This was the club evening that nearly didn’t happen. The judge, Roger Mendham, started with a salutary tale of his computer’s catastrophic hard drive failure. Mercifully, his 100,000 images were well backed up, but details of this Wednesday’s judging appointment were lost. Thankfully, a phone call from Mark Bulle saved the day!

Roger told us that he especially enjoys judging prints, as opposed to PDIs – ‘there’s no hiding place… a print is exactly what the author wants to be seen’. Black mounts seemed very popular, though one seemed to be upside down (normally the widest part of the mount is at the base!). There were some wonderful titles, especially ‘Wind-ruffled Robin’ – try saying that quickly! Roger was especially keen on images that evoked feelings, such as the power of waves or lonely contemplation. Tiny details were also important, like the person walking with a child in a very distant archway. As he pointed out, the photographer needed a good deal of patience to wait till just the right moment to fire the shutter. 

The Level 1 Winner this week was Maureen Hodges, with her splendidly evocative ‘Old Cottage Window’. The window was wonderfully sharp and the glass patently old and fuzzy. It gave a sense of being somewhere warm and homely.

The Level 2 Winner was Martin Faiers, with his beautifully detailed ‘Elemental Lights: Yellowstone’. This had excellent balance and had captured the right moment – people in motion, at the right hand third of the picture.

During the coffee break, I asked Roger what he looked for, as a judge, in photos. He also told me about his own style of photography and nominated just one photo that he would take with him to a desert island. Let’s hope he comes back from the island in time to judge another competition for us!

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