It was good to welcome Rob Bonfield of Woking Camera Club to judge the third of our PDI competitions this season. Us bloggers secretly welcome being scheduled for a competition evening because it’s usually a doddle to draft something. The winning pictures are already supplied to us to illustrate the blog, and all we have to do is jot down the pet likes and dislikes the judge homes in on and set them out as bullet points for you, dear reader, as pearls of wisdom to take on board to push the frontiers of your future photographic endeavours..

Hmmm. Rob wasn’t quite like that. No axes to grind. To his credit, there was nothing partisan or formulaic or repetitive about his comments. He appeared to have no favourite genre, treating each picture solely on its own merits. (The only preference he confessed to was that he liked the colour orange!)

A general comment was that he would like to see more humorous and abstract images entered. However, it wasn’t enough to be funny or abstract; the picture still had to be technically sound and work well as a composition to score highly.

I was surprised, and impressed, by the number of high quality macro pictures of tiny creatures entered, particularly at the Standard Level. We had bees, beetles, and even a terrific photo of ants ‘milking’ aphids (well done Steve).

However, the 10+ winner at this level was an evening shot, Manhattan Skyline by Chris R, beautifully composed and exposed.

Congratulations to him, and to Kevin for a technically flawless picture of a bumble bee on lilac flowers entitled Working Hard.

The 10+ at the Advanced Level went to Mandy for Goldfinch collecting nesting material – the bird caught pin sharp in mid-flight with wings extended and carrying a huge tuft of woolly stuff.

I perish the thought that Dave S knew in advance of Rob’s predilection for orange as his image A dusting of pollen fully deserved the other 10 awarded at this level.

I, for one, thought the judge’s comments were well-considered and fair, and the marks he awarded were consistent with what he had said. Doesn’t always happen that way, so thank you for that Rob and we look forward to the next time we see you.

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