Open Print Competition Number 3,  judged by Ann Healey FRPS  DPAGB  EFIAP/g   BPE4

by Feb 21, 2024

We had 27 prints submitted for the open print competition this week.  Entries were received from nine members each submitting multiple prints.  The competition was judged by Ann Healey, the current events and exhibitions chair from the Surrey Photographic Association.   This was her first visit to Photocraft as a judge.

Ann commented on each of the images at some length, praising those aspects she found enjoyable and making suggestions where images could be improved in presentation , style, or composition. We had a wide range of image subjects submitted, challenging the judge to make considered scoring decisions across different genres.

Ann raised a number of common issues apparent in these images during her critique, sometimes praising the presentation and sometimes offering advice and recommendations. The following points were raised most frequently :-

  • Sharpness, particularly of the main subject
  • Depth of field,  either commenting on the sharpness or commenting on the out of focus areas
  • Whether verticals apparent in the image have been properly controlled,  similarly for the horizontal elements
  • Colour representation, or colour blend within the image
  • Potential over-processing of the image

Some six images were held back for a second viewing. These have been reproduced below,  together with our judges specific comments associated with each of these images.

Our first image scoring 9 points was  “Rural Times Past”  by Dave S. Our judge admired the competence and skill required to even attempt to produce a composite image of this complexity.  She described it as a pretty tableau. The overall control of the depth of field within the image was commented upon, but she did point out that the woman in the composite picture was herself particularly sharp, but located at a position in the image where the depth of field was showing greater softness. The shadow associated with this woman was considered to be particularly well done.

Rural Times Past, by Dave S

Our second image scoring 9 points on the evening was “Rose-ringed Parakeets Squabbling “ by Mandy B. This was described as a well timed shot, well framed against a simple background, and incorporating action from the subjects which all worked well. There was good detail and colour in the feathers, although some noise was apparent on the underside of the wings.  Depth of field and out of focus areas were well controlled.  Lighting, colour, and printing were well handled.

Rose-ringed parakeets squabbling, by Mandy B

Our third image scoring 9 points on the evening was “It’s time to skim off the 1%” by Paul S.  This image was described as an interesting picture combining haute couture clothing and expensive accessories, presented against an interesting background.  Ann described this as a gritty presentation displaying good control of highlights; altogether a very competent image.

It’s time to skim off the 1%, by Paul S

 Our first image scoring 9 ½ points on the evening was “College Privacy” by Alfred C . Ann described this image as well framed , well composed, and well taken.  She did, however, comment on the crop selection, wondering whether a tighter crop on the left hand margin would have improved the balance. Everything was described as sharp, level, and true. A very competent image, well printed, mounted, and with a good choice of paper.

College Privacy, by Alfred C

Our second image scoring 9 ½ points on the evening was “Mr Bennet” by Paul S. This was described as a candid street  portrait presented as a good monochrome image, featuring an effective vignette. The portrait was described as sharp, with a gritty feel, although there was a suggestion that some of the verticals were not true

Me Bennet, by Paul S

Our final image of the evening, scoring 10 points and the overall winner, was “Italian Style”  by Brian C.   Ann described this as being an abstract image relying on colour and form for its effect. The autumn colour range worked well, with the green tree providing an effective contrast. The image was pin sharp throughout, and all horizontals and verticals were true.

Italian Style, by Brian C

Our congratulations go to all of our top scorers on the evening, particularly Brian C for him winning image.  Our thanks go to Ann Healey for travelling to us tonight, and for providing an interesting and informative evening

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