Open Competition 1 - Oct 2017

Bob Dennis
Bob Dennis
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is competition night – the first open competition of the new season. There was an unusual calmness amongst a decent sized members audience, a calmness that could be construed as some form of nervous anticipation because this was the first competition of the new season and it would be fantastic to earn some points early on in the season, or was a gut-wrenching nervousness based on the fact that our Judge for the night was none only than Bob Dennis (APAGB / CPAGB / AFIAP / BPE4*) from Bebington Photographic Society. Time would tell!

With our Chairman, Ian Whiston trekking in Africa, the night was called to order by our Syllabus Secretary Ray Hill, who provided an eloquent introduction for our Judge. Bob is a regular visitor to Mid-Cheshire Camera Club (MCCC) and always turns up promising gritty honest opinion and critique - even if we do not like what he says - you cannot fault his passion for photography. Bob has spent the last 27 years serving on the L&CPU Executive and currently is the 2017/8 Exhibition Secretary L&CPU. Tonight, Bob had a total of 57 images to judge across three separate classes made up of Prints and Projected Digital Images.

As this is an Open competition, members are able to submit images from any genre. Genres from tonight’s selection of images included: Portraiture, Journalism, Record, Architectural and Natural History.

This was the first opportunity members have had to show off new images taken during the summer break. Our Judge had a difficult task ahead of him. The in-house standard was very high causing Bob some consternation in making his selections.

Photographic Competitions are great fun and a great place for any person with some competitive spirit to get involved in the cut and thrust of Club Photography. Club competitions focus your mind and allow you to put the information learned from members’ evenings into practice.

As soon as Bob started to formally view the images he started with his critique –

"I can't deal with an image of a portrait unless I can see the subject's eyes...." Brutally honest and if you are not convinced the honesty was reflected in the points awarded, but here is the thing – Bob has many years of experience and through his judging he is departing his knowledge onto us all. We have the choice to listen to what he says and may be to adopt or try out some of his ideas. Bob’s passion continued with a consistent message relating to messy backgrounds that were not de-focused enough, or had too many highlights. Compositional feedback relating to the placement of the sun in a sunset / sun rise landscape shots. Subjects or props falling out of the image through poor cropping. Bob made a point of saying this particular issue allows the viewer's eye to wander out of the image which detracts from its quality and the story the author is wanting to tell. Bob was keen to point out that moving subjects need space to move into and he even had advice for abstract photography - adding that a pattern picture needs a contrary element to make the composition work.

Focusing back on the competition, the results were in

Advanced Prints
1st: Mark Clayton – Majestic Leap
2nd: Ray Hill – Pekin Robin
3rd: Ray Girling – Woodpecker

Advanced PDIs
1st: Mark Clayton – Teamwork
2nd: Peter Tasker – Meadow Brown on Lavender
3rd: Jim Cain – Pastel Pallet

Beginner PDIs
1st Mike Reilly-Cooper – The Triffid
2nd: Mike Reilly-Cooper – Penny for Them
3rd: Mike Reilly-Cooper - The Texan

Congratulations to all the winners and runners up and a thank you to all the members taking part. A final big thank you to our
The Triffid
The Triffid
Judge – Bob Dennis who provided sound and honest feedback throughout the whole evening.

For more information about the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club visit our website at or come along to a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.45 for 8pm at the Dingle Recreation Centre, Winsford.

Paul Wilcock
Press & Publicity Officer