Projected Digital Image and Print of the Year Competition

by May 17, 2024

We had a chap call at the door the other day selling fish. He had the gift of the gab. He started asking me what some of the plants were in the porch as he was into house plants himself. I get a head-rush from plants, fascinated by the seamless beauty of the transformations they pass through during their life cycles. He showed me pictures of some beautiful ones on his mobile. His other passion he said was photographing aeroplanes and enthusiastically ran through a load of those. My eyes glazed over. (Anyway, the cod and salmon fillets will be delivered from Grimsby on Thursday.)

Funny how as individuals we get turned on by some subjects, yet others leave us feeling brain dead. However rigorously our judges try to be objective, they will be affected by their personal preferences; they wouldn’t be human otherwise. The easy part of their job is to knock points off their score for technical or compositional ‘faults’, but we could all do that couldn’t we. We know what’s wrong with our pictures. But if, for example, wildlife or landscape pictures don’t do anything for you emotionally, you would always find some reason for not giving them a decent score.

So I felt a bit sorry for Peter Merry judging our Projected Image and Print of the Year Competition on Wednesday. Some fabulous pictures, but how to separate them? Prints first, he started off holding back most of them. Then, getting nervous perhaps, turned up the discrimination level. A nice chap Peter with a sense of humour but I sensed he was struggling to be objective at times.

If you’re in a reflective mood, you might like to think about where you lie on the preference spectrum. Do you go for organic or inorganic? Organic would include flora or fauna, or pictures of people. Inorganic would be architecture, landscapes and abstracts. Do you want certainty in your pictures or like mystery? For example, does what your pictures convey give all the answers or do they leave the viewer to develop their own narrative? Do you like order or chaos?

Do you like creative or conventional? Pictures that challenge the viewer with something they haven’t seen before, or ones that conform to commonly accepted standards such as the English landscape painting tradition. How much of a ‘controller’ are you? Do you like to spend a lot of time on post-production, or do you prefer to let your subject speak for itself through your camera lens?

In the end, Peter awarded a whole load of awards to both prints and PDIs so I will just reproduce them here without trying to remember what he said about them. They all deserve a second viewing – except perhaps my bog roll. Peter said that the more he thought about it, the less he knew what to think about it. Admirable honesty!

Congratulations to everyone for a great set of pictures and for giving Peter such a challenging evening. It was entertaining wasn’t it, and thanks again Peter.


Congratulations to Alfred for his winning Print of the Year.

College privacy, Winner Alfred
Some thing needs to change quickly, Second place Paul
Above the Andes, Third place Brian
A Welcome Return, Highly Commended Dave S
Salt Flat ICM, Highly Commended Mark
Supersoft toilet roll (zone plate image), Highly Commended David P
Stairwell, Commended David M
Rose-ringed Parakeets squabbling, Commended Mandy
Frosted Rose, Commended Mark


And congratulations to Martin for his winning PDI of the Year

Misty December morning in Sussex, Winner Martin
Moth Orchid, Dave S Second place
The Shard from More London Riverside, Third place Chris
Beach at sundown, Alfred Highly Commended
Evoking Escher, Dave S Highly Commended
Sunset behind the ruins, David M Highly Commended
Goldfinch descending from Smoke Bush, Mandy Highly Commended
Space to reflect, Paul Highly Commended
23, 24, 25, zzzzz, Brian Commended
Spero, David A Commended
Poppy Seedhead, Kevin Commended
The Long Climb, Martin Commended
Peaceful living, Paul Commended

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  1. Alfred Clarke

    I very much enjoyed your blog David you have a truly gift for the prose I think you quite accurately described Peters ambivalence regarding his choice of images. It could of course have been a quite different outcome.

  2. Brian Connolly

    David, what an excellent summing up of the evening! Perfectly put all round. Thank you.

  3. David Pelling

    Thanks very much for your comments chaps. Sorry if I rambled on a bit. If you’re interested in where my preferences lie, I love the work of Nancy Spencer, the lady I bought the zone plate from. There are extensive portfolios on her website

  4. Dave Stoneleigh

    I agree, a very good entertaining blog that well captured the evening. The only thing missing was my stork but I appreciate you were still reeling from the success of a certain roll of toilet paper (super soft)!

  5. David Pelling

    Sorry Dave, your stork seems to have got left off the images I was sent. I will rectify that as soon as I can.

    • Dave Stoneleigh

      Thanks and a clever use of words to incorporate its title (see, I noticed) but I would just point out that it’s a stork, not a crane! Never mind, enjoy your fish dinners.

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