The first competition of the season was judged by John Hudson ARPS SPSA DPAGB ASPS who is a freelance photographer from Bristol and has won many photographic awards. He was introduced by David Wilkinson who said it was a great privilege to welcome him to the club.
As it has to be nowadays the competition had to be shown using Zoom. The club is grateful to Dave Eagle as Competition Secretary who has to not only juggle with the DiCentra software to show the images but is also the host for the Zoom meeting.
This is John’s first time judging for Devizes CC and he explained that judging photographs is very much a personal view. After going through the positives and negatives for each image the final awards go to the images that meant something to him or those that told a story he liked. John gave a detailed critique of each image pointing out the good points – then there came the ‘but’ when he said what improvements could have been made to improve the image. Often it was some cropping of unwanted areas or else the background was too distracting. The comments are a great help for members in order to try to avoid similar problems when they enter competitions in future.
The Beginners section is for new members who have not entered club competitions before even though many of them might be quite experienced photographers. Starting with the 20 entries in the section the judge explained in great detail what he liked about each image and then the improvements that could have been made. Flower and nature images appealed to him most with a stunning image of birds awarded first place. John said that ‘Western Cattle Egret’ right by Penny Clarke was an image that he wished he had taken! The lighting on the bird was excellent and the movement well captured so very well done to Penny.
Second place went to a macro shot ‘Hoverfly on Scabious’ by Hilary Tapley and third place to ‘Summer Flowers’ by Bridget Codrington. Images by Hilary and Bridget were also awarded Highly Commended as were images by Jennifer Skjoldbro and Helena Chambers. (see full list below)
Only nine entries in the Intermediate section with Martin Stokes taking first place with a beautiful forest scene. The judge commented that ‘Forest Trail’ left was 'an image to die for’ - the light on the trees, the lead in and the foxgloves to add a bit of colour was wonderful. Dave Eagle was awarded both second and third places with a landscape titled ‘Lone Tree, Babbacombe’ and an unusual close up of seaweed and pebbles titled ‘Fresh from the Sea'.
After the break was the biggest section with 30 entries. The Advanced group are those that have worked their way up through the sections and the judge expects to see ‘perfection’.
The image that caught John’s eye for first place was ‘Fishing for Crabs’ right by Richard Atkinson AFIAP. It was a rather unusual image and John chose it because it told a story with lots of people enjoying the seaside and concentrating on the fishing.
Second place went to a delightful image ‘Goldfinch amongst the Hawthorn Berries’, the judge said it may be ‘a bird on a stick’ but in this case it was a well caught image with a good uncluttered background.
John remarked that there were many really good landscapes entered in the section that it was difficult to judge. Third place went to what John felt was the best landscape and that was ‘Franschhoek Valley’ a pleasing view over a lake by David Fraser. Ten other images were awarded highly Commended – see full list below.
Summing up David Willkinson said many congratulations to all those with awards and he thanked the judge for giving his very detailed critique.
A ‘virtual’ competition did not have quite the same ending as our usual face to face meetings when we can applaud the winners but nevertheless it was good to be able to run the first competition of the 2020-2021 season! PM
Full results All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries