2015 12 - Competition Three

26th December 2015
Retford & District Photographic Society - Press Release - Joy Allison
8th December 2015
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3rd Competition - Tranquility

A full room greeted Bilsthorpe’s Sue Wilson when she came to judge our third competition of the season, all on the theme of 'Tranquility'.

Sue liked the theme which suggested a wide range of subjects, so she had been a little surprised that one or two subjects kept recurring during her preliminary inspection of the piles of prints. This year we have limited the entry to two images per member in each class to make the numbers manageable for the judges in the time available, but still there were fifty nine prints split between the colour and monochrome classes and a further twenty seven digital images (DPIs).

Sue was a conscientious and helpful judge who studied each image carefully as she commented. She identified a number of areas in some of the entries where improvements would make a stronger image, but was at pains to point out that this was simply her opinion and her remarks were constructive.

The colour print class was first and we soon understood Sue's opening remark as numerous scenes of reflections passed before us. Some showed mountains and some boats or fishermen. Some also showed people sitting absorbed by the scene and by the end of the evening you could have been forgiven for thinking there was a sub theme of 'People Gazing', so many did we see.

Several authors were advised to crop excessive sky or foreground off their images where they added nothing. On this occasion a number of members had taken the advice of previous judges and done just this to good effect, although sometimes this worked better than others. The temptation when showing a reflected scene is to include the whole reflection as well as the whole scene. In several cases Sue suggested this might not be the best course of action for different reasons, but one area which universally impressed her was that everyone got their horizons straight.

Sue praised the images which she particularly liked and members were amazed as the pile of held back images grew. We are used to the final decision being from a retained group of about six images, but Sue had amassed fourteen. She had remarked that where several images were similar she had retained them all to compare like with like and in this way she quickly reduced her selection to the final four. At the end of this class Sue awarded three prints nineteen points and selected Geoff Stoddart's Lumsdale Autumn for the top mark of twenty.

The monochrome prints followed and as always this was a smaller class. Almost always people take a colour image and convert it to monochrome on the computer. The success of this conversion is not one we are often picked up on, but Sue felt on this occasion that some of the conversions had not been particularly successful, leaving the resulting image looking somewhat dull and lacking punch. This could have been brightened up with a little processing. Matte or textured paper frequently adds depth to colour images. Unfortunately a few images had been printed this way in monochrome but sadly this also left the print rather flat.

There was a wider range of subjects in this class, from wildlife through buildings to aircraft and the moon, which conveniently has a feature named 'The Bay of Tranquility'. Sue congratulated Alan Dibbo on his image of it. She liked the story in an image of a baby giraffe with its mother and the detail in a vaulted ceiling. In this class she retained six images and eventually awarded two scores of nineteen for joint second place to Des Lloyd and Dick Lewis and the coveted twenty to Alan Townsend for a very tranquil image of Bamburgh Castle.

Following a break which gave us a chance to chat to the visitors who had joined us for the evening and to discuss the print results, we gathered again to hear Sue's comments on the DPIs. Here again landscapes, reflections and beaches predominated, proving our members travel far and wide in pursuit of their hobby.

Sue picked up on details of composition and remarked on small, or in some cases not so small, bright areas in the image which detracted from the overall impression. This was the only fault she could find in a striking image of choir stalls with much beautiful detail in the church interior. The carefully placed hymn sheets were very white against the wood and she felt they would have given a more harmonious whole had they be toned down a little.

In this class members seemed to have found more interesting skies and where this held true Sue was happy to see them retained in full as they added to the final impact. Nine images made it into the final review and analysis. Three members shared second place with a score of nineteen points, with Geoff Stoddart again emerging the winner with a score of twenty for his 'Spurn Dawn'.

Sue concluded a successful evening commenting that when she judges she sees instances where the laptop screen version of the images is vastly different to the projected image, but ours was spot on. Having recently justified our successful funding bid to the Lottery quoting just this sort of dissatisfaction by judges it was very rewarding to have unsolicited praise for our new kit.

Colour Prints
Geoff Stoddart Lumsdale Autumn 20
Pat Oaks A Quiet Night In 19
Des Lloyd Autumn Approaches 19
Geoff Stoddart Twistleton Sunset 19

Mono Prints
Alan Townsend Bamburgh Beach Walk 20
Des Lloyd Enchanted Grotto 19
Dick Lewis All Quiet, but not for Long 19

Geoff Stoddart Spurn Dawn 20
Cyril Bateman Tranquil Morn 19
Alan Burkwood Choirstalls 19
Jayne Mair A New Day 19