• Eileen Savill Trophy - Open Print Competition

    The members attending St Wilfrid's Church Hall on the 19th February were treated to an interestingly varied display of fifty two prints entered by eleven of our members for this annual open print competition. The subjects included landscapes, wild life, people pictures including portraits as well as close-up studies. The trophy for this competition was acquired by the club in memory of Eileen Savill, a much-loved club member, who sadly passed away in 2010.

    Following notices from the chairman, the evening got underway with a warm welcome extended to Tim West FRPS - our judge for this competition. As each print was placed within the light box by Margaret Cooper, Tim drew upon his considerable photographic experience to comment on the good features of each picture as well as aspects that could have been improved upon, including the composition, lighting and the overall impact of the scene portrayed.

    Great emphasis was also placed by Tim upon the importance of avoiding distracting marks and elements within a picture - most of which can be easily removed using a digital cloning tool. In a few cases, Tim drew attention to the undesirable effects where a picture had been over-sharpened. He also recommended the careful use of the cropping tool in a few cases to improve the picture's overall composition. However, he did suggest the bold use of the cropping tool can sometimes pay dividends ! Overall, Tim made it clear that he was impressed with the overall standard of the photographic work presented.

    Following such helpful feedback, Tim awarded each print with the customary mark out of twenty. However, in the case of thirteen pictures, this was deferred until Tim had seen all fifty two, thereby allowing him a little more time to consider the individual merits of those particular prints. By the end, each of these thirteen had been awarded eighteen marks or more out of twenty, thereby qualifying those photographers with certificates of merit.

    Of these, three were awarded eighteen marks, three gained 18½ marks, three received nineteen and four prints received the maximum twenty marks, as follows:

    "WET DRAGON FLY WING" by Dave Johnson, "THE STARE" by Graham Ainge, "THE CRUISE" by Richard Clarke Adams and "ALTAR AND CANDLE" by Jim Sheridan..

    However, there could be only one overall winner, and of these four, Tim chose Jim Sheridan's very simple picture of a beautifully lit altar cloth and candle - thus making Jim the eventual recipient of this season's Eileen Savill Trophy.

    This most interesting session concluded with a vote of thanks for our judge from Club President David Nicholls for Tim's helpful comments and incisive judging. Warm congratulations were also extended by the Chairman to Jim Sheridan and all the members who contributed their work, and also to Margaret Cooper for managing the light box throughout the evening.

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  • 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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