Our second, and final, monochrome PDI competition of the season was held over Zoom on Wednesday 11 January 2023. The competition was judged by David Eastley LRPS, on his first ‘visit’ to our club. We had five Advisory Class (unscored) images for review only, followed by 29 images in the Advanced Class competition which were all scored. For this season our Standard Class images have been incorporated into a single competition together with the Advanced group.
We had our usual broad spread of image styles, types and subject matter to challenge our judge as he was asked to compare the merits of pictures of squirrels with cathedrals among others. David provided critiques of the submitted images and much sound advice as to how images could be improved either at the taking stage or in post-processing.
Somehow many of the images appeared darker on Zoom than the author had originally intended, for currently unknown reasons. This is not a problem that had been apparent during previous Zoom competitions. Our judge commented on this even before members had confirmed the problem.
We had six pictures held back by the judge for a second view, including two final scores of 9½ and two of 10.
The overall winner of the evening, scoring 10+, was ‘Into the Unknown’ by Dave S.
Our judge described this as a ‘Marmite’ image, which reminded him of the graphic impact of typical 1950s science fiction films. He went on to say it was a very interesting and enjoyable image where great care had been taken with the compositional elements. He enjoyed the symmetrical pillars together with the very bright openings to each side, balancing the central subject.
The runner-up, also scoring 10, was ‘Gull taking off’ by Mandy B.
Again David Eastley enjoyed this image, particularly the backlighting through the feathers which was very effective. The position of the gull, and the associated ripple circle was also pleasing.
We had two scores of 9½ on the evening. First up is ‘Sing it back’, by Brian C.
Our judge stated that this image, with the reflection of the audience behind the singer, works well, with the two components combing successfully.
The second image scoring 9½ was ‘Squirrel leaping treetop to treetop’ again by Mandy B, her second high score of the evening.
David Eastley felt that this image was sharp where necessary, and that the surrounding vegetation framed the squirrel well. He considered the monochrome conversion to be successful, which is not always the case for animal and flower pictures.
The remaining two images held back for a second view both scored 9, and are reproduced below.
The ‘Turkish hazelnuts’ image by David P was described as an interesting image of an old fashioned type, enhanced by the vintage frame effect around the perimeter. The judge commented on the relatively high noise visible in the final picture, but felt that in this case it also contributed to a film grain like appearance which enhanced the overall effect.
The ‘Shadow through the mist’ image by David M was described as a lovely recession with an enjoyable atmosphere , contrasting with the stark tree trunks framing the subject.
Finally, our congratulations go to these top scorers on the evening, and our thanks to our judge ‘visiting’ us from Sussex for the first time.
P.S. The fact that four of the seven personnel named in this blog post are called David should not be taken as implying a requirement for entry to this competition!