Apr 172017

Fordingbridge Camera Club held their annual Fordingbridge Challenge competition on Wednesday 12th April. It comes at the end of our external competition season and rounds off the year very nicely.  The battle was between eight clubs which included two clubs from outside SAPA namely Beaulieu and Salisbury.

It was stipulated in the rules that the images for the challenge were to be of work not previously seen outside of our own clubs, again this made it more interesting, plus the fact the images were a larger dimension at 1920 pixels wide by 1200 pixels high and projected onto a very large screen.

The judge again as last year was Louis Rumis, who is a very entertaining speaker with an dry sense of humour. He mentioned at the beginning that judging has never been so difficult, quoting us an international competition where an  image was judged by three judges who could award points of 1-5, the division of marks they gave were 2,3 and 5 respectively, so it again it just goes to show it comes down to personal preference most of the time.

Louis moved through the judging swiftly holding back his favourite images and by half time we were doing very well. Of course we were hoping to bring the plate back to Blandford after winning last year but it was not to be and we only lost by one point to Wimborne Camera club at 72 points. We tied in 2nd place with Ringwood at 71 points so we did very well. We had a mixture of marks from 8 to one 10 which was awarded to Colin Cross for ‘Dawn Hunt’. This year Fordingbridge also presented a bottle of wine to the images which were the judge’s three favourites and these went to Blandford Forum Club, Salisbury Club and Fordingbridge Club. Colin’s ‘Dawn Hunt’ was one of them so a bottle of wine will be waiting for you Colin!

Three members from Blandford Camera club attended a very enjoyable night helped by the refreshments at the interval which included home made cake! We thank Fordingbridge for hosting this competition.

If you would like to see the marks from all the clubs follow the link to Fordingbridge Camera Club – Fordingbridge Challenge results

Apr 112017

Due to a no show from the booked judge we were lucky to have amongst our members present two stalwarts of the judging community, and luckily neither of them had entered both the print and dpi section so we appreciated them standing in.

As usual part one was the prints and Norman Carey the judge.

Norman was keen to say that being true to the subject was very important to his judging and although there were some strong images a few of them he felt were not quite capturing the weather ‘happening’.

It was a strong line-up nonetheless, as Norman ended up holding 10 images from the first critique, which was roughly half of them. After more deliberations the final line up was;

1st Peter Gafney
2nd Marilyn Peddle
3rd Tony Ward

After the break Peter Gafney took to the floor as judge, again he was very keen that the images should meet the brief. A similar number of images were forward, and Peter held 14 in the first instance – but obviously he had not had the opportunity to see the images prior to judging – I think this shows the advantage of judging prints as you can have a good look before the actual judging starts!

After narrowing the field down to 7 and then 5 the final positions were;

1st Stephanie Selwyn
2nd Judy Vowels
3rd Eric Langley

Many thanks to both judges for stepping in at a moments notice.

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 282017

At the start of Tony’s latest talk, Abandoned America, he gave us all a push about doing a personal project – Tony is sure everyone has the ability to produce one, and when you realise how many years it can take to complete one (although I do wonder if once you start, you would ever actually stop) I can see that it would focus your mind into a different mindset. ie taking photographs for yourself, rather than a judge.

Most of us are familiar with Tony’s work, he has spoken at the club several times, and it is always an inspiring night. On this occasion we were taken across the high plains of America, seeing desolate and abandoned home-steads, some stunning properties in their heyday but now just falling down because there is no-one willing to stay in the barren, lonely landscape. It all looks quite benign, but when Tony mentions going in to these properties making a noise to scare away the creatures, I was thinking rats and mice …. but no, Tony was meaning raccoon, skunk and rattle snakes! For this trip Tony and his wife were keen to travel when the weather would suit the mood of the surroundings, so 15 years after the initial project they returned hoping for cloud, rain and stormy skies, but equally intending to miss the tornado season.

As we would expect the images were stunning, the commentary amusing but also surprising, and thought provoking, when you realise those inhabitants just walked away, leaving personal possessions in the rooms and photographs on the walls, off to their new lives.

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 – – -.

Mar 162017

Sorry for the late report, I was busy getting my exhibition entries ready and hoping that everyone else was busy doing the same!

With 27 prints and 21 dpi’s for judging, Peter gave us a comprehensive and diplomatic analysis of each image. In the print section a total of 3 10’s were awarded, however in the dpi’s only 1 image was worthy of the top mark.

There was an interesting range of subjects, as always, and I do like to see what people choose to photograph, I try to learn from the critiques of my own images but also learn from the comments given to other peoples’.

10’s – Malcolm Bowditch, Colin Cross, Ian Ferris
9.5’s – Stephanie Selwyn, Sally Chaloner, Malcolm Bowditch x2
9’s – Stephanie Selwyn, Rachel Cooper, Peter Watts

10 – Glynis Larter-Whitcher
9.5 – Jean Bartlett
9’s – Jean Bartlett x2, Pat Catley x2, Glynis Larter-Whitcher