11 April 2019 (Best Print Of The Night)

This week was our last event at Fisherrow before the AGM on 25th April. It was an opportunity for members to bring in 1-3 prints each for an informal knock-out competition. It is an opportunity to bring along extra prints that were made earlier in the year but not used, or to try out some new images as prints. There were a wide variety of subjects: photographs of butterflies, flowers, landscapes, architecture, some beautiful portraits and some abstract images. Charlie Briggs raised a laugh with his image of a boy and a T-rex entitled, “We Should Have Bought Him A Dog”.

Prints were pitted against one-another in 3 knockout stages, in which the chairman (aided and abetted by Mike Clark) showed a remarkable inability to divide a number by 2! There was some resurrection rounds where the best images that had been eliminated could be restored and voted on again, and an image of Cove Harbour ended up ping-ponging between the two piles. At the end of the voting, members’ favourite images were as follows:

  • Equal 4th place
    • Glass winged butterfly (Robert Wilson)
    • Abstract (Kevin Johnson)
  • 3rd place
    • A misty sunrise landscape (Robert Wilson)
  • 2nd place
    • A group of harebells (Robert Wilson)
  • 1st place
    • An image of a farrier at work (Joe Fowler)

Well done to Robert Wilson for getting all three of his images into the top 5, and for securing 2nd and 3rd places! Also well done to Joe for winning the competition and taking home the box of chocolates.

Many more prints were submitted this evening than were brought to the Photo Advice Night earlier in the year, so I hope members also got some useful feedback and advice during the discussion over tea.

 

21 March 2019 (Set Subject Competition – Street Photography)

This week our 3-part set subject competition reached its climax with the final competition on the subject of street photography, judged by Stephen Williams, the winner of last year’s competition. Stephen began by describing his vision of what street photography means: a candid style of photography which documents human life in the street or elsewhere. He will be looking for photographs which show emotions, interactions and actions and which tell a story. The subject works equally well in colour or black and white. 18 members entered a total of 54 images. Most of the images showed people or street performers going about their business. Jim Tod’s image “Photobombed” raised a laugh, showing a lady taking a selfie with a pigeon sitting on her head! In most competitions the judge would recommend cropping out unwanted distractions but in this competition there were many images that were too tight in the frame and needed to show more of the scene to tell the story. Is this person really a hat seller if there are no hats in the picture? Who is the artist painting this picture? Where is the audience interacting with this performer? Some images with distracting colours would have worked better in black and white, although Steve Barber’s “London Transport” had been colour-popped to good effect. There were some beautiful portraits, creative abstract images and stark images of buildings, urban landscapes and street furniture which were good images but were lacking the story needed to make a good street image. The best images were the ones which captured a moment in someone’s life and made the viewer think. The top scoring images were:

  • Scrap Lady (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Edinburgh’s Finest (Mike Clark) – 20 points
  • Resting (Jennifer Davidson) – 19 points
  • London Transport (Steve Barber) – 19 points
  • Levitating Band (Steven Beard) – 18 points
  • Mobile Sweet Shop (George Todd) – 18 points
  • Pushy Lady (Mike Clark) – 18 points
  • Out shopping (Catriona McKay) – 18 points
  • View From Up Here (Gordon Davidson) – 18 points
  • Waiting (Steve Barber) – 18 points

There was a spread of high scoring images amongst all members, but it was those who were consistent who achieved the better overall score. The highest total scores were:

  • 5th place (47 points)
    • Lorraine Roberts
    • Jim Tod
    • Catriona McKay
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Steven Beard
    • Gordon Davidson
  • 3rd place (51 points)
    • Mike Clark
  • 2nd place (52 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
  • 1st place (53 points)
    • George Todd
    • Steve Barber

Congratulations to George Todd and Steve Barber for their joint win. In this situation the winner who did better in the other two competitions is the one who judges next year, which makes Steve Barber next year’s judge.

The final result of the 2018/19 set subject competition looks like this. The trophy is won by the member who (unless judging) has entered all 3 competitions and has the highest combined score in their two best competitions. The top overall scorers are:

  • 5th place (100 points)
    • Mike Clark
  • 4th place (101 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Gordon Davidson
  • 3rd place (102 points)
    • Steven Beard
  • 2nd place (103 points)
    • Steve Barber
  • 1st place (112 points)
    • Jim Tod

Nobody managed to get a high enough score to overturn Jim Tod’s lead from the first two competitions, so Jim wins the trophy. Also well done to Steve Barber, who moved up to take the silver medal. It is also good to see Sandra Crowhurst, Catriona McKay and Gordon Davidson submitting some really good images to this competition.

 

21 February 2019 (Human Portrait Print Competition)

Here, at last, are the results from the human portrait competition which took place on 21st February 2019. The competition was judged by Neil Spowart of North Berwick Photographic Society and the results read out on the night by Mike Clark. I missed the competition but I understand Mike put on a good show for those present.

35 images were entered by 12 members. The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 4th place (51 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 3rd place (52 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
  • 2nd place (53 points)
    • Jim Tod
    • Steve Barber
  • 1st place (59 points)
    • George Todd

Well done to George for winning the competition with an almost perfect score! The top images were:

  • Yadana (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Baraha Temple Priest (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Blue Rinse (Malcolm Roberts) – 19 points
  • Marching To My Fate (Jim Tod) – 19 points
  • Distracted (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Balancing Act (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
  • Andy (Jim Tod) – 18 points
  • Arms (Kevin Johnson) – 18 points
  • Halloween (Steve Barber) – 18 points
  • Mysterious Lady (Steve Barber) – 18 points

 

Borders Digital Challenge 2019

Apologies for the late notice, but the Borders Digital Challenge competition takes place this Sunday, 17th March 2018 from 2pm to 5pm at the Tower Mill Cinema, 2 Kirkstile, Hawick, TD9 0AE. The event is being hosted by Hawick Camera Club. The Tower Mill Cinema is part of the Heart of Hawick, and there is a cafe on site. Musselburgh Camera Club won this competition last year. Can we do it again?

Click here for information on the venue.

Click here for a map and directions.

 

 

28 February 2019 (Set Subject Competition – Abstract)

This week we had the second of our 3 set subject competitions, following on from the “Seascapes” competition, which took place in October 2018. The competition was judged by Mike Clark, who won the “Movement” competition last year. Mike began the evening by showing us the definition of abstract photography, which he would be using to judge the images. He also showed us a collection of his own abstract images, which would also have been strong contenders in this competition.

Members submitted a total of 39 images. The “abstract” subject gives members a chance to be creative in their work, and Mike said he had been inspired to try some of the ideas. Images included a spectacular arrangement of oil drops on water, streaks of light, creative collections of everyday objects viewed from unusual angles, reflections, bubbles, striking rock formations, unusual landscapes, lighting displays, strange portraits taken through glass or cloth and a glowing neon tiger. One images which stood out from the rest was a spectacular macro image of water droplets covering the centre of a flower, by relative newcomer Sandra Crowhurst. Well done Sandra, you nailed it with that image! Mike was baffled how some authors achieved their effects, and there was a lot of discussion during the tea break.

The top scoring images were:

  • Water Droplets (Sandra Crowhurst) – 20 points
  • Glacier Nebula (Jim Tod) – 19 points
  • Bubs (Kevin Johnston) – 19 points
  • Emergence (Jim Tod) – 18 points
  • Winter Gloaming at Luskentyre (Jim Tod) – 18 points
  • Riveting (Gordon Davidson) – 18 points
  • Pine Cone (Sean Conner) – 18 points
  • Resting Place (Steve Barber) – 18 points

Jim Tod stole the show with a great set of 3 images, but it was the 17-point images which made a difference to the rest of the placings when the scores were added up. Steven Beard achieved 3 x 17, Jennifer Davidson achieved 2 x 17, and Lorraine and Malcolm Roberts each had one 17 point image. The highest total scores were:

The highest scorers were:

  • 5th place (48 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Sean Conner
    • Sandra Crowhurst
    • Kevin Johnston
  • 3rd place (50 points)
    • Gordon Davidson
    • Steve Barber
  • 2nd place (51 points)
    • Steven Beard
  • 1st place (55 points)
    • Jim Tod

The winner normally wins the privilege of judging next year’s competition, but as Jim Tod also won the “Seascapes” competition and is already judging next year, the task falls to me in second place.

The set subject trophy will be won be the member who has the best combined score from their best two competitions. The league table after two competitions looks like this:

  • Jim Tod (57 + 55 = 112)
  • Steven Beard (51 + 51= 102)
  • Gordon Davidson (51 + 50 = 101)
  • Steve Barber (50 + 50 =100)
  • Joe Fowler (54 + 44 = 98)
  • Mike Clark (49 + judging)
  • Jennifer Davidson (47 + 49 = 96)
  • Malcolm Roberts (47 + 48 = 95)
  • Kevin Johnston (43 + 49 = 92)
  • Sandra Crowhurst (42 + 49 = 91)
  • George Todd (45 + 46 = 91)

Jim Tod is way ahead, but only a few points separate the rest. Entries for the 3rd competition “street photography” are open now. George has extended the entry deadline by a few more days, so if you would like to enter please send 3 JPEG copies (scaled to 1600 pixels on the largest side) to George (georgetodd1957@me.com) this weekend. The deciding competition takes place on 21st March 2019.

 

14 February 2019 (Match That Image)

On 14th February 2019 we hosted North Berwick Photographic Society for a “Match-an-Image” evening. This is a competition format we have not tried before, and it turned out to be great fun. Each team brings along a bank of 40 images. Teams in turn display one image, and the other team tries to match it with a similar image. Points are scored when the other team can’t find a match, or when the judge declares that your team have the best matching image.

The competition was judged by Joe Fowler, who tried hard to be unbiased even though he came from Musselburgh and had to judge several of his own images! This was an informal competition where banter and comments are encouraged. At one point the audience were astonished that an image of a herd of elephants was judged to be a match to juggling man dressed as a monkey! Well, they both have an animal theme.

North Berwick are masters at this competition, and matching their images turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated. Musselburgh had a few lucky breaks, but North Berwick had a really devious collection of opening images, and in the end North Berwick won by 33 points to 24. We learned a lot about the competition tactics by watching North Berwick, and we should be able to give them a closer competition next year. Some obvious changes we need to make next year are:

  • Make sure our team sits in a place where they can actually see the screen.
  • Print out some thumbnails of your images so you can actually see them.

It’s little things like this that make all the difference.

24 January 2019 (Swedish Interclub)

This week club members had a chance to be judges themselves. We discussed 36 images sent to us by Mölnlycke Fotoklubb in Sweden. There were an impressive collection of images covering a wide range of subjects: portraits, street photography, woodland scenes, misty winter landscapes, some interesting night shots and some creative abstract shots. We were especially interested in the images this year, because some of our members are planning to visit Mölnlycke Fotoklubb and may be able to visit some of the places where those images were taken. The images generated a lot of discussion, with members commenting on each image while scribes write down the comments. At the end of the evening we selected the images we liked and then ordered them by popular voting.

The winning image was a stunning night shot taken at a water hole in a Kenyan wildlife reserve. It was a superb composition with a tree acting as a focal point and the waterside leading your eye to the animals in front of a starry background. The image was very dark on our projector but we still liked it a lot. For second place, members chose a portrait of a lovely group of ponies in Rörö wildlife park. Third place went to a long exposure night shot of a ride in an amusement park entitled “loop”, fourth place to a peaceful shot of a lakeside with an archway of trees and fifth place to a portrait of a potter holding his pipe.

Thank you Mölnlycke Fotoklubb for sending us the images. Congratulations to the winner, and some of us look forward to seeing you in a few months’ time.

 

Human Portrait Print Submission

I forgot to mention at the Swedish inter-club meeting, that this Thursday, 31st January is the submission date for the Human Portrait print competition. Please bring along up to 3 mounted prints (colour or black and white). If you haven’t entered this competition before, it is open to any print where the main subject is a person or group of people.

This Thursday, George will also be accepting entries for the 2019 SPF print championship. Since we are missing the 26 January drop-off deadline, George has offered to hand them in personally to the competition organisers (before the later 7th February deadline). Members can enter up to 6 mounted prints each: 3 monochrome and 3 colour at a cost of 70p per print. Any print which hasn’t been entered into that competition before is valid, not just prints from this year. If you are bringing portrait prints to enter into the SPF competition, make sure they are added to the correct folder.

Click here to see a PDF describing the competition.

 

13 December 2018 (Black and White Print Competition)

This week we had the privilege of entertaining Doug Berndt, president of the Edinburgh Photographic Society, who judged our black and white print competition. Doug said he judges photographs by considering their impact, story, quality, creativity and composition, and the best images need to score well in all 5 categories.

There were 45 prints entered altogether. This gave Doug time to appraise each image in detail, point out good features or mistakes and try out different crops. Some good quality images lost out because they didn’t have an impact, so it pays to think about the story you are telling at the time an image is captured. Would a different angle or different location help? Are there distracting things in the background? There were also some highly creative and promising images which lost out on quality, primarily because they had blown highlights or lost detail in the shadows. Some prints had colour casts, and Doug suggested members with Epson printers could try using “advanced black and white mode” to remove the casts. A special mention goes to Colin Dempster, whose image entitled “The Moment Of Truth – Italian Explorers Selection” had everyone, including Doug, guessing what it meant.

The top scorers in the black and white print competition were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (48 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Sean Connor
  • 3rd place (51 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 2nd place (55 points)
    • Jim Tod
  • 1st place (57 points)
    • George Todd

Well done to George Todd, who retains his black and white title. George’s image “Swayambunath Temple Lady” was the top image of the competition.

The top images were:

  • Swayambunath Temple Lady (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Sunflower Mono (Jim Tod) – 20 points
  • Dirt and Dust  (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
  • Moscow Metro (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Low Tide (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • The Lost Pay Packet (Jim Tod) – 18 points
  • Chitwan Girl (George Todd) – 18 points
  • My Brother (Sean Connor) – 18 points

29 November 2018 (Digital Knockout Competition – Transparency)

The club’s annual digital knockout competition took place this week. Members had spent the summer collecting images on the challenging theme of “transparency” and had interpreted the theme in creative ways. Many of the subjects were still life arrangements of transparent glasses and bottles, although there was one ghost! Some images were taken through a rainy window, through water and even through wet rice paper, and some images used a veil or curtain to give a feeling of transparency.  About 36 images were entered altogether, and after 3 knockout rounds there were 5 images remaining in the final round. Members voted for their favourites, and the final result was:

  • In 5th place, “Liquid Gold”, a still life of a golden drink being poured into a glass, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 4th place, “Through The Window”, an intriguing image of a room viewed through a window, by Simon Wilkinson.
  • In 3rd place, “Bubbles In A Glass”, a still life of a glass with large bubbles at the top, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 2nd place, “Through The Curtain”, a portrait of a model looking through a net curtain, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 1st place, “Face At The Window”, a portrait of a monk looking through a rainy window, by Joe Fowler.

Well done to Jennifer Davidson, who got all 3 of her images into the top 5, and congratulations to the winner, Joe Fowler, who won a box of transparent fake diamonds!