Almost the end of the 2019-2020 season and the last competition was a ‘battle’ between the ladies and the gents of the club. Billed as a ‘fun’ event, nonetheless members do take it very seriously and both genders are all out to win!
Entries are sent in to the two captains and then with help from others a selection is made. All members may enter and those in the Beginners and Intermediate sections get a bonus of 2 points to encourage entries from those groups. As there are many more men in the club than ladies then their entries are limited to two each.
To avoid shouts of bias the club asked both Clive and Joan Ryder Rathband to judge the competition – both are very experienced judges and both are Fellows of the Royal Photographic Society amongst many other distinctions.
This had to be a virtual battle so Zoom was used very successfully to show the images and hear the comments from the two judges who had assessed the entries separately. Mostly they agreed on the merits or otherwise of each image but occasionally there was a gasp from one as the others score was announced!
Clive and Joan gave very informed comments on each image before giving a score out of ten. The scores were added and the bonus points added and then Frank Collins announced each score and kept a running total. The first 30 images were shown and at the break the Ladies were ahead 232 points to 222. The Gents caught up during the second half and it was very close until the last couple of images when the Ladies ended up with a total of 471.5 and the Gents very close behind with 467 points. Congratulations to the Ladies and commiserations to the Gents for loosing for the second year in a row!
Many of the comments by the judges related to the removal of distracting areas in the images.
Members were advised to look very carefully for any light spots or other distractions in the background. Unless the image was entered in a nature or landscape competition where specific rules apply, manipulation is allowed and blemishes etc. removed by cropping or carefully cloning or darkening down any light spots. The advice was to look closely at the background as well as the foreground and also make sure you tease out all the details and colours you can from each image. Also try flipping an image left to right and then comparing the two views as often the eye ‘reads’ an image better from the opposite view.
No image gained the full 10 points each from both Clive & Joan but very well done to Bridget Codrington who was awarded a 10 and a 9 plus 2 bonus points making 21 points in total for a night scene titled ‘Tower Bridge’above left. Both judges said that it was taken at the perfect time – that is just at dusk in order to get some colour in the sky and that the highlights were very well handled
‘Male Snow bunting’ above right by David Wilkinson also did well with a 9.5 and a 9 plus 2 bonus giving 20.5 points. Clive and Joan both thought it was an excellent image of the bird in a good pose showing great detail.
A striking image by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DBAGB titled ‘Burnt Tip Orchid’ left gained a 10 and a 9 from the judges making 19 points as was Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP with 19 points for ‘Storm Ciara’ right – both without any added bonuses as they are both in the Advanced section.
Other images with high scores were a close up study ‘Portrait of a Bluebell’ by Sue Wadman with 19.5 (9.5 + 8 +2) and a well taken ‘Common Puffball’ by Craig Purvis with 20 (8.5, 9.5 +2).
Summing up Steve Hardman said the club was fortunate to have such experiences judges as members and thanked them both for giving such helpful comments and for answering some questions about how to achieve the ‘sparkle and glow’ that they said they always look for when judging an image.
Thanks to the ‘captains’ Bridget Codrington and Dave Gray, to Frank for the scoring and to all the others that helped choose the entries.
Thanks once again to Dave Eagle for showing the projected images as well as running the Zoom meeting. PM