Malcolm Bowditch

Apr 112017

This event marks the end of the SAPA season and it was held, as is usual, at the BECC who were admirable hosts – also as usual.  Apart from the pleasure of having the opportunity to see some of the best images to be created within the SAPA community during the 2016-17 season, the writer also experienced the feeling of being ‘demob happy’, as this was the last SAPA event for which he was to represent BFCC as inter-club competition secretary.

Leo Rich motored down from Salisbury to be our judge for the evening and he was his usual perceptive and entertaining self as the evening kicked off with his assessment of the higher scoring twenty-four prints offered by the league’s twelve member clubs. The ‘Best of the Year’ competition is different from the other league events in that the winners are not clubs but individuals. Also it is a much welcomed event by some of us by virtue of the fact that it is the only occasion on which photographers’ homework is not marked out of ten. Instead, the judge gives a critique of each picture and, at the end, picks his favourite together with a second and third and a couple of commendeds. The winner this year was of a kingfisher by a member of the Ringwood club. A still life was placed second with a character study third.

After the break, a great opportunity to look carefully at the entries as well as to socialise, Leo gave his attention to the PDIs. The number of photographers successfully applying their skills to the production of wild life images seems to be as high, or higher, than usual. On this occasion 50% of the entire entry fell into this category. Against this background, we can feel especially pleased that Colin Cross (‘A little bird told me’) and Jean Bartett (‘Rain dance’) came second and third respectively. The winner, was a very powerful, action-packed and atmospheric image of motocross quad bikes.

An excellent evening attended by four members of the club – and two of them won (a total of) three draw prizes!

Mar 202017

It may be recalled that at the end of last season we got promoted from the 5th to the 4th Print Division and from the 7th to the 6th PDI division by finishing at the top of both.  At the end of this season we have finished 3rd in both leagues and therefore get promotion in neither.  However, in the PDI league the top two clubs tied with 35 points each and we totalled 34 points.  So that was very close wasn’t it?

It’ll be interesting to see what next season brings – – -.

Prints have been collected (thank you Paul) and can be recovered by owners at the club on Tuesday evening.


Mar 182017

I was unable to be at this competition held at Fordingbridge on 8th March but twelve clubs were represented and Zaid Meherali was the judge for the evening.  We had selected our six images with one each from Colin Cross, Colin Sansom, Glynis Larter-Whitcher, Jean Bartlett, Pat Catley and Howard Westlake.  We thought we had a good entry but Zaid didn’t entirely share our view and the consequence was that we finished 10th.  Even this was achieved by only the narrowest margin; we finished with 48 points by beating both Kinson and Poole, both of whom received 47.5 points.

But who won I hear you cry!  Well, BECC were first with 55 points, followed by Boscombe (53.5) and Wareham (52.5) in second and third places.  What helpful comments did Zaid make in his critiques?  We would have to ask Jean because I understand she was the only member of the BFCC to attend – – -.

Feb 192017

On Tuesday last we welcomed Dorset Light C.C. to play the home leg of the 2016-17 SAPA League competition and we had the additional pleasure of welcoming Tony Oliver as our judge. Tony is of course a very accomplished judge (that is why we invited him) and completely up front with his audience insofar as he explained right at the beginning that, when he had given consideration to technical matters and to formalities such as composition, his personal taste would influence the marks that he gave. In fact, all judges are influenced in this way of course because ultimately the award of marks is a largely subjective process.

Although they are quite new to SAPA, competing against Dorset Light was always going to be a challenge for us because they had already drawn in the PDI competition at home to Fordingbridge (81 – 81) and Fordingbridge had recently beaten us when we played away in the same competition (82½ – 81½). However, we were lucky on this occasion because, although we scored the same total, 81½, our opponents scored only 72. The prints competition was closer but we still managed to win 81 – 74½.

Unfortunately, because of our less good performance away from home, Fordingbridge will be at the SAPA League Finals in both competitions this season and Blandford will not!

These competitions are team events and every recorded point scored is as good as every other but it is always pleasing to record names of those achieving maximum points. This time Tony awarded a total of five tens and Blandford got them all. Glynis Larter-Whitcher, Ian Ferris and Graham Hutton received tens for prints and Jean Bartlett and Colin Cross were equally successful with their PDIs.

Putting the actual result to one side, it was – as always – a pleasure to see images produced by photographers other than our own and to hear the judge’s comments on them all. Indeed, members are strongly recommended to attend as many SAPA competitions as they can for those very reasons.  In fact there are still SAPA events to be enjoyed, on 8th March the All v All PDI competition is to be held at Fordingbridge and, later in the month, the League Final is to be held on the 29th at Dorset Light. Finally, the ‘Best of the Season’ competition is to be held at Bournemouth Electric on 10th April.

And then we’ve got the Annual Exhibition to look forward to – – -.

Jan 132017

Round 2 of the SCPF PDI League Division 6 was hosted by Storrington and judged by Rob de Ruiter who awarded tens to seven of the 56 images.   When all was done and dusted, three clubs – including Blandford – finished at the top with 71½ points each. However, the marking scheme takes other factors into consideration when placing clubs in these situations and this time we finished second to North Hants with Shanklin in third place. Although there are at least four more rounds to go and the season is relatively young, Blandford are currently topping the division with thirteen points from two competitions. More details of league positions can be seen on the SCPF website.

Details of our scores follow:

Dawn on the Frome                Marilyn Peddle               9½

Swan bathing                           Jean Bartlett                   9½

Hippos in disguise                   Jean Bartlett                   9½

The lonely cottage                   Pat Catley                         8

Dark clouds over the Tor       Pat Catley                         8½

Marines drums and helmets Eric Langley                     7½

Locked on target                    Colin Cross                       10

Frozen in time                         Judy Vowles                     9

This was a good team effort. If anyone had scored a half point less, we would have finished third and hence second or third in the division.



Dec 272016

Hayling Island CC hosted our first print competition in the higher division and Glyn Edmunds was our judge.  We finished second in this round with a score of 72 but Bognor Regis won by a clear margin, finishing with 76.  You will remember that our first PDI round was marked by a fine performance from Pat Catley who scored two tens and in this competition it was Jean Bartlett’s turn to score two tens!  This is splendid stuff and shows just how good our women photographers are.  I mention this only because we have a trivial annual competition, the Wessex Cup, in which women and men compete against each other.  It’s only a fun thing of course, and is of no consequence – – -.

Our full results are as follows: Sally Chaloner (9), Judy Vowles (9), Colin Cross (9.5), Malcolm Bowditch (8.5), Jean Bartlett (10), Jean Bartlett (10), Graham Hutton (8) and Graham Hutton (8).

On another – but related – subject can I also remind you that our SAPA league competitions start shortly, so if you have any prints that you would like the selection committee to consider, please ensure that they are in the hands of either Peter G, Marilyn P, Jean B or the writer before Monday 16th January.  As a general guide, prints scoring 9.5 or 10 in Points Cup competitions are certainly worth considering for submission.

Also, while I’m here, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy NY and a great 2017.  May you all score tens in abundance!

Dec 072016

Having achieved promotion in the SCPF PDI league to Division 6, we have started the season well with a win in Round 1 at the Sandown & Shanklin club with federation judge Roger Smith. The results were as follows:

Club                            Total points   League points


Blandford                    70                                7

Shanklin                      68½                            6

North Hants                68½                            5

Niton & District          67                                4

Woolston                     67                                 3

Haslemere                  65                                 2

Storrington                 64                               1


The Blandford details are given below:

Pat Catley received 10 for both ‘The lonely cottage’ and ‘Dark clouds over the Tor’. Jean Bartlett scored 9 with ‘Swan bathing’. Jean Bartlett (‘Hippos in disguise’), Marilyn Peddle (‘Dawn on the Frome’), Judy Vowles (‘Frozen in time’) and Colin Cross (‘Locked on target’) all received 8½ and Eric Langley (Marines drums and helmets’) scored 7.

Our congratulations to Pat for course for a rare ‘double top’ but thanks and appreciation to all seven photographers. These are team efforts.