17th May 2023
This evening we welcomed Darren Pullman CPAGB BPE3* EFIAP, an old friend from Carshalton Camera Club to judge our final open print competition of the season. We had 14 prints submitted for this competition, and our judge decided to hold every print back unmarked until a final exercise in sorting his preferences on the display stand identified the winning entries for the evening.
It was an interesting experience watching the eventual winning entries slowly moving their way up the display rack, whilst the majority of the entries moved equally slowly towards the lower tiers of the rack as Darren assessed the final scoring.
We had two top scorers each with ten points, two entries scoring 9½ points, as well as two scoring 9 points on the evening.
The first of the nine scores was ‘In Tudor Times’ by Dave S. Darren felt this image worked well with a figure positioned in silhouette in the distant archway which was in exactly the right spot. The people being in period costume did leave him wondering if they had really been present, or were the subject of some work with photo-montage. They were, however, both looking natural on the display stand. The presentation of the image, its appearance, was entirely in keeping with the costumes. Our judge did find the bright ceiling distracting and felt the image would have been stronger if this had been toned down more or even eliminated.
The second of the 9 scores was ‘Glass’ , by David M. Darren described this image as interesting and different. He felt the glass layers added to the interest, and the unusual viewpoint added to the impact. However the dirt between the layers, and the soft focus towards the base, both detracted.
The first of the runners up with 9½ points was ‘Steps’, also by Dave S. Darren looked at the mount presentation of this entry, and described how in his experience mounts can be divided into three types. These are ‘neutral’, ‘bold’, or ‘neutral is boring’. This entry was certainly a memorable presentation. Darren described the silhouette of the person standing on the archway at the top of the steps as brilliant, with perfect timing, although he did wonder if this might have been posed.
In wrapping up his comments on the image Darren talked about the fact that the arch is positioned off-centre from the steps , and the image even more off-centre on the mount board. He appreciated the thought that had gone into this arrangement.
The second of the runners up with 9½ points was ‘Peak in the Mist, Glen Coe’ by Brian C. This is a dramatic image with a sweep of early morning mist covering the lower levels of the peak. Not an everyday weather phenomenon. The visual sweep in the lower valley also works well, as do the blue tints in the mist and warmer tints in the rocks and ground cover. Our judge believed these tints had been accentuated in processing the image to best display the conditions at the time.
The first score of 10 on the evening went to ‘Present & Past’ also by Brian C. Darren described this as a good title, telling the judge what to look at. He went on to describe the main subject as exquisite – sharp, detailed, and well presented. The ‘grunge’ in the background was brought into focus by the picture title. This did leave him wondering whether the juxtaposition was deliberate at the time the picture was taken, or is the title used to ‘save’ the image?
Darren described the background as being almost monochromatic, but did feel that the ‘past’ section was showing artificial lines around this area due to the processing steps taken , and that these should not have been present in the image.
The second 10 score of the session, and our overall winner for the evening, was ‘Eastbourne Pier’ by Alfred C. This was the first picture judged today, and Darren described it as having good image quality – in fact to be more precise he used the phrase “eye candy”. He particularly admired the control of the sky tones, which he finds can compete with the main subject in many of the images he sees. Darren in particular commented on the clean feel to the image, mainly due to the limited range of colours present. Additionally, the row of stubs rising from the shingle along the line of the (mostly) buried groyne lead successfully towards an arrow feature pointing up to the main interest in the image. Even the seagulls atop each lamp standard got a mention!
All in all a very useful evening with engaging feedback from our judge. The novel scoring method added a further layer of tension to the evening.
With these scores completing the results tally board for the Open Print competition for this club season we will soon see the overall winner for the club year. Prize giving will no doubt take place after our AGM next month. Congratulations to all who took part tonight, and to all those who entered throughout the season.