Eric Burchell joined us again to judge the final print competition of the season. Not as controversial as some of our judges this season, in fact he was very generous with his marking, 2x15s, 10x16s, 14x17s, 9x18s, 5x19s, 6x20s.
It would appear that birds of all varieties were his favourite subject of the night, but out of left field came Jane Coward with her Funnel Web Spider Boy who triumphed on the night. Eric commented that capturing the moment was all important and that to avoid “record” pictures for competition.
There were some exceptional pictures this week, Ian Mac getting two 20s and a 19. All birds, no surprise there, with my particular favourite “Pheasant in Snow” which was superb.
Peter Michell with his birds of a different variety, was also in form with a 20 and two 19s. “Fiona” was stunning, as were the pictures.
Derek also focussed on nature scoring one of each, 18, 19, and 20. He let us into the secret of his 20 “Merlin in Snow Storm” saying that the handler had to lie on the ground while he took the shot. The result was a wonderful picture of a rare bird, apparently in the wild. Thanks for the tip Derek.
It only gets better – after the last newsletter congratulating Ruth on getting top spot in the second print competition along comes new member Charmaine Hayes – she enters two projected images in the 3rd competition and gets 20 and 19 – very well done.
Don judged this competition with his normal good humour, announcing at
the start that he didn't like Portrait, Landscape, Natural History or for that
matter any other genre of photography except steam locomotives. Don revealed he
has been judging for over 40 years and is currently the President of Bognor
Regis Camera Club. The confidence of Don to mark images as seen and not 'Hold
Back' any is his testament to those 40 years of judging. With both the PI &
Print Best of the Year competitions to be judged we had a lot to get through.
It didn't help that the software crashed on the second image marked and it took
several minutes to recover the situation. As it happened, judging ended ahead
of schedule confirming that experienced judges are excellent time keepers as
What an improvement! Graham managed to achieve an incredible 50%
increase in the percentage of images he marked in the 18-20 range. On his last
visit he marked 36% of our images in his range, this time a whopping 53%
achieved our top scores. An improvement on this scale will mean we all achieve
those elusive big scores. More seriously, Graham is always generous in his
marking and a look back at the previous competitions he has judged will bear
testimony to this.
Just as judging is a
personal view, so is report writing, and the authors assessment of the
competition. In my humble opinion Don Mitchell was in top form judging our
prints and projected images, with concise critiques of each picture focussing
on technical detail and composition rather than the common trait we have
experienced from some judges of lengthy descriptions of the content of the
The marking could be
described as harsh, but this after all was Best of Year, and there were
considerable variations from the original score a print received to that
received in this competition, which either reveals that our earlier judges were
to say the least generous, or that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I
leave you to be the Judges of that.
The winner this year
was Daisy Kane with her “Hot Air
Balloon”. Don said that of all the competitions he has judged this year, this
picture would always stand out as one of the best. High and well deserved
praise indeed. How Daisy is going to follow this years success I don’t know, at
least for photographers like myself the only way is up!
In the first round, Paul Hayward scored 17 points for his
image entitled 'Hard Times'. This put us in 6th place at the end of Round One.
Could it get better?
Round two took us further down the 'pecking' order. Derek
Grieve's 'Early morning view from San Gimignano' was awarded only 16 points. We
were now in joint penultimate place along with Horsham, Mid-Sussex and Henfield (who were
eventually to come joint last along with Littlehampton).
Peter Michell to the rescue in round three. 'Katie' was
given 19 points and we were joint 5th. Could we maintain our 2009 showing when
we came joint 5th?
Round four and optimism ahead. Anne Nagle's 'Great Spotted
Woodpecker' scores 18 points and we move up to 4th.
Round five and we slip to joint 6th, when Jane Coward's
'Hammer and Anvil' only score 15. Surely it was worth more than that. All is not
We had a really interesting evening withb Roy Hales and his wife Angela who gave us a presentation about the wildlife in Borneo.
Their particular hobby is the study of spiders and the rainforest in Borneo has a lot of different varieties including some brand new ones not before seen or therefore named.
They keep a huge collection in pots in a room in their house with dozens of specimins and look after and study them. They also run the British Tarantula Spider Society.
Roy's interest in spiders started when he was a boy when he found himself looking at a spider in its web (rather like Robert the Bruce) and he thought how beautiful and clever 'the little critter' was and so his lifetime hobby began. Then he met his future wife on a trip when she was studying tarantulas in some far of spot (most probably Borneo) and love and the spiders blossomed and have done so ever since.
A great time was had by all, the one opportunity in the year that we can all become judges.
I was personally shocked by some of the comments made, lampooning some of the Judges we have had this year, showing a total lack of respect. Hopefully next season we can raise the standard of judging and have some more insightful comments to help us improve our pictures.
The fixed subjects this year, set by Tim, were Earth, Water, Fire, and Family. Seems quite a range on the surface, but that not easy when you came down to it. We had some interesting interpretations of "Family" with our twitchers showing pictures of groups of birds that we had no way of knowing were actually related!
Like last year the top of the pile had excellent scores all very close to one another.
1st Ian MacWhirter 366 points "Family"
2nd Peter Michell 364 points "Family"
3rd Derek Grieve 352 points "Water"
This result reveals that even with our relaxed approach to judging, we still recognised good pictures when we saw them. It's time we knocked these guys off the top, so next year we must pull out all the stops to defeat them, and more of us to enter this fun competition.
Special mention must be made of the "Judge" whose marks were as follows:
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 Anne Nagle on 01798 812312 or come along to our next camera club meeting.