A belated write up from Saturday’s Cambridge Camera Club 36-club competition.
First of all congratulations to Cambridge Camera Club for such a well run and efficient day with a magnificent selection of cakes for the tea break.  I think Lemon Drizzle became my main source of nourishment that day.  It was also great to see such a wide range of images from all the different clubs.

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.

Then we got to the open class with Giulia’s image ‘A quiet word’ which has done very well in other competitions.  As you remember from Peter’s image he did not like simple quiet images and his comments were that the image looked as if it was a scene waiting to happen and needed more going on.  The image scored a 14.
So at the end of the day, we finished 34th out of 36 but the marks were very close with only 7 points separating the bottom 18 clubs.
The final winner of the day way Cambridge, a well-deserved victory and a good reward for all the hard work they put into the day.
Caroline Preece.