With renewed enthusiasm, a decent size audience took their seats in readiness for the first of Mid-Cheshire Camera Clubs (MCCC) Open Competitions. It was nice to see some new faces in the audience – prospective member, trying us out for the first time. With our Chairman away on Safari, it was left to a familiar face of Syllabus Secretary, Ray Hill to open the evening and introduce our judge.
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.
Members have had the last 5 months to venture out into the world and shoot their best images in their favourite genre, to tweak and adjust sliders in ‘post’ to brill out the natural brilliance of the story they are telling in the picture. Tonight, our judge, Geoff Reader (DPAGB, AFIAP, BPE3*) has a total of 24 Prints and 49 Projected Digital Images (PDI) to critique using our redesigned scoring system - new for this season - enabling a fairer and inclusive way of including all members in the Open and Theme Competitions.
Geoff Reader is no stranger to MCCC as he was a guest speaker last season. Geoff is from Alsager Camera Club and continues to enjoy taking photographic genres such as Sport, Nature and Landscape but his main focus is on people. Geoff has been with Alsager for 8 years.
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.
The Hell Runner
I know I have mentioned this before but I never stop learning during competition night. Our Judge, being an accredited amateur photographer, provides a decent amount of feedback during the whole evening; commenting on each image that they see. Anyone attending the evening cannot but help learn something from the event.
Geoff started off his judging with advice to the audience. He explained that when judging an image, he looks at 4 areas that help him form an opinion to pace a mark against it. The areas are;
1. Is the exposure correct for the image?
2. Is the feel of the light correct for the image?
4. Originality and Impact (his personal feeling about the image)
After explaining his marking formula he was off. Geoff, as all L&CPU judges have an ability to read an image and see things that some club photographer don’t see. Geoff talked about how he liked to blur the background, offering tips and tricks to encourage this and explaining why it was important to do so – reducing distractions and enhancing the subject matter. He commented negatively on bright or sharp backgrounds which were reflected in the marking. Geoff mentioned taking an image with the right perspective - no other judge has mentioned this before. Geoff talked about getting lower or moving around with a view of showing your subject as three dimensional rather than in a flat two dimension. Geoff added about subjects in a story – do they all contribute to the common story or theme, if not look at cropping the subject that is not engaging out. Geoff made mention of eye contact and explained its importance to get a sense of the emotional understanding of the story being told. Geoff commented a couple of images that lacked contrast making them feel washed out and the resulting effect was a weaker overall picture.
MCCC’s revised scoring system has now done away with Beginners and Advanced sections. All the members are in one section and all the marks awarded go towards an individual’s overall score for Photographer of the Year. This system is run in parallel for Prints and PDIs.
Focusing back on the competition, the results were in.
1st: Alpha Male - Kath Hill
2nd: Little Owl - Kath Hill
3rd: The Hell Runner - Paul Wilcock
1st: Shane Byrne - Ken Dickenson
2nd: Black Backed Jackals Mating - Ian Whiston
3rd: The Water Mill - Paul Wilcock
Running Total - Top three members
Black Backed Jackals Mating
1st: Kath Hill ---------------- 53 marks
2nd: Veronica Nicholas---- 50 marks
3rd: Paul Wilcock ---------- 49 marks
1st: Ken Dickenson -------- 50 marks
1st: Paul Wilcock ----------- 50 marks
2nd: Jim Cain -------------- 49 marks
2nd: Ian Whiston ----------- 49 marks
2nd: Ray Girling ------------ 49 marks
2nd: Veronica Nicholas --- 49 marks
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 Judge Geoff Reader who provided sound and honest feedback throughout the whole evening.
The Water Mill
For more information about the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club visit our website at www.midcheshirecameraclub.org
or come along to a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.45 for 8 pm at the Dingle Recreation Centre, Winsford.
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