Club Night, Judgement Day - Tuesday 21st November 2017.

On Tuesday 21st November Morpeth Camera Club met to view accepted photographs from a past Northern Counties
Photographic Federation International Salon. The evening was led by John Barnes whose aim was to present them
in a slightly different way. All the photographs had been already judged by the NCPF, with marks awarded on the
reverse but John was seeking to establish any comparison with marks given by MCC ‘judges’ on the evening.

With a Strictly Come Dancing format, sets of three ‘judges’ from the audience were chosen and alternated throughout
the evening. Each judge was given score sheets numbered from one to five and were asked to look at three photographs
at a time, hold up their results and give reasons for their decisions. The photographs were then displayed for the audience
to view and discuss after which John announced how many points the NCPF judges had given to each.

Most of the photographs were submitted from India, Moldova, Ukraine and Serbia and included seascapes, silhouetted
camels and their minders in the desert, photojournalistic candid shots of people with social history value such as hoards
of people on a rubbish tip and a barber at work in his makeshift shop in India, a portrait of a girl in a wedding dress,
jeans and trainers, and a story telling image of a man with a semi nude lady in the background.

An interesting comparison between marks showed that most of the club members’ votes were very similar to that of the
NCPF judges, when one considers that the real judges only have approximately 10 seconds to view each photograph and
there can be several hundred photographs to view in each competition. On the evening, the ‘judges’ and club members
had the luxury of discussing types of paper used, did the picture tell a story, the subject and focal point positioning,
should it have been cropped, and whether there were any distracting features which could have been removed. Although
the audience were quite critical of some of the images, pointing out lack of depth of field, not so good printing quality,
white balance issues etc, in fairness, when one considers that these photographs were taken when digital photography
was in its infancy, post production software such as Photoshop and Lightroom probably would not have been available to
the photographers at that time.

John provided us with an interesting, original and light hearted evening with lots of positive and negative interaction
from the audience after which more debate continued over coffee.