2014/2015 League Tables after Competition 2

13th November 2014
Write up of the competition by Joy.

A large audience enjoyed a bumper entry for the club competition in November. With no restriction on the subject matter, members took full advantage to enter their best new work for the consideration of judge, Peter Yeo. Peter took time to preview the entries, but still had his work cut out to slim down the 90 prints and 40 digital image to a manageable number of real contenders for the top honours. Peter critiqued each entry, drawing attention to those which had succeeded in capturing well lit scenes revealing shape, form and texture; were razor sharp or had selected the right f-stop to throw the background out of focus for nature shots. Peter also commented that narrative titles rather than correct English and Latin names of the species indicate that the authors intend their nature shots to be judged for interest rather than by strict nature photography criteria. High quality natural subjects featured strongly in his final selections in all classes and he remarked that they would stand up well in a specialist nature class.

Throughout the evening Peter returned to the theme of ensuring that the principal subject should not be competing a distracting background, advising how this could be minimised, including illustrations of where a tighter crop would improve an image. In a number of cases Peter drew attention to where a photographer had placed the subject in the right place to allow it room to ‘move into space’ ahead of it. This often means placing the subject to one side or the other, although in the case of a common blue butterfly it was downward because of the position of the creature on a stem. On some occasions a ‘letterbox’ shape had been used to very good effect to remove uninteresting sky and foreground which may have detracted from the story the picture told.

Peter judges on a selection panel for the Royal Photographic Society where over sharpening, which can result in a white halo around dark elements in the image, is frowned upon. He drew attention to it in one or two images, which he marked down accordingly.Moving targets are always a challenge, but an image of the flight of the last two airworthy Lancasters with their escort enabled Peter to offer a tip. In this case all of the planes were beautifully sharp, but so were their propellers. The goal is to capture the circular path produced by the propellers moving during the exposure, which usually needs an exposure time of 1/60 – 1/125 of a second.

Peter commented on the timing of the instant at which some images had been taken. It is never simple to know when to press the shutter button, although high speed bursts of shots and experience of the likely motion for the subject help capture the most interesting image of a moving subject. Timing relates not just to the instant captured, but the time of day. It is tempting to think that night time shots should be taken when it is dark. In fact Peter pointed out that it is preferable to take the shot before all the light has gone. This reduces the intense blacks, revealing some detail and allowing silhouetted shapes to be clearly seen.

The results from the evening were:

Colour Prints.

19 points (2nd Place): Pine Marten by Geoff Stoddart and

Fabulous Glen Coe Light Show by Chris Thomas

20 points (1st Place): Wheee by Gordon Oaks and Ocean Stones by Ben Searson

Monochrome Prints

19 points 2nd Place: Images of Suranne by Geoff Stoddart

Best Friends by Geoff Stoddart

Tony by Alan Townsend

20 points 1st Place: Great Gable Inn and Tarn by Russell Nye

DPIs

19 points 2nd Place: Turtle Dove Preening by Geoff Stoddart and

Autumn Harvester by Eric Wright

20 points 1st Place: Fishing for Sardines by Russell Nye

201415new League Colour Prints2

201415 New League Monochrome Prints2

201415 New League Dpis2