2017 11 - Two Way Competition

25th November 2017
Retford & District Photographic Society - Press Release - Joy Allison
21st November 2017
Two Way Battle with Worksop

Retford's first inter club competition of the season drew a large crowd. We were pleased to welcome the Worksop members to hear judge Sue Wilson's opinion of the entries from both clubs.

Sue began with the prints - 12 from each club. She awarded quite a wide range of marks, while collecting a large pile of held back images for final marking. There was a good variety of images in different styles, including a good selection of wildlife, some architecture and some of Worksop's familiar composite images.

Sue marked consistently, commenting on the features she enjoyed in each image. She is well known for liking natural colours and tonight she found plenty to please her in the colour prints presented. There were also a good number of monochrome contributions. She scrutinised these for the effectiveness of the printing and found all to have good blacks and all tones in between to good whites without any colour cast.

By the end of the process she had 10 images to look at again. All were placed on the print stand and Sue quickly awarded 17s and 18s to some of them. She then grouped those remaining together and considered them carefully. Having awarded a couple of 19s she had three prints remaining, all colour and all from Retford. To the delight of the home supporters she awarded them all 20, helping Retford to take a narrow lead at the end of the first half of the competition by 204 points to 195.

The second half of the competition was digital with a further 12 images from each club submitted. Once again there was strong representation of the natural world with several striking portraits from Worksop. A feature of these was how sharp the eyes were and how good the skin tones. For the most part the backgrounds complimented the subject, although one was criticised for the dark boundary and dark hair merging into one.

Sue felt the cropping on some of the digital entries might have been better and she also spoke about borders. Some authors choose to put a border around the edge of their images when they are being projected to define where they end and the surrounding screen begins. One example had what she considered to be ideal - a very fine border which simply defined the image edge and was more pleasing to her than a wider border which she found an obstacle to be crossed.

Sue marked the digital images as she went and in this class she awarded only one 20, to a Worksop entry showing a dipper which had caught a dragonfly nymph. She particularly liked the detail in this image and the fact that a bird, which is fast moving and difficult to photograph, had been so well captured on a clump of weed in a stream showing its natural behaviour. She found it sharp and with great detail.

The scores in this half of the competition were the reverse of those for the prints (Retford 194, Worksop 208) and resulted in a narrow win overall for Worksop with 403 points to 398.

Summing up, Sue commented on the number of birds she had seen this evening. There is a cliché in the photographic world that images showing 'a bird on a stick' are no longer enough. Tonight Sue felt we had seen birds 'doing something on sticks'. She found most to be pleasing with well-handled backgrounds although she considered a dramatic, sharp image of fighting curlews confusing. Several birds and a hare had been captured coming towards the photographer and these gave a different and pleasing view of the subjects. The running hare was beautifully sharp and appeared to be looking directly at the camera.

Following the judging and a vote of thanks to Sue from everyone given by the Worksop club, tickets were drawn for a magnificent raffle with a huge number of prizes donated by Retford members. Once again we lived up to our reputation for hospitality with a delicious buffet which was much enjoyed by visitors and members alike.

Many thanks to Worksop for bringing their beautiful images and coming to join us for another enjoyable battle. We congratulate them on their win and look forward to our visit to them next year.