Why bother with a print competition? Why bother printing out your photos at all? We’re getting so used to looking at and sharing our photos on our mobiles and tablets. Is there any point in printing them? And is there any point in spending time and energy mounting them for a print competition?

Well, to start with, a print is less vulnerable to being accidentally deleted (however many backups you make!). There is something more permanent about a print, although, of course, it will eventually fade. A print is also something much more tangible than a digital image on a screen. It is something you can hold as well as look at. You can feel the heft and texture of the paper. It’s like the difference between an e-reader and a real book. Nothing quite matches picking up a real print from your printer or receiving a real print from the shop.

Prints have a life of their own. Part of their attraction is that they may look different in different light, depending on the time of day and season. Yes, maybe an image on a screen is more consistent, but there is something special about being able to carry a print over to the window in order to see it in its full glory!

Prints can become part of your life, and other people’s lives, when they are displayed. It’s not quite the same with an electronic photo frame (especially once the battery runs out!). Prints, especially family photos, can travel with you to a new home and can be literally passed down through the generations. They can become treasured possessions (well, maybe not all your photos, but at least some!).

When it comes to photo competitions, there is a unique advantage in entering images as prints, rather than PDIs – you have full control over the size. Within the overall size-constraints (usually 50cm X 40cm, although 60cm X 50cm is actually permissible at Photocraft), you can make your print as large or small as you choose. The experts suggest that if you’ve got a busy, complex image, you should opt for a larger size. Whereas, if you have a simple, uncluttered image, you can get away with a much smaller image. By entering a print competition you have the chance to gauge what size works best.

It was great to see so many impressive entries to this week’s Print Competition. Thank you to our judge, Ian Brash, for selecting these worthy winners –

Level 1

‘Friend or Foe?’ – Joy Szott (10)

 Level 2

‘Dried Grasses’ – Dave Stoneleigh (10+) ‘Cornered’ – Mandy Byatt (10)

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