'In Isolation' Set Subject Competition
5 April 2016   

SeatOur final open competition of the season on the theme of ‘In Isolation' proved to be a well-supported and fascinating competition on many different levels. Firstly, having narrowly being beaten by the gents in last week's Battles the ladies shone through and took most of the leading places in each competition category (Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced). Secondly, it was fascinating to observe how the advanced photographers interpreted isolation compared with the less experienced photographers. In the main the advanced photographers tended to view isolation in terms of photographing an object separated from its environment. On the other hand the less experienced photographers (with some exceptions) tended to interpret isolation as something 'within the person’.Despair 

As a result we saw a lot of lone trees contrasting with images of people or situations where there was a conscious attempt to convey feelings of abandonment and separation. The choice it seemed was whether to photograph something alone or something that was lonely.  Both approaches in their own way exemplified emotion and storytelling, and resulted in some excellent well thought images.

The competition was ably judged by Les Loosemore ARPS, AWPF, DPAGB, who travelled from South Wales to be with us. 
Although he was clearly impressed with the standard of imagery where necessary he offered suggestions for improvement in a helpful way. In particular he was impressed with the clever use of vertical letterbox type images, and the way some chose to use silhouettes to emphasis separation.
He did suggest however that some other images did not look their best because they were, perhaps unavoidably, photographed at the wrong time of the day when the light was harsh and unflattering. A consistent theme of the evening was the need to avoid distracting highlights particularly at the edges of the image, and not to be shy of cropping.

Alone

In the Beginners section there was a rich variety of very well taken pictures which augers well for next season. In third place was  'Stonechat' by David Wilkinson.  In second place was 'Pattens' by Kyra Wilson, and in first place a striking but simple image titled 'Seat with a View’ above left also by Kyra taken on a white ship down a passage way with contrasting blue sea and sky providing the perfect frame.   

In the Intermediate section third place went to Gill Ford Pier with an image of a lone tree in sunnier climes. Second place also went to Gill with an image of lone boat 'Long Way from Home’. In first place was ' Despair' right a mono image by Caroline Wright of a man drinking alone with head in his hands. All of us present I think could identify with his despair even though very little of his face was shown.

In the Advanced section 12 images were selected for commendation. First place was awarded to Pam Mullings with a rather sad picture of a dishevelled young boy ‘Left All Alone'. left Second place was awarded to Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP for 'Lone Tree in Snow' which perfectly captured the different textures in the snow. Third place went to Pam with picture of a lone Waterbuck standing in reflected water and looking straight at the camera.  

Congratulations to all those who took part.
We are grateful to Les for his considered approach, his constructive comments and consistent judging.    Diolch yn fawr!    MB (Our Welsh corrospondant)