Open Competition 5 - 7th February 2018

With signs that the evenings are starting to drawn out indicating that the end of winter is ‘nigh’ Mid-Cheshire Camera Club members gathered at the Dingle Centre for the last Open Competition of the season – where has the season gone I ask you!

Our Chairman - Ian Whiston took control of the audience, settling us all down prior to introducing our Judge for the night – Mr Rob Hockney (CPAGB, BPE4*) who, like our previous Judge, is a new visitor to the Club. Rob is a member of North Cheshire Photographic Society which are based in Poynton. He enjoys taking images of most things but his main genre that interests him the most is nature - with a lot of his images being taken in Mono. Rob has been interested in photography ever since he was given his first camera – a Leica at the age of 5, however he has been judging club competitions for the last 5 years, he also enjoys winning Salons. With 15 prints and 41 Projected Digital Images the next 2 hours were going to be busy for Rob.

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

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. Anyone attending the evening cannot but help learn something from event.

Tawny Owl Looking for Food
Rob started off by addressing the audience with a statement – He was not here to ‘judge’ our images in the critical sense, but merely here to provide us with feedback. He made it clear to us that he was looking to be Wowed with our images. He wanted to see a story and he wanted to see a visual impact that would invoke an emotional response from him as the viewer. Rob provided composition advice as he went through the images. He talked about identifying the strongest element in a scene and building your composition around it. He discussed the size of the subject in the frame and whether for example; birds should be photographed on the ground, on a perch or in flight. As a photographer that specialises in mono, he informed the audience about the importance of seeing true blacks and whites in our images. Rob is one of the first Judges that has talked out the importance of the background and foreground in competition images adding that if the author gets this wrong - irrespective of how good the subject is, it will not realise its maximum true competition potential. We all have modern day cameras that are capable of taking good images, images that are sharp. It is how the image is composed and to some extent post processed that makes a good image a great image and an average photographer a competition winner. Rob added that it is not good enough for an image to be technically correct – it still has to wow the viewer.

Following all the excitement, it was not long before the results were in.

Biddulp Topiary
Advanced Prints
1st: Ray Hill – Tawny Owl Looking for Food
2nd: Ray Girling – Cowboy
3rd: Sheila Regan – Watchful Jay

Advanced PDIs
1st: Paul Wilcock – The Hell Runner
2nd: Ian Whiston – Alert Cheetah Mother
3rd: Sheila Regan – Storm Down the Valley

Beginner PDIs
1st: Mike Reilly – Biddulp Topiary
2nd: Mike Reilly – Biddulp Water
3rd: Bob Peck – Rusty Capstan

Congratulations to all the winners and runners up and a thank you to all the members taking part. With only the Theme Competition left, the season is definitely coming to a head with a different name holding the lead in the Advanced PDI league into the last competition. A final big thank you to our Judge – Rob Hockney 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