In the competition itself, we started off well. The first round was the black and white category and my image of ‘Vlore, Albania’ was entered. The judge liked the overall image but felt adding a dog or similar would have created additional interest. It scored 17. The average score for that round was 16 and this put us in joint 6th place with 10 other clubs – in the top half of the rankings.
Then we had the People round. In this, we entered Andy’s ‘Ella After Her Fall’, as the image came up there was a gasp from the audience. Photography is all about communication and this definitely hit the mark there. It is the sort of reaction you want from an image like that. The judge felt the skin of the woman on the left was too rich and warm in tone and he would have liked a slightly different crop. It scored 16, the average score for that round was 16 so we were still doing ok. We were now joint 10th with 6 other clubs and still in the top half of the scoreboard.
Then we got to Peter’s image ‘Seaside Dreams’. The photo before ours was a subtle minimalist coastal scene with birds on sandbanks between streams of water and the judge felt it was too simple for a PDI and that it did not have enough impact. I knew at that point we were in trouble. He did not say anything negative about Peter’s image other than he felt it would have worked better as a print or as part of a panel and that it lacked impact. He recognised the use of ICM (intentional camera movement) and did not criticise it technically. He gave it a 12 however. This was a very low mark for the image and more a reflection of his personal taste than the image itself. This, unfortunately, dropped us right down the leader board to joint 31st place.
Collecting ourselves we moved onto the Nature round, represented this time by Tom and his photo ‘Take off’. The standard in the nature comp was very high as it is a very popular genre and therefore we were slightly nervous. However, the judge liked the image although felt the crop was a little tight and he would have liked to have seen some more of the scenery around the bird. Tom scored a very respectable 17 which was the average mark for this class. There was no change however in our ranking.