Competition 2 - Open Prints 20 March 2018   
RB boatersNot only was this the first visit to Devizes CC by Mike Hendon LRPS but his first time as a judge. He explained that he became a judge by accident after going on a WCPF Seminar as a competition secretary.  The same seminar was for also new judges and Mike was astonished when he was congratulated for being on the list of approved judges! Anyway it was quite a gentle introduction for a judge as there were fewer than usual entries for the last open print competition of the season. Mike had looked through all the entries very carefully and gave his comments very professionally. Mike sometimes felt that some skies were over saturated for his taste and also some distracting white areas could have been toned down.

PM SeedheadsOnly one member of the Beginners section entered this competition so it was no surprise that Richard Blackbourne had the winning print. ‘Boater’s Market’ top left portrayed a canal side scene with people selling a variety of wares alongside their colourful barges
There were a few more entries in the Intermediate section which gave Mike some deliberation as to which prints to give awards.  Finally, he chose an excellent landscape by Steve Hardman for first place SH Quirangwith a monochrome by David Lock in second place. The subtlety coloured image taken on the Isle of Skye titled ‘Quirang’ left appealed to the judge who remarked that the winding road led the eye through the landscape to the distant misty mountains.

There were seventeen entries for Mike to judge in the Advanced section and he remarked that he found it difficult to select just five images for awards as the standard was so high.
He remarked that there were many wonderful landscapes entered but finally gave first place to creative image by Pam Mullings. The print titled ‘Cardoon Seed Heads’ right was an unusual composite image using several images and blend modes resulting in a harmonious coloured combination.
Pam was also awarded third place with another composite image titled ‘Contemplation’ The judge thought the image was in the style of the Pre- Raphaelites and liked the way the foliage swept around the body of the model and the painterly background.
A landscape by Tim Pier titled ‘Sunset at Land’s End’ was awarded third place with the judge commenting on the way the setting sun highlighted the cliffs, and the amazing colours in the sea. Another sunset image by Tim was awarded a highly commended this time featuring the Cornish coastline and Godrevy Light House.
An HC was also awarded to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP for an excellent floral image of the rare Monkey Orchid.
Hopefully his visit to the club did not put Mike off judging in the future!
Full results               All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

'Water Splash Photography'  
MH splashAs the competition did not take up the whole evening Mike gamely agreed to put together a presentation of his own images showing his expertise in capturing splashing liquid in a variety of ways. His interest in the subject began with an image of a swimmer throwing back her wet hair with an arc of spray – this led to other creative images taken in swimming pools often with lots of spray.
Mh bubbleHis interest in the way the camera could capture amazing water splash images led to him buying the special equipment needed to control the size and speed of the drops and to trigger the flash or flashes at precisely the right time. The camera is pre-focussed on the exact spot where the liquid will fall then in complete darkness the camera is set on a very slow shutter speed giving time to start the liqid drop and for the flash or flashes to fire at extremely high speed to give a sharp image. Colours can be added to the liquid and coloured gels used to give an infinite variety of effects. It takes a lot of patience and trial and error (and sometimes mess) to get just the right amount of splash but as Mike says it puts ‘fun’ into photography so why not have some fun. No two splashes are alike so seeing just what you have captured is the interesting part. There are numerous splash images on the internet and Mike recommended those by Corrie White if members would like to try their hand at something a bit different.
Many thanks to Mike for so ably judging the print completion and also for his very interesting introduction to Liquid Drop Art. PM
Water splash images © Mike Hendon LRPS