Our first visit to the hall in 2022 saw us hold our first Open Monochrome Print competition of the season.

With the current way of the world, it was a pleasant surprise to have a good number of members coming along and two guests. We welcomed a new judge to Photocraft in Tim Morland ARPS and he too was pleased to be back out at a club, rather than online.

I am very aware that mono and printing are not going to be at the top of many lists among our membership and so we had just the 22 images to enjoy and for Tim to mark.

As ever, the choice of subject plays an important role in a mono image and I have to say it was good not to hear the judge say that he thought any of our work would have been better in colour. One observation your blogger made was the number of black mounts on display. There were also quite a few different styles of border in use, within the print and/or the mount. Tim was, in main, impressed by the printing quality but perhaps not so much by some of the borders. He stressed that the choice of paper can play an important part in monochrome and with many of our shots being architectural in style on the night, we seemed to get this right on most of them.

One thing was clear early on; Tim is a detail person. He took his time and got close to many of the prints when on the main stand. The comments were in the area of sharpness, tones and contrast. There were few if any, that failed on all but certainly, a couple were let down by some artifacts in the printing – one being mine – that could have been cleaned up. A couple also had that distracting light area on the edge of the frame that, once seen, draws the eye and hence, loses a half point here and there.

After his deliberations, Tim held back seven prints and went about sorting his scores amongst them. The winner was David A and indeed, his three images filled all three podium places! Congratulations!

Sausage Sandwich – David A

Many of us will recall that David’s “Sausage Sandwich” did very well as a PDI and that was repeated as Tim chose this as his winner.

Rocks – David A

Another 10 for David with his “Rocks”. Tim was very impressed with the textures and details in the print.

Halt – David A

This one was only a 9.5! Well done to David A again. Tim explained that he only took the half mark off due to the wall at the back being too close in tone to the uniform of the soldier and so detracting from that sense of separation. He did praise the fact that the hand in front of the face does not hide the key features and so maintains the drama in the image.

Our other held back prints and their scores were:

Robert, expert, the Antiques Road Show – Alfred C

Tim enjoyed the detail in this portrait and gave it 9.5. He mentioned the moustache in particular and the way it stands out in the image,

Tin Mine, Cornwall – Alfred C

A 9 for Alfred and his tin mine. Tim highlighted the sense of scale and space in this image.

Well done to Alfred for his two prints.

Countdown – Brian C

I took this on a recent trip to the Thames Barrier and was pleased to get a 9.5 from Tim. He spotted my choice of paper too, to add to the look of the barrier itself!

Twists and Turns – Brian C

Tim gave this a 9. I guess the central post and lights were what took away a potential higher score as he said these did not add anything to the image. Well, as the French say, “That’s Life!”

To end the evening, Tim shared some of his own monochrome work and sneaked in a couple of colour ones too!

We have just one more Mono Print evening in June so it could be a close run thing but right now, David A sits at the top!

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