All the images that have been awarded a 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 2019-20 season are entered in this last competition for the judge to choose the best of the best. This is a particularly difficult task as the images have come from a range of different genres – nature, landscape, monochrome, creative as well as all those entered in the Open competitions. Ralph Snook ARPS DPAGB EFIAO/b has judged many times for Devizes and said that it was good that the club was still able to run competitions although in a rather different way.
The judge was in Bristol and 40 club members in their own homes so it had to be another virtual meeting. Competition Secretary Dave Eagle did an excellent job juggling with DiCentra software on his computer to show the images as well as running the meeting using Zoom.
The awarded Prints in the 3 sections had to be judged as Projected images on this occasion. Starting with the Beginners Ralph commented on each image and gave some tips about cropping uninteresting areas in the images to make the main subject more prominent.
First place went to ‘Broad-bodied Chaser’ right by Dave Evans. The judge said it was very sharp close-up image with the light showing up the veins in its wings.
A very different image was second with ‘Dawn Breaking – Winter Solstice, Avebury' by Bridget Codrington showing silhouetted people against the sky. In third place was a misty forest scene titled ‘Bird Box No 7’ by Dave Eagle.
Next came the Intermediate print section which Ralph saying that all the images were strong making it difficult for him to just pick out 3 for awards.
The impressive coloured sky and colours reflected in the water in ‘Venetian Sunfire’ left earned Craig Purvis first place.
The judge said that the image ‘Fox on the Alert’ by David Wilkinson was very well caught. He commented that the fox was not aware of the photographer and gave it 2nd place. Another image by David Wilkinson was third – this time a snowy scene titled ‘Mountain Hare’ The judge liked the textures and the detail in the snow.
Next came the Advanced group with a wide range of subjects.
Images by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP gained most of the awards with ‘Overlooking Petra’ right in first place. Ralph said it was a very strong image and particularly liked the complimenting colours of the figure on the rocks. In third place was a striking image by Robert of a very colourful creature against a black background titled ‘Parson’s Chameleon’ Robert also had an HC with ‘White-tailed Sea-eagle Hunting which the judge said was caught at just the right moment.
Just stopping Robert sweeping the board was ‘Fantasia’ an image by Pam Mullings gaining second place. Ralph said that although creative images were not his thing he said this one grabbed his attention and he liked the complimenting colours.
After a short break we went on to the images that had won awards in the Projected Image competitions.
The images in the Beginners section were shown with again Ralph giving his helpful comments on each one. Five images were picked out for awards with first place going to an image which Ralph said showed a lot of emotion. The expressions in ‘Sometimes being a Mother’ left could be interpreted in many ways - who knows what was really going on in the mother and baby’s minds.
Second place went to a dramatic seascape. ‘Storm Dennis’ by Dave Evans showed the action of a huge wave as it swept over the lighthouse – Ralph hoped the photographer did not get too wet!
Another nature image was third with ‘Mummy, feed me please’ by Mark Somerville and Mark also gained an HC for a monochrome image of a motor biker ‘Guy Martin’
An HC was also awarded to Jennifer Skjoldbro for an interesting sunset scene ‘Beauty and the Beach’ with its well caught reflections.
Nature subjects were the winners in the Intermediate section with ‘Skylark with Bugs’ right by David Wilkinson in first place. The judge liked the detail and that the bird had a ‘bug’ in its beak.
Second place went to Craig Purvis with ‘Red Cracking Bolete’ a striking image of a mushroom with morning dew in the foreground moss. Third was a close-up of paired butterflies ‘Leopard Lacewings’ by Steve Hardman. The image was sharp with a clean uncluttered background.
Last but not least was the Advanced section with Ralph saying that all 16 entries were of a very high standard so it was hard for him to choose the winners. Again it was Robert Harvey who very nearly swept the board with a first, second and 2 HC’s.
The swirling sand and the textures in ‘Sandstorm, Namib Desert’ left impressed the judge and it was given first place. In second place was a nature image ‘Common Darters in Tandem’ which Ralph said was pin sharp and a very difficult subject to capture. Robert gained HC’s for another Namibia image ‘’Milky Way over Grandidier’s Baobab’ and a snowy image ‘A Rabbit Before Me’
Another creative image by Pam Mullings slipped into 3rd place ‘Bolt from the Blue’ was something a bit different said the judge.
Many congratulations to the winners in each of the 6 sections - the Trophies will be presented when we can meet up again.
Steve Hardman thanked Ralph for judging and commenting on all the 76 entries and hoped that next time he would be able to come and judge in person.
Thanks were given to Dave Eagle who has done such a good job of running the virtual competitions so successfully.
An interesting competition with a wide range of subjects that hopefully everyone enjoyed watching. PM
All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries Club Awards for the 2019-2020 season