Third competition

Meeting Report

3rd Competition

“Swirling River” by David SeddonA cracking start to the competitions of 2018 as Paul Hayward  welcomed Ken Scott our judge for the night, member of Steyning camera club and long standing friend to this club. There was an air of expectation together with hope of a good night of helpful comment, critical, discerning  assessment and good humour – we were not disappointed.

First off 28 prints with an open subject, which proved to be wide ranging and interesting.

Ken awarded a range of points from 13-20, accompanying each picture with critical but helpful comments with regards to developing a theme, quality and detail.  As the note taker I became aware that some enthusiastic comments did not always reflect the final mark!

Nine prints merited well earned points between 18-20, which I am sure each photographer truly valued.

Chris West did very well with two 18s, firstly a griffin vulture sitting majestically on an outcrop, which Ken praised for the depiction of the bird’s grandeur, majesty and poise, in addition to the good texture of the rock.  The second 18 was awarded to Chris for “Shepherd from Nanjangu”, which caused some amusement in pronounciation.  Ken loved this picture because of the obvious interaction between subject and photographer, which was very engaging.          

Martin Tomes was praised for his “Seville Tower”, another well deserved 18 for a simple but clever picture using the tower to hide the sun, giving beautiful colour and light.  The choice of horizontal format was praised.

Janet Brown presented “The girl in the window”, an intriguing picture with good observation and treatment of the window and surrounding walls.  Ken would like to have seen some more detail in the window, but well seen Janet.

So to the three 19s all very different but worthy of praise. 

Congratulations to Di Walker for “Early morning flowerhead”, which Ken commended for its pleasant well chosen focus, which kept the detail and enhanced the overall flow of the picture.

Liz Barber’s “Calming waves” won Ken over for the really lovely colours, simplicity and calm.  He praised the photographers skill with intentional camera movement and having the wave gentle breaking obliquely in the overall picture.

“Edging forward” from Daisy Kane was commended for the way in which the light was focussed on the face of the fox, which was sharp.  The trees behind the fox’s head were potentially a problem, but the photographer had ensured that they did not detract from the main subject “Mr Fox”.

From the 9 held back, just two prints merited 20, so very well done to Anne Nagle and Janet Brown, praise indeed from a very experienced judge and photographer, applause all round.

Anne’s skill with photographing birds is well known to members, as she presented “Out in all weathers” a stunning picture of a kingfisher with rain on its feathers,  beautiful detail and “just something different” with good angles and observation.  Well done Anne as the judge admitted to not being a bird picture enthusiast.

Janet Brown came up with a masterpiece for the night “Babbling brook”, which Ken saw as a beautiful picture, well handled with long shutter speed and dapple light, “spot on” in all aspects and had no hesitation in awarding 20 points and nominating print of the night.  Well done Janet for a great night’s work, giving us all a feast of camera skills and observation.

After a well earned break for refreshments, the projected images, as an introduction Ken reiterated the guidance and comments sent to David Seddon with regards to water as a set subject.

I would urge members to consider this:

The image should be of water or its effects, not just have water in it.

What is it specifically about water that caught your attention? - texture, movement, power, reflected light, delicacy, effect etc.

How have you chosen to portray it and how do you feel about it? - context, technique (e.g. long exposure), mood.

I, as a judge, would consider all of these as valid, if the image were convincing.

I don't want to constrain myself or your members by being too specific in my own guidance because I never cease to be surprised by photographers' ingenuity.”

With all that in mind, we had 30 entries, most of which were deemed to have met the criteria with points ranging from 14-20 and of which nine were held back and were awarded 18-20 points with some familiar names in the mix.

Daisy Kane’s “Mono Reflections” scoring 18, fitted the brief very well with its simple bare branches beautifully reflected in gentle rippling water, a delightful picture gentle and easy on the eye.  Altogether a good night for Daisy, well done.

David Seddon’s “Sulphuric thermal springs” another 18, which merited comment about whether this was water or chemicals making patterns on the sand.  The colour and shapes were impressive with an excellent depth of field.

The last 18 awarded to Liz Barber for “Watery reflections”, a skilful presentation of beautiful textures moving across the screen, giving the feeling of speed, so Liz is to be congratulated on a good result all round.

Alex Swyer our projectionist gained a 19 and much praise for “Love in unsuspecting places” an   unusual depiction of the bubbles from moving water, which in part formed a heart, well spotted.

Another 19 went to Chris West for his “Monsoon” a splendid, well spotted picture of an overloaded motorcyclist in torrential rain, causing much comment and enjoyment, a successful night for Chris, well done.

Janet Brown’s “Steps to the beach” attracted a 19, for a good picture, totally water with good shutter speed, so an excellent night all round for Janet.

Three 20s were awarded as follows:-

“Bubble bath time” by Kevin Harwood,  which showed a bird caught up in foaming water, which the judge praised for the decision to use a fast speed to emphasise the bubbles and texture, whilst keeping the bird in focus.

“Wave power” by Norman Kirby, showing surfers on huge waves, providing an exciting picture of wave power, well placed and photographed.  Initially Ken thought this was a drone-taken picture, because of the stunning angle, but in fact taken from a pier.

Finally “Swirling River” from David Seddon to which Ken gave 20 marks and named PI of the night for the unusual depiction of water movement, creating interesting shapes and well defined flow with a real sense of movement.  Well done David, sorry you were not there to hear the applause.

So an entertaining informative evening came to a close with thanks to Ken, who told us that we  were the fifth judging commitment this week, he stayed remarkably interested and committed and invited us to join him on a workshop in France.

It was good to welcome visitors and a returning member Martin Baker , hopefully we will all renew acquaintances with you Martin.