A slideshow of all the accepted prints in the 2014 SPA Biennial Exhibition. 

The Surrey Photographic Association (SPA) hold an exhibition every two years where members of all the Surrey camera clubs can submit up to 4 photos. 

Given the volume of photos submitted to this type of competition the judges form their initial screening after a couple to seconds. For a photo to get past this stage they need to be instantly eye-catching and usually quite simple. Easier said than done though. 

The purpose of this evening was to review the successful photos to see how this eye catching simplicity can be achieved. 

This evening we went through a CD of the photos stopping on each one to discuss why that particular photo was chosen. After looking through 50 photos a few common themes began to emerge : 

A surprising number of the photos had a limited colour palette. By that I mean many shades of only 2 or 3 colours. I guess it simplifies the composition and focuses the attention on a particular subject.  In many cases the colours were muted or subtle pastel shades rather than bold colours. 

Dull or darkened background colours. For photos where there is a definite foreground subject and background, the lighting always appears darker  in the background. Whether this was achieved by enhancing the lighting on the subject or darkening the background varied but the effect was the same. 

Many of the photos contain a strong “graphic” element sometimes with a more random element added-in. Typically this could be a “pattern” picture with a person thrown in, always meticulously placed, sometimes to give a sense of scale or sometimes just to break up the pattern. 

Now it’s easy!  Just 1,2,3. Let’s see some more photocraft photos in the next open competition. 

[P.S. There were some Photocraft photos among these, let me see if I can dig them out.]

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