Open PDI Competition No 3, judged by Don Morley

by Feb 1, 2023

Our Open PDI Competition this week was judged by Don Morley, visiting our new venue at the recently completed St. Patrick’s Centre for the first time.  Don has been a long time visitor to the club as a speaker and a judge during many previous visits to our former home, and we are always pleased to welcome him back.  He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from a lifetime of working both as a sports photographer and a press photographer, and his time as a picture editor was apparent as he moved swiftly through our images.

We had a total of 30 images submitted this week, and again a small number of Standard Class submissions were rolled into the Advanced Class collection for judging, as too few were available to stand on their own.

Don moved quickly through our images, holding half of them back for a second viewing.  The points he raised during this first run were many and varied, and have been summarised below:-

  • The crop or framing of the image is very important, and had not always been optimised within our submissions.  Some were very tightly cropped, but would have benefited with more space – more room to breathe around the subject.  Others would have benefited from having a tighter crop.  In a couple of cases both generous and very tight crops (described as interesting or unusual) were praised for the effect created in the final image.
  • Parallel lines need to be parallel.  Both diverging and converging verticals were picked out as needing further work.
  • Shutter speed choice is important, either for freezing motion or for emphasizing it.  
  • Choice of depth of field, or of focus point, is important.  Some of our images were not always sharpest at the main point of interest.
  • Colour intensity was not always successfully controlled. In some images the colour luminance or hue was unrealistically high and would have improved from being readjusted.

Fifteen images were held back for a second viewing, and eight of these were awarded a top score of ten points.  These top scorers are reproduced below in no particular order, each accompanied by a few of the comments made by our judge.

Trotting – Advanced Class – Alfred C

‘Trotting’ was praised for its choice of shutter speed in capturing the movement of the feet of the horse, for its inclusion of the brightly coloured umbrellas in the frame, and for the spontaneity of the image in achieved in such poor weather conditions.

Poppy Blast – Standard Class – Barbara A

‘Poppy Blast’ was especially enjoyed by our judge due to its unusual and totally different crop which was almost abstract in appearance.  The depth of field achieved was praised.  The final comments were again about the great framing which worked so well.

Flight of a juvenile Robin – Advanced Class – Mandy B

‘Flight of a juvenile Robin’ was a triple image, and Don was unsure how this could be interpreted as a single submission.  He felt that the third capture would have held up strongly on its own.

The Cloud Generator – Advance Class – Dave S

‘The Cloud Generator’  was really liked by Don, who mentioned the diagonal railway sleepers, the tower and clouds as all contributing to a great composition.

Jay in flight – Advanced Class – Mandy B

‘Jay in flight’ was described as really great and a cracking picture.  The picture was sharp enough in all areas, and the wingtip feathers were praised.  The bright area was considered a distraction which could have been toned down for a better effect.

Beach time – Advanced Class – Alfred C

‘Beach time’ drew the comment that our judge could have gone on all day praising this picture. It was described as almost a Lowry.  The silhouettes worked, the control of highlights worked and movement was apparent in most of the figures.

Farewell Isle of Sark – Advanced Class – David H

‘Farewell, Isle of Sark’ drew the comment that the composition was so effective that the scene could almost have been posed, as it all came together with perfect placement and timing.  And this in a scene where controlling the lighting would have been a problem.

Hen Night Hijinks – Advanced Class – David H

‘Hen Night Hijinks’ was our overall winner, chosen by Don from a large array of contenders as the image he would most like to have taken himself.  Initially described as a cracker!  This street shot with only one figure in focus and three or four blurred characters in motion worked really well.

Our thanks go to Don Morley for visiting us this week and providing such lively and entertaining critiques of our pictures, and for his guidance where images could be improved.  Our many members who were awarded ten points in the scoring this evening will be especially grateful for this visit.

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