
It was a fact that most of our entries did not inspire him and I will not reveal whose images got what marks. A committee selects our entries; suffice to say that Anne Nagle was the only person to get good marks for us getting 18 for her ‘Razorbill Pair’ and 16 for her ‘Black-eyed Susan’ images.
Steve awarded only Five 20s, one in each round as it happened, and they were really outstanding pictures. The first was of a butterfly resting with dew on it and its perch from Rye CC. The next was the best of the competition which came from Worthing club and was a very well set up shot of a human fist breaking through a glass pane with water and glass scattered around the fist. It must have taken a lot of thought and was amazing.
Would you like to know more? Take a look at our current programme to see what we get up to then either fill in our contact form, call our chairman Chris West on 01903 744571 or come along to our next camera club meeting.
2 Apr 2015: 4th Projected Image Competition - any subject