• Abel and Peter Clark Trophies - Panel Competitions

    Seventeen members gathered together on the 22nd January for our annual panel competition. For the ten members who entered their work, (twenty seven PDI panels and eleven sets of prints), the object was to submit panels of three pictures that together either portray a story or have an obvious connection. By the end of the evening there were to be two overall winners, with the traditional Abel Trophy going to the print winner and the Peter Clark Trophy to the winner of the digital section.

    Following the usual welcome and club notices from the chairman, the evening got underway with the eleven print panels. Making a welcome return to our club was Glyn Edmunds ARPS, our judge for the evening. As each set of prints was placed into the light box by Margaret Cooper, Glyn commented constructively on the technical, compositional and story-telling aspects of each picture and, where necessary, he gave helpful advice on improving the coherence and layout of each panel.

    The marking given by Glyn was out of five for each individual picture, plus a mark out of five for the overall integrity of the panel, giving a total mark out of twenty. By the end of the first half, the following three panels by Bob Hoare had been held back by Glyn for further consideration: "COMING OUT", "BRITISH WILDLIFE" and "CATS - GREAT AND SNALL". Of these, Glyn awarded a total of 19 marks to the first, and a maximum 20 marks to the other two. However, between these two, Glyn announced that the winning print panel would be "CATS - GREAT AND SMALL". Therefore Bob was congratulated for being the winner, (and eventual recipient holder of), the Abel Trophy.

    Following an interval for tea or coffee, (organised by Louise Satturley and Debbie Platt), and our fortnightly raffle, (organised by Beryl James and Bob Hoare), we moved on to a most interesting display of the PDI entries. Once again, Glyn made some very well considered comments on each of the twenty seven panels, often emphasising the importance of a panel's overall harmony and the continuity of its three images. For example, Glyn recommended a black background to prevent white areas in the picture from bleeding out, and drew attention to the careful placing of images within the panel and the need to avoid an intrusive or distracting background within an image. Focusing upon the positive qualities as well as constructive criticism, Glyn provided much helpful feedback to the members whose work was under consideration.

    The digital part of the competition certainly proved more challenging for our judge. Perhaps due to the good standard among the entries, nine PDI panels were held back for further consideration by Glyn. However, as the evening drew to a close, three panels had each been awarded nineteen marks and the following four panels each received twenty marks: "A LONG JOURNEY AHEAD" by Margaret Cooper, "EAST BEACH IN THRESHOLD" and "SHAPES IN THE SAND" both by Dave Johnson, and "MARA CATS" by Graham Ainge . After a pause for further thought and reflection, Glyn announced that the Peter Clark Trophy should go to Dave Johnson for his very striking panel of black and white images depicting boats seen from Selsey's East Beach.

    Warmest congratulations therefore to our worthy winners, Bob Hoare and Dave Johnson, our grateful thanks to our judge Glyn Edmunds and well done to all the members whose pictures contributed to a most interesting evening.

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  • Iain McGowan FRPS

    For our first meeting of 2018 we were delighted to welcome Iain McGowan to our club this week and were greatly impressed by the quality and variety of the print collections he brought to show us. Entitled "From the Garden Shed", Iain began his presentation by explaining that he had been a late convert to digital photography - only six years ago - and had made up his mind at the outset to avoid all computer-based digital processing and produce pictures by directly plugging the memory card from his Panasonic compact camera directly into his printer. In his approach, Iain aims to exploit all his camera settings for the subject and conditions in order to achieve his very individual yet amazingly inspirational approach to photography.

    Iain held us spellbound throughout the evening with an amazing variety of print collections, which he explained and displayed initially using the club's light box and then passed around among his audience to enable us all to fully appreciate them at close hand. This was particularly appreciated as the many were small pictures mounted on large mounts and collages composed of twelve square prints.

    Among the collections, we saw some very colourful pictures taken at the marathon in Hastings with the camera set on 1/4 of a second showing close-ups of competitors moving against a blurred background. Other sets included twelve picture collages mounted on A1 boards showing close-ups of a very rusty skip, Beatles inspired graffiti in Liverpool, a collection of close-ups of the side of old boats at Dell Quay, an advertising board in Cromer, fruit and vegetables and close-ups of the bark of a long dead tree in Somerset.

    Iain went on to explain how he particularly enjoys taking pictures in wet windy weather, and showed us a set taken on such a day through the windscreen of his car in the Scottish Highlands and another collection of close-ups of various items on a seaside stall in Skegness through a rain-soaked polythene cover. Evidently this caught the attention of a nearby stall holder who took a dim view of Iain's photographic activities !

    Following the interval for refreshments served by Debbie Platt and Louise Satturley, and the usual raffle organised by Beryl James and Bob Hoare, Iain presented further inspirational print collections including misty views of the Royal Crescent and Circus in Bath, reflections around Birmingham's New Street Station, views around Accrington overprinted onto pictures of an advertising hording in Blackpool, a collage of a 1940s themed weekend on the Severn Valley Railway and finishing with a wonderful collage showing a variety of images taken of the ground immediately below the photographer on a visit to the Isle of Harris.

    Iain is a truly gifted and creative photographer who produces fantastic prints from situations that many will find hard to see. He finished by answering questions and urging us all to be impatient to enjoy our photography wherever it may take us.

    This most inspirational evening concluded with a heart-felt vote of thanks from Club President David Nicholls and a rousing round of applause from those assembled.

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  • It's a Knockout - 18th December

    In the final meeting of 2017, eighteen members gathered together this week for our traditional pre-Christmas "It's a Knockout" event.

    This is a competition in which members' prints are judged - two at a time - by a show of hands from everybody in the audience. The winner of each pair passes through to the next round and the loser (as the competition name implies) suffers a " Knockout ". Following successive rounds, the last print standing by the end of the evening is traditionally declared the winner, gaining a bottle of wine for the member concerned.

    Twelve members brought in up to six prints each at the start of the evening, and these were sorted by Dick Read to ensure that two pictures by the same member weren't displayed together when placed in the lightbox by Dave Johnson. One exception was a very large picture of a huge wave brought in by Martin Thomas and entitled "THE FACE OF IMOGEN". This was obviously far too large for the lightbox but even so managed to win through to the third round.

    The first two rounds of the competition took nearly forty minutes to complete, after which we were more than ready for the half time break and a welcome "cuppa" and mince pie kindly served by Debbie Platt and Louise Satturley. This was closely followed by our fortnightly raffle organised by Beryl James and Bob Hoare.

    It was most interesting to view each pair of pictures, but as the evening wore on, it became increasingly difficult to choose a favourite. However, by the end of the evening we were left choosing between Dick Read's picture of two aircraft climbing vertically at high speed, and Richard Clarke-Adams' monochrome street scene taken in Lewes. After a few moments of careful consideration, hands went up and were counted for each picture, and by a small margin Richard's picture was declared the winner.

    This most enjoyable evening concluded with a warm round of applause for Richard Clarke-Adams and the presentation to him of a bottle of wine by the Chairman.

    We wish all of our members a very Merry Christmas and a photographically successful 2018.

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