4 Way Interclub Competition (Part 1- Pdi's) - Tuesday 22nd November 2016.

On Tuesday 22nd November 2016, Morpeth Camera Club hosted part one of the 4 Way Interclub Competition with
visitors from Gateshead, Gosforth and Cramlington Camera Clubs. Each club had submitted ten digital images on
any subject with no more than two from any one member. The judge for the evening was Harry Hall, FRPS who
had been given the task of commenting on each entry and then awarding a mark out of thirty points.

Harry opened by saying that it was a privilege to judge the entries, and although he understood that authors
develop emotional links to their work it was not his intention to criticise but to offer suggestions. As a judge he
breaks a photograph down into three categories, firstly, how does it speak to him, how has it been applied and
has it been presented appropriately. As each image was projected he described what he could firstly see, then
what his in depth observations were, making suggestions along the way.

A wide variety of subjects followed which included Dubai Creek, which Harry described as a mosaic of light and
a feeding Dunlin which he admired for its good use of diagonals. He said that a beach at twilight was a lovely,
almost monochromatic study in blue and with blacksmiths at the anvil the author had used perfect timing to
capture trailing sparks. In a still life flower composition Harry recommended that in such a well controlled
environment the author could employ more innovative lighting ideas. Books and Berries had in his opinion
created a narrative where the fresh berries contrasted with old rotting books and was cleverly thought through.
He went on to say that with portraiture it is mostly about the eyes; examples of which were of a mono Goth
fantasy character which contrasted with distinctive, boldly cropped vibrantly colourful portraits and in the case
of a Viking swordsman, he commended its detailed authenticity, whilst appreciating its menacing quality.

A creative composition of blue and white deck chairs set around a bandstand gave Harry a sense of design,
and a multi imaged girl with an iPad was described as a very clever concept. When it came to child photography
he reminded the audience that there is no harm in asking parents’ permission as the photographer can often
create a rapport with the subject resulting in a better shot.

The judge had spent a lot of time studying the images and stated that with steam engines, authors often opt for
a tight frontal shot but an example on the night included milk churns on the platform which helped to tell the
story of the railways and its complex system of distribution. A characterful monochrome, majestic lion portrait
followed, which Harry described as being produced with technical excellence. A millennium bridge composition
of multi exposure shots with strong concentric form, abstract colourfully lit windows, misty, frosty and autumnal
landscapes and dancers on the beach silhouetted against the dawn were all included. Harry complimented the
superb sports photography on the night which included racing cyclists, dramatic surfing and swimming shots
all of which he said amplified the stress factor.

Harry stated that with the subject matter being so diverse he had paused for longer than normal between images
so that the audience could appreciate the contrast between vibrantly coloured images that were followed by stark
monochrome entries. He concluded by saying that he found all entries technically correct, that he had marked
them all on their own merit and to remember that these were purely his opinions on the night.

The results were then given out and in fourth place was Morpeth with 226 points, Gateshead was third with 227
points, Gosforth came second with 230, and the winner was Cramlington Camera Club with 239 points.
Glyn Trueman, Morpeth club chairman, thanked Harry for his analysis and suggestions for improvements, to
Davy Bolam the club Competition Secretary for his organisation after which a buffet supper was served. All four
clubs will now look forward to part two of this competition in February where each club will enter a selection of
prints and these marks will be added together to decide the trophy winner.