This week was the first members competition of the new year and we were pleased to welcome again Richard Speirs from Morton Photographic Society in Carlisle as our judge. An experienced judge at club, national and international level, we were anticipating an informed and constructive critique of our images and we were not to be disappointed. Richard not only gave a thorough and frequently witty commentary on our photographic achievements and shortcomings but also provided considered advice on how our images could be improved upon, both at the taking stage and in their post-processing.
The judging started with photographic prints, many of which were commended for the quality of the printing and for the choice of printing paper used, which can markedly enhance the presentation of an image. The photographic subjects and genres were as always quite varied and top scores of 20 were awarded to an atmospheric landscape of winter trees by Ken Rennie (In The Bleak Midwinter)
and, in marked contrast, a stunning nature image of a colourful tropical Aracari bird preying on a fly by Ronnie Gilbert (The Aracari And Fly).
Our judge wittily observed that the branch along which the bird was moving was quite the most interesting stick that he had ever seen – so often ‘a bird on a stick’ is ridiculed as a cliché in nature photography!
The runners-up, with a 19 score, were both wildlife images: a snarling tiger in a pool by Tony Marsh (Snarling Tiger)
and a goshawk devouring a snake by Alan Walker (Chanting Goshawk With Kill).
The overall Print of Show accolade was given to Ronnie Gilbert’s aracari bird.
After the break it was the turn of the more numerous projected digital images to be judged. Again wildlife images took pride of place with top scores of 20 being awarded to David Woodthorpe for a snow hare burrowed down in the snow (Hare Washing sic)
and an equally wintry scene, but further afield, by Alan Walker of a polar bear trudging through the snow (Struggling Through The Snowstorm).
The runners-up at 19 included two wildlife images by Keith Snell (Yellow-billed Stork Attacking Egret and Arctic Skua With Guillemot Prey)
and one by Julie Walker (Lions Mating),
as well as atmospheric landscapes by Ken Rennie (Brampton Old Church)
and Carmen Norman (Revealing Causey Pike).
The overall Digital Image of Show was awarded to Alan Walker for his polar bear in the snow.
Many other genres of photography were on display and admired in the submitted prints and images – landscapes, people photography, street photography, architecture, creative abstracts – but it was the renowned and widespread excellence in natural history photography across the society that was acknowledged and rewarded on this occasion by our judge.
All the images from the competition can be viewed on our gallery pages: