Club Report, A4 Print Assessment Evening - Tuesday 30th September 2014.

On Tuesday 30th September, the club held its annual A4 print competition where members brought along up to 4 black
and white or colour prints (up to A4 size) for other members to judge and assess, before deciding on an overall winner.

Over 20 members brought along a total of 79 prints which were displayed on stands to allow them to be looked at closely.
Individual members were then asked to select the 5 photographs which he or she thought were the best and to rank them
in order of 1 to 5 in a secret ballot - members were not allowed to vote for their own images.

The displayed images were generally of a high standard and included a very diverse range of subjects including birds in
flight, flowers, landscapes, flowers, planes, people and rocks. Some of the images were straight photographs, whereas
others had been enhanced by varying amounts of computer manipulation.

While the votes for the members’ favourite images were counted, the club’s chairman, Steve McDonald encouraged
members to participate in discussions on many of the images pointing out their strengths and weakness and suggesting
how they might be improved. Comments were made by members who had extensive experience of judging competitions
as well as new and more experienced members of the club. The authors of the photographs were also given the opportunity
to explain about the photographs and make comments before choosing the next print to be commented on.

Members heard how some of the images had been taken and sometimes manipulated in order to achieve the desired result,
particularly where lighting conditions had been difficult. They also heard views on how some of the images could possibly
be improved e.g. by adjusting the way they were framed, adjusting the composition using leading lines and altering the
brightness of parts of images to emphasize points of interest and avoid distractions.

It was also pointed out that while judges in formal competitions are supposed to judge individual images on their merit,
photographs of subjects that such are photographed frequently such well-known local landmarks are less likely to do well
unless they are truly outstanding or are markedly different from the traditional views.

It was also emphasised that the conventional rules about what makes a good photograph are only guidelines and they
should not be followed blindly, as there are occasions when an image can be improved by being unconventional.

After the discussions the Vice Chairman, Glyn Trueman, announced the results of the competition. He stated that of the
79 prints submitted 55 had been placed in at least one member’s top 5. As the results were announced the chairman lead
a brief discussion on each of the images, again helping members appreciate the strengths of the pictures as well as helping
them learn how they might be improved.

1st place – ‘River Rock’ by Glyn Trueman – an image of a moss covered rock in a fast flowing river.
2nd place – ‘Snowdrop’ by Mark Harrison – a well-lit, black and white close up photograph of a solitary snowdrop.
Joint 3rd Place – ‘Tree Amongst the Rocks’ by Steve McDonald - a black and white photograph of a rock formation and a
tree at Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire & - ‘The Blacksmith’ by Paul Saint – (not shown).
4th place – ‘November Mists’ by Bob Turner – a misty autumnal scene showing a stream and vegetation.
5th place – ‘Desoto (1956)’ by Paul Saint – a dramatic black and white image of an American vintage car.

At the end of the meeting the Club Chairman, Steve McDonald, thanked everyone for their contributions to what had been
a very enjoyable and successful evening.
                                                             Glyn Trueman.