General Notes from the Chairman
Christmas time again or is it yet again and yet another year coming upon us.
By all accounts it looks like being an interesting and maybe difficult year.
More holidays in the UK perhaps. Maybe Paul’s will be the last of the penguins for a while – but then he probably has enough for two or three years.
It’s great to see the standard continuing to rise and with newer members featuring with high marks. 2009 should be a cracking year for our photography.
Judging so far has been pretty good if a little monotonous in the last PI competition but it was gratifying to hear one judge who has recently judged at another local club say and repeat how much higher the standard was here.
New year’s resolution? – To produce even better images!
All the best for the coming year.
Projected Image Competition No 1
30/10/2008 – Any subject
Judge: Walter Benzie
For this competition we welcomed Walter Benzie back to the club as judge. As this was the first purely PI evening (not shared with prints and enprints as in the past) and as members were allowed to enter 3 images each we had a large entry. This is not surprising as the cost of entering images is virtually nil in comparison with the cost of preparation of a well-mounted print. We had 70 images for consideration (one member only entered 1, ‘to test the water’!) so there was going to be a busy evening ahead. The judge was ‘spot judging’ the entries, i.e. he had not seen the images beforehand, as was more usual in the past. Both methods have their problems. Pre-judging may not be carried out in ideal conditions and certainly would be different from the situation in our club room. Spot judging means that an opinion has to be formed very quickly. We give the judge and audience an initial run through of the entry allowing 5 seconds for each image – the idea being that it provides at least an impression of the spread in both quality and subject matter that is involved. A characteristic of most club judges (and Walter was no exception) is that they start off at a leisurely pace and then have to hurry towards the end of the evening. To some extent this is understandable as judges will want to explain at the start how they arrive at an assessment but there should be some way of getting judges to give a fairer distribution of their time. We arrived at the mid-session break with barely one third of the entries considered (and some of those had been held back for later assessment!). This has been fairly typical of our recent competitions and often leaves some members rather disgruntled. There also is sometimes a variation in the marking between the early and the later images.
Having had my little moan, I would mention that Club competitions are meant to be both fun and instructive and Walter supplied both of those in good measure as usual. He certainly comes high among the judges we have had in my 4 years with the club.
The detailed results are given elsewhere in this Newsletter but I would pick out a few of the highlights of the evening.
Daisy leapt into a clear lead with 3 superb images from India, one of which, ‘Authentic Indian Cooking’ was chosen as ‘best in show’. Daisy ended the evening with 57 points giving her a clear lead over the rest – a splendid performance. Snapping at her heels in joint second place with 54 points came Tim Hulbert, Peter Michell and myself, followed by John Gauvin, Paul Hayward and Martin Tomes with 52 points each.
As usual I undertook the collection and preparation of the show (the tedious, time consuming and low stress part), while the public presentation (the really stressful part) was skilfully managed by John Gauvin & Clive Trusler.
The next PI competition is on 11th December, the judge being John Holmes ARPS (hint – he likes black & white images). We then have a gap of 10 weeks before the next PI Competition (set subject “Motion”), unfortunately giving plenty of time for members to lose their newly acquired skills in image preparation!
The Regnum Print competition
This was hosted by Chichester CC and held on Tuesday 11th November 2008 at the Assembly Rooms. The Judge was Chris Palmer ARPS (and another load of unknown awards).
He spread the marks between 11 and 20 (only awarding two of these). He only gave one 19 and four 18s. The popular marks were 14,15 and 16.
Ten clubs entered with six entries from each giving 60 prints in all.
Our entries were as follows:
- Di Walker’s ‘Flying Squid’
- Peter Michell’s ‘Joceline’
- Martin Tomes’ ‘Frosty Morning’
- Ian MacWhirter’s ‘Crabeater Seals on Antartic Iceflow’ and his ‘Gentoo diving from Iceflow’ and finally Roger Stevens ‘Two Horse power’
Sadly the judge did not give us too many top marks with Ian’s pictures getting a 17 and an 18.
Our final score was 92 points giving us 5th equal place with Littlehampton. Chichester won the day with 99 points Worthing second with 96 and Steyning third with 94. Chichester also got the winning print called ‘Learning to dance’ by Rosie Ames which was a beautiful picture.
Sussex Photographic Federation – Annual Slide Competition.
This competition was held at Hailsham on 30th November. The requirements were for each participating club to submit 5 slides taken in the past 5 years from not less than 4 photographers. In spite of contacting all club members known to be slide workers, either in the present or the recent past, the number of images submitted for selection was woefully small. Also it was sad that only 4 SCC members thought it worthwhile attending the meeting. A total of 16 clubs took part in the competition this year. In the past we have had very mixed fortunes, one year coming last and the very next year winning the “Most improved Club” cup. Last year we came near the top with one member getting the “Best Slide in Show” award. This year we came 7th out of 16 – the winners being Rye & District CC with the wooden spoon going to Steyning CC.
It is likely that next year the Federation will drop slides in favour of digital images for the main competition but if so, they will still maintain a small slide affair on a separate date but on an individual rather than a club basis, to cater for the remaining slide workers.
Print Competition No 2
27/11/2008 – Any Subject
Judge: Graham Smith ARPS
Our second competition saw another flurry of high marks. I phoned Graham on Friday morning to apologise for omitting to thank him for his judging personally, and he said that Storrington CC should be very proud of the very high standard of its work and with its diversity, which was very nice to hear. (I got carried away with the task of dismantling all the tables; could I have a bit more help with setting up and putting away please?)
Graham looked through all the prints twice before kick off and announced to me that he would be holding back a large number of prints. My heart sank as that often means that the poor scorer_me_ has a frantic time trying to record all the marks. However, it all worked out well. Also we had specifically asked him to spread the marks. This did nothing to deter him awarding Seven 20s and Thirteen 19s, along with Nine 18s. He insisted that they all deserved these high marks and reflected the standard of all of our entries.
The overall winner was Alf Taylor with his ‘Study in Ice’_ some flowers set up and frozen (I think) in a very striking way. Nice to see Alf back in his winning ways.
The overall highest scorer of the evening however was John Gauvin who was awarded two 20s and one 19 with two stunning Flower studies and a shot of the bow of a boat. Very well done John in your first season of entering large prints. When he heard that I was doing a piece on Macro photography, he told me that that is his passion, as is now plain to see; so sometime in the future I hope that he will perhaps give us a presentation, which, given that he is a professional tutor would be a sight better than mine I am quite sure.
Next up was our ‘King’ of Natural History photography, Ian MacWhirter, with One 20 and Two 19s. I have never seen a better Dragonfly picture in my life, and with his excellent ‘Juvenile Southern Fur Seal’, and a wonderful picture of a Grey Wagtail with an amazing reflection of its head, we were treated to pure gold. Sorry to ‘bat on’ about Ian’s work but it is of the highest quality, and his printing is also ’ the very best’.
Following him, was our Chairman Peter with Two 19s and an 18. We still don’t know whether ‘Fiona’ had her clothes on or not, but she made a very pretty picture. Peter is also showing us now that his landscape work is very good indeed, so he is talented with a wide body of subjects!!
Next highest scorer was Tim Hulbert with his first 20, with a very well photographed Fungus showing its habitat and a 19 for a very good monochrome picture of a woodland scene with sunlight and shadows. Well done Tim.
With the same number of points Roger Stevens had Two 19s with ‘Adur Valley’ and ‘Time Shapes and Angles’. Roger can be counted on to produce very good pictures as I am sure he has been at it for a number of years, though not with us.
Next up was good old reliable Paul Hayward with Three 18s with three lovely pictures as usual including a lion called Notch. Equal with him was Anne Nagle with her highest scores so far_ one 19 for ‘A Burrowing Owl’ and an 18 for ‘A Macaw’. Well done Anne. I also got the same marks with a 20 for my ‘Barn Owl landing’ and an 18 for ‘Weybourne Station Norfolk’.
Martin Tomes got a very well deserved 20 for his ‘Morning light Adur Valley’. The colours, shadows and shapes made getting out of bed early well worth while.
Jane Coward got a 19 for a very nicely mounted ‘Local Sunset’, and Daisy Kane also got a 19 for one of her many wonderful pictures from her trip to India.
Maxwell Burns got a 19 for his ‘Turkish Seaman’ a very moody picture; well done Max in your first season in the main competition. Similarly, well done Di Walker with her very subtly coloured landscape ‘Dalaman National Park’ another 19.
Very well done to Paul Setford and Roy Powell who both got 18s in their first season with the big boys, and to Paul’s old adversary, Peter Picthall, who got 18 with a very spectacular Ice landscape. Paul missed the competition as he is away in Antarctica getting some Ice and Penguin pictures with which to rival Ian and Peter when he returns.
As you will see if you look at the ‘results tables’ on our internet site, there are very few marks between the first nine photographers. So a needle battle is raging!
The next print competition is our set subject_’Power’ _judged by Walter Benzie in February and that should ‘set the cat amongst the pigeons’ I sincerely hope!!
Finally, after the break, we had the En print competition with many more entries this time. However, last times’ unopposed winner Paul Setford won again with a very good picture of a Ladybird on a flower head. Well done Paul. Anne Nagle did very well to bag second and third places with pictures of an Owl and a Kookaburra (I had to ring her to ask how you spelt that!).
Here endeth the long report and I hope all my readers have a very Happy Christmas. Amen
Projected Image Competition No 2
11/12/2008 – Any Subject
Judge: John Holmes ARPS
The second Projected Image Competition of the season went well. I have now got to grips with the software and there was no repeat performance of the glitches during the first competition when the judge asked for images to be held back a second time. That certainly proved challenging and that particular scenario has now been solved. Our judge this time provided a further challenge to the skill of the projectionist, could just the first half images be run through. Fortunately, we had some ambient light in the room making keyboard and mouse control easier. Even so, stopping at the appropriate image was not straightforward and I shall be investigating a solution. What further challenges will judges devise for the future?
On the subject of ambient light, some members feel it provided a better viewing environment while others felt it did not show images to their best advantage. Although it is probably true that ambient lighting while watching television is beneficial particularly if it illuminates the wall behind the television. This mode of lighting serves to moderate the range of motion in the iris muscles in the eye, which limits the size of the pupil. The frequent and sometimes dramatic variation in picture brightness from scene to scene in video programs can cause eye strain and fatigue in an otherwise dark display environment. Ambient lighting should be of the correct colour, as close as possible to CIE D65 (D6500 Kelvin). This specification for white light is more toward the blue end of the visual spectrum, to simulate average north sky daylight at midday. D65 is the reference white point used in correctly calibrated video displays. Typical incandescent lighting is much more yellow/red in spectrum and will skew or distort human colour perception in a video viewing environment. As the purpose of the evening is to judge our images in the best possible way, I am sure your committee will discuss this further and decide on a solution that displays our images in the best possible light.
This competition attracted 63 entries, slightly down from the 70 entries of the first competition. Our judge, John Holmes ARPS, was as I understand it a former member of the club and obviously knew some members although it was obvious he did not show bias one way or another. As a self confessed film photographer, did he really appreciate the brilliance that projected images are displayed in relation to slide images? Nevertheless, he acquitted himself with helpful hints on improvements for images either in viewpoint or exposure compensation. He gave a range of marks similar in range to our first competition, so we can take heart that our average score increased from 15.98 to 16.09.
Fourteen images received 18 marks or more from 9 different photographers or to put it another way that’s 43% of the entrants achieved a score of 18 or greater. Well done to everyone. 18 marks were given to Jean McWhirter, Derek Grieve, Peter Michell and Di Walker. 19 marks were given to Paul Hayward, James Heath, Derek Grieve, Jane Coward and Ian McWhirter while 20 marks were awarded to Jean McWhirter twice for ‘Gentoo Penguin feeding Chicks’ and a delightful image entitled ‘Arctic Fox’, Paul Hayward for his topical ‘Good news about Obama??’, Peter Michell with another of his models ‘Katie’ and finally to myself for ‘Juicy Fruits’ which also received best of the night.
The leader board is hotting up with only 9 points separating the top 10 members. As they say in sporting circles, ‘all to play for in the second half’.
Keep up the good work and I look forward to the ingenuity of members for the set subject competition ‘Motion’.