Nature Competition 2020 20 October 2020   

RH adderRalph Snook ARPS DPAGB EFIAP/b was welcomed back to the club where he has judged competitions many times before. Ralph said he always looked forward to seeing all the nature entries as the standard was always very high. This makes it difficult for him to judge as he has to make tough decisions and leave many excellent images out of the awards.
There were 62 entries from all 3 competition sections so well done to all especially those in the Beginners section. The print section of the Annual Nature competition could not be held this year so members could send in 4 digital entries instead of the usual 3. 
DW Hare Ralph gave his usual helpful comments to point out the good and bad points in each image. Focus is extremely important for nature subjects and in some cases Ralph pointed out where a wing on a flying bird or insect was not quite in focus. Nature photography is difficult anyway so there is usually not much time to check everything at the time! Over sharpening and noise in the background were other issues that marked images down. Ralph said that some entries were ‘pictorial’ and would have done better in an Open competition as he was judging mostly on the nature content.
After giving his comments and holding 19 images back he finally gave the results.

Not surprisingly first place went to ‘Sidewinder Adder’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and Ralph commented it was an excellent image and he had already awarded it a gold medal in another competition. The limited tonal range perfectly camouflaged the snake in the desert sand with the eyes in sharp focus. Robert also gained 3rd place with a sharp macro image titled ‘Tortoise Shieldbugs’ - the colours were good with a muted background. Well done also to Robert for Highly Commended’s for ‘Barn Owl in Flight’ and a different version of his ‘Verreaux’s Sifaka’.
A delightful image by David Wilkinson was awarded second place. The judge said the colours in ‘Brown Hare sitting in Stubble’ blended perfectly and it was an excellent capture. David also was awarded 2 HC’s for images featuring an emperor dragonfly and great - spotted woodpeckers.
The judge awarded Tim Tapley 3 HC’s for his well taken close up’s of insects and Martin Stokes impressed with his Black-backed Gull and Puffin both taken on Skomer.
Insects were the chosen subjects of Sue Wadman’s 2 awarded images as was the Peacock butterfly by David Fraser. A hare was the subject in David Eagle’s image and a roe deer by Richard Atkinson being all awarded HC’s. The only wild flower to win an award was an unusual view of a Burnt Tip Orchid by Dave Gray. The close up of a young goldfinch by David Evans completed the list of the 16 images awarded an HC.
Many congratulations to all and thanks to all those who entered.

Club Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Ralph for his judging and for giving such helpful comments. Steve said he was blown away by the quality of the entries and the club was lucky to have such talented photoraphers.
Thanks to Competition Secretary David Eagle for organising the entries and for running the evening using Zoom. PM

Full list of results      All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.          Members can log in to see the 20-21 points tables