Competition 2 - Open Prints 19 March 2019   
Derek Gale was welcomed back for his second visit to the club to judge an Open print competition.
Unfortunately, there were not many entries in the Beginners and Intermediate sections but quite a good number in the Advanced section. Maybe newer members think that printing and mounting their images is going to be difficult and expensive but it need not be as commercial prints are allowed and they can cost very little.
Derek gave some comments on how to best present prints and said that the right mount can make a big difference as it can complement the image. Select ta colour that enhances the image as the wrong colour can make the image appear rather too dark or too light. Leave space around the image so that it does not appear cramped.
Starting with the Beginners entries Derek said these members were probably new to the club and by entering a competition it was a good opportunity for them to learn more about the presentation of their prints. Small details are important and Derek said that distracting light areas should have been toned down.
‘Thistle Do’ left - a close-up image of a seed head by Richard Blackmore gained first place. The judge liked the simplicity and the dark complimentary background.
Second place went to Helena Chambers with ‘Hello, I’m up Here’ a monochrome which portrayed a man playing a violin on a tightrope. Although some of the bystanders shown were rather distracting the image was well caught.
DW deerMembers who had progressed to the Intermediate section should achieve a higher standard and show more imagination said the judge.
An image of a lone deer titled ‘Surprised’ right by David Wilkinson was well presented with the subject in focus and the background blurred. The colour was good and it was awarded first place in the Intermediate section.
‘Log of Ages’ by Craig Purvis was an image of a log lying on a beach – the judge liked the simplicity and the composition and placed it second.
Next came the Advanced section with 21 entries to judge. Derek said that those who had reached the club’s advanced level should have images with no faults such as poor focus or composition so he expected great things! He really did not have too much to criticise – just some tiny details that might have been better removed. He had some comments about painted mounts and in one case the mount would have been better another colour.
TP eagleFinally Derek made his selection with a creative image titled ‘Bald Eagle‘ left by Tim Pier in first place saying that the eagle stood out well against the dark background.
Derek liked the interaction between the two birds in ‘Striated Caracaras, Falklands’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and awarded the print second place.
Tim Pier gained third place with a landscape ‘ Morning Light at Whitby’ an area that the judge knew well.
Congratulations to all.

After the break Derek showed us some of his macro images and gave some tips on macro photography. He showed several ways of taking close up images that could be tried out before deciding to buy a special macro lens – he even improvised using the cardboard tube from a toilet roll!
He suggested trying to get as close as you can with a standard lens set to wide angle or if you have them try adding extension rings. With a compact camera good results can be had by using the close up setting. It is essential to use a tripod to keep the camera absolutely steady and use a timer or cable release to avoid any shake when pressing the shutter.
If you want to get more extreme macro images then you will have to get a specialist macro lens.
Derek said that you see the world in a different way when you see the tiny details on an insect or a flower that you would not even know were there.
Thanks to Derek for giving his helpful comments on the prints, Roly Barth for organising the competition and to all those who entered. PM
Full results                 All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.