Open Print Competition No 2,  judged by Simon Bedwell  LRPS

by Jan 17, 2024

This week the club welcomed judge Simon Bedwell LRPS to the St Patrick’s Centre to judge our Open Print Competition No.2.  Simon is a member of the Tandridge Photographic Society, and visits us for the first time this week.

The entry of 26 images were all to be judged in a single class. Simon began the evening by explaining that his comments and judgments are all given on a personal basis, and are intended to explain what he is looking for in the images viewed, and where necessary offer guidance as to how he feels the images might be improved.  His comments overall  centred on issues of composition, the context between the image subject and other elements, as well as accurate focus.  The quality of image backgrounds behind the subject, particularly those displaying shallow depth of field, were often discussed.

Simon briskly went through the images offered giving praise, comments, and advice as necessary. At the end of the first run through we had seven images held back for a second opinion and final scoring. All of those images so held back scored 9 points or higher on the evening.

Shown below is our first image awarded the score of  9  points, “Death Valley Dawn”, by Brian C.  Our judge described this image as a good job showing classic layers and a good sense of depth.  The foreground image capture worked well, as did the recession of the subject, and the matte paper chosen for printing held shapes and tones well.

Death Valley Dawn, by Brian C

Our second image awarded 9 points was “A Magpie crossing the Meadow”, by Mandy B.  This was described as an effective wild life capture, being well executed with great timing. The use of aperture to control the degree of out of focus elements in the background, coupled with tight focus on the bird,  was complimented.  The selected shutter speed freezes the motion well.  The central image was considered to work well, although the foreground flowers had a tendency to pull the eye away from the subject

A Magpie crossing the Meadow, by Mandy B

The first image awarded 9 ½ points was “Grey Wagtail”, also by Mandy B.  Our judge described this as being incredibly sharp, with a good selection of shutter speed and aperture combining to freeze the motion of the bird in mid leap. The out of focus background was complemented as providing context, which works well for the image. He complemented the composition with the bird moving into the space in the frame, and enjoyed the catchlight in the eye of the bird.

Grey Wagtail, by Mandy B

Our second image scoring 9 ½ points was “Young and Innocent 1937”, by Paul S.  Simon described this as compelling street photography, with clear engagement with the photographer.  The juxtaposition of faces between the subject and the poster in the background was considered to work well. The main subject spacing between the interesting rectilinear background and the subject were complemented, and was the sepia tone apparent in the image which was considered effective.

Young and Innocent, 1937, by Paul S

The third image scoring 9 ½ points during the evening was “Mind the Windows!”,  by Dave S.  Simon described this image as an effective use of negative space, with the repeating spatial elements working well.  That repeat of various rectangular elements and the restricted colour palette worked effectively together, and complemented the more colourful individual player at the centre of the action.

Mind the Windows!, by Dave S

Our first 10 score of the evening was “Puffin”, by Mark B. This was described as being well executed, providing a good close-up. The very effective image colouration on the beak worked well, and the water drops on the feathers provided further interest.  The image was described as being sharp where it needed to be.

Puffin, by Mark B

The final image on the evening, also scoring 10 points  (and the overall winner), was “Lighthouse”, also by Mark B.  Simon described this imaging as having a good sense of the power of nature.  The positioning of the lighthouse on one of the thirds worked well, as did the backlighting effect with the sunlight illuminating the breaking waves. The pool of light in front of the lighthouse was considered a good feature, effectively enhancing the principle subject. Additionally, the stream discharges from the breakwater add detail and context to the overall picture.  The bright light emanating from the lighthouse lamp provided a further effective feature.

Lighthouse, by Mark B

Having scored our images on the evening, Simon spoke for a few minutes about having enjoyed the wide range of subject matter within the images submitted for this competition. His comments were well received during the evening, and we look forward to seeing him again, providing his critique and scoring for future competitions.

Congratulations to all of our photographers for providing an interesting range of images for the evening, and to the top scorers for their success. Our thanks go to our judge Simon Bedwell,  for his time and effort in travelling to us tonight, and for his contribution to the success of the evening.

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