Club Meeting, Improving Images - Tuesday 7th February 2017.

On Tuesday 7th February 2017, Club member and judge John Thompson kindly stepped in at the last minute to
present to the club his ideas and opinions on producing a panel of prints for the ‘Three of a Kind’ print competition,
from a judges point of view. It was intended to be an open evening for everyone to have their say on images which
members had been asked to bring along for the session. John wanted to explore two facets of the subject, the
design of the set of three and the interrelationship between them, and the reality of what makes a good picture
- to hold interest, catch the eye and tell a story.

Showing the audience an example of a musician in three different poses, he explained that these had been the
first digital images he had ever taken and that when judged in competition it was placed first by one judge and in
the next competition the judge had criticised almost every aspect of it. So, in this type of competition nothing is
definitive, either the judge likes or dislikes an entry. The aim was to guide the audience through a series of criteria
by which this subject could be approached and the pitfalls to avoid. 
John went on to say that choosing the order in which all three are displayed is important as the two outer images
should draw the eye into the centre, or alternatively, a linea story can be told which leads the eye left to right. An
overall title for the three and separate individual appropriate titles, will provide the judge with a story, evoking the
idea of what was envisaged. John went on to explain that although each image should be technically correct in their
own right and be good enough as a stand alone picture, with careful design and composition, a fourth picture would
emerge as a set or panel of three correlating images.   
John displayed examples of his and members work, which included rural scenes, cycle park acrobatics, sculptures,
lakes and snow, seascapes, car park direction signs, angular corridors, motor bikes, neon signs and vintage cars,
during which he invited the audience to participate with their observations and opinions on choice of mount colour
to complement the subjects, positioning of apertures and the use of a border and key line to give the picture space
within the mount. Choice of paper came under discussion as an important consideration as different papers produce
varied tonal ranges. In summary, John stressed that above all there should be a relationship between the images,
no weak images among the three, consistant tonal range and presentation and have strength in balance in symmetry.

The second half of the evening was on the subject of how to improve images, members having been invited to bring
along a selection of images they were not happy with. John, with the participation of more experienced members of
the audience and fellow judges, discussed the bearing on cropping, format, proportions, manipulation in Photoshop,
the use of Raw, colour correction, improving contrast and general camera settings. Examples of birds in flight, candle
smoke and low lit subjects were projected and solutions were suggested by members who generously offered their
expertise. Chairman, Glyn Trueman, thanked John for a very informative and interesting evening in which he had
provided an insight and understanding of competition requirements, evoking much discussion on the subject over