Judge Marcus Scott-Taggart

This week our competition was held via Zoom once again due to the ongoing lockdown rules. Our judge was Marcus Scott-Taggart, returning to the club as a judge rather than providing a talk as he has done previously.

We had 15 images submitted into the Standard Class, and 27 images into the Advanced Class competitions.

Standard Class

Among the comments made on the submitted standard class images were several that kept re-occurring. These included:-

  • Distractions drawing the eye away from the main subject, especially those located near the edge of the frame
  • Foreground objects or leading lines help to hold the attention on the main subject
  • Tonal variation and contrast variation across the image can add to the overall impact
  • Some images would have benefited from a greater level of post-production processing, either to tone down over bright regions, or to lighten darker areas where interesting details have been lost.

The Standard Class winning image for the evening was “The Wandle – Beddington Park” by Chris R, and is reproduced below. Our judge described this as ‘feels like a natural history diorama’. He described the details brought out in the image as looking carefully placed and handled with a wide contrast variation across the image, and that the long exposure gave it a magical air.

Our runner up was “Brighton Royal Pavilion” also by Chris R, which also scored 10 and is reproduced below. Our judge described this as hugely successful image, with good control of vertical and parallel elements, plus an interesting sky. He said he could find nothing to mark down in this image.

Advanced Class

The comments made on the advanced class images hold the photographer to a higher standard of skill and presentation. The comments made about various pictures in this class of images included:-

  • Brave, but did not quite gel
  • A challenge to the judge
  • Bright areas drag eyes away from the subject
  • Dark areas in the centre of the image form a barrier to viewing the overall picture
  • Conflicting parts of the image compete with each other
  • Picture would have more impact with better control of depth of field
  • Remove any elements that interfere with or distract from the image; tone down if they cannot be removed
  • Control converging or diverging verticals
  • Over-processing can detract from an image
  • Under processing can fail to bring out the best in the image

The Advanced Class winning image for the evening was “Sausage Sandwich” by David A, and is reproduced below. This was described as as a clean and simple image, and sharp throughout. The brick texture has been recorded well and the image displays all the basic requirements for a monochrome image with leading lines, texture, structure and shape.

The runner up was “Rocks” also by David A, described by the judge as ‘succinctly titled’. This is also reproduced below. Again our judge commented on the texture and tonal range of the image, as well as the overall simplicity of the presentation.

Final Score for the Season

This was the final Monochrome PDI competition of the club year. We can therefore declare the overall winners and runners up for the year from the Leaderboard.

In the Standard Class our overall winner is Chris R, with Alan M and Barbara A in second and third place

In the Advanced class we have a tie in both aggregate score and in bonus points for winning shots in this competition. The two winners are David A and David H. In third place we have Dave S, who total score was only half a point behind the joint winners.

Congratulations to all of these winners, and our thanks to Marcus Scott-Taggart for providing his guidance and comments during the evening and for settling the final monochrome PDI competition scores for the season

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