• Abel and Peter Clark Trophies - Panel Competitions

    Seventeen members gathered together on the 14th January for our annual panel competition. For the thirteen members who entered their work, (thirty-one 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 Tim West FRPS, our judge for the evening. As each set of prints was placed into the light box by Margaret Cooper, Tim commented constructively on the technical, compositional and story-telling aspects of each picture and, where necessary, he made helpful suggestions for improving the lighting and colour balance of the images within a panel.

    The marking given by Tim 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 had been held back by Tim for further consideration: "MONT BLANC" by Richard Clarke-Adams, "A DAY AT THE RACES" by Bob Hoare and "SALSIFY" by Dave Johnson. Of these, Tim awarded a total of 18 marks to each of the first two, and 19 marks to the third panel. Therefore, Dave Johnson was congratulated for being the winner, (and eventual recipient holder of), the Abel Trophy.

    Following an interval for tea or coffee, (organised as usual by Louise Satturley), 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, Tim made some very well considered comments on each of the thirty-one panels, often emphasising the importance of the panel’s outside images facing inwards whenever possible along with the need for a coherent, story-telling theme linking the three pictures. He also drew attention to the need to avoid over sharpening along with an intrusive or distracting background within an image. Focusing upon the positive qualities as well as constructive criticism, Tim 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, six PDI panels were held back for further consideration by Tim. However, as the evening drew to a close, four panels had each been awarded nineteen marks and the following two panels each received twenty marks: "CHRISTMAS LEAVE 2018" by Tony Storey and "FISHING AROUND THE WORLD" by Dave Johnson. After a pause for further thought and reflection, Tim announced that the Peter Clark Trophy should go to Dave Johnson for his very well composed panel depicting fishing boats and fishermen seen around the world.

    Our warmest congratulation therefore to our very worthy double winner, Dave Johnson, our grateful thanks to our judge Tim West and well done to all the members whose pictures contributed to a most interesting evening.

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  • SCPF PDI Judging Night

    Fifteen members and visitors gathered together on the evening of the 7th January to enjoy seeing a great collection of projected digital images (PDIs) being judged as a contribution to Division 7 of the Southern Counties Photographic Federation’s PDI League.

    However, the start of the meeting was overshadowed by the news that two club members had recently passed away: Louis Phillips and Jim Sheridan.

    Louis had only recently joined the club and was in the throes of being supported by Steve Newman to learn more about his new DSLR camera. Louis seemed very keen to become actively involved in future club activities.

    Jim Sheridan had been an active member of the club since 2006. He had previously been the club’s competition secretary and for many years had produced the club’s regular newsletter. Jim had regularly participated in our competitions and was the current holder of the Eileen Savill Rose Bowl for the best entry in the club’s 2018 open print competition with a very evocative picture of a church altar.

    Needless to say, both members will be greatly missed, and as a mark of respect, a minute’s silence was observed.

    Following this, the Chairman introduced Chris Hutchinson from Yately Camera Club, our judge for the evening’s competition. In addition to the eight PDIs taken by our own club members, seven other clubs from the Southern Federation were each represented by eight PDIs, making a total of sixty-four images to be commented upon and marked by our judge.

    The session got underway with a preview giving a brief glimpse of all the images in turn, and following this, each image was projected, the title read aloud and Chris Hutchinson commented on the picture’s good qualities along with aspects that could have been improved upon. In doing so, Chris drew attention to the drawbacks and benefits of high key lighting, the originality of the image subject and the occasional advantage of a low viewpoint. In his opinion, a number of images could have been improved by the careful use of the cropping tool.

    Before moving on to the next image, Chris gave each picture a mark out of 10, thus making a possible total of 80 for each club. By the end of the evening, the totals stood as follows:

    Club: Total Marks:

    READING 73

    SANDHURST 72

    STORRINGTON 71½

    LAMBOURN 71

    ISLE OF WIGHT 70½

    SELSEY 70½

    NITON & DISTRICT 70

    FOCUS RYDE 67

    Although our club came joint fifth out of eight, we were ranked below the Isle of Wight as that club had gained a maximum score of 10 for three of their PDIs, whereas we finished with only one with a maximum score.

    This was a most interesting evening, made special by the opportunity it gave to view the good work of members belonging to other camera clubs. It concluded with a warm vote of thanks to our judge Chris Hutchinson and a reminder to our members present to prepare for our annual panel competition in a week’s time.

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  • It's a Knockout - 17th December

    In the final meeting of 2018, fourteen 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.

    Eleven 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.

    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 Louise Satturley and Joan Taylor. This was closely followed by our fortnightly raffle, once again organised by Beryl James.

    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 two pictures - both taken by Dave Johnson: “Swallowtail” and “Sailing Into a Storm”. After a few moments of careful consideration, hands went up and were counted for each picture, and by a small margin Dave's lovely butterfly picture was declared the winner.

    This most enjoyable evening concluded with a warm round of applause for Dave and the presentation to him of a nice bottle of claret by Club President David Nicholls.

    We wish all of our members a very Merry Christmas and a photographically successful 2019.

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