On Monday evening of 3rd December the club had the judging for the Annual Print Competition. Although there are many competitions, each with their own rules, throughout the year, there are two competitions reserved for the end of the year where members can enter what they consider is their best work of the year, even if it has been entered for the other competitions. These are the Annual Digital Projected Image and the Annual Print Competitions. On that basis these can be seen as the “best of the best”. For some of us printers, this is the big one… … it’s the culmination of a year’s work; processing, printing and perusing – then going back and repeating the whole business. Or that’s how it seems to be with me.
And if the creation of a masterpiece in print is a challenge, then I guess, so is the judging, especially when the quality is high. Facing the task this evening was Bill Johnson ARPS DPAGB APAGB. Despite his satnav sending him on a wild goose chase before arriving at the club he had the weighty responsibility of commenting on every print submitted and sorting out the winners. He had had the prints for some time to pore over and sort out his comments. In this competition there are two categories – Applied and Open. Unlike the Digital Projected Image competition, this one places an extra demand on the photographer – that of printing to a high quality. Many a good image has been let down by poor printing so the pressure really is on. Producing a great print is not a straight forward business but I guess that’s why so many of us are addicted to it.
Bill opened by declaring that he felt that the overall standard was very high indeed with no poor prints at all. He also praised the uniform mounting of all the prints. In the Applied section very little, if any, post image capture processing is allowed and there are strict rules covering the subjects and even the naming of the image. The standard in the Applied was high and a full range of subjects was on show. Bill found much to admire and gave very good feedback to all but in the end there had to be winners. Receiving Commended were Michelle Howell for “Harvest Mouse with Apple” and Peter Wells for “Facade, Strasbourg Cathedral”. One step up with Highly Commended was Steve Wright for “Grey Langur Family”. Now on to the top 3. In third place was was Nigel Hazell for “Giant Owl Butterfly”, in second was Peter Wells with “Lubber Grasshopper” but the overall winner of the Applied section was Michelle Howell with “A Trio of Harvest Mice”. Congratulations to all of them.
There were far more entries in the Open section where basically anything goes. There is no restriction on subject, treatment, processing or title so free reign is given to the creative talents of the entrants. Bill was very conscientious in giving every single image a good and apposite critique. It was not easy to judge as the subjects covered just about everything – you name it, it was there. A much higher number of prints were on display in the Open section which was perhaps no surprise. Commended were Paul Wagstaff with “Jet Ski Freestyle” and Nigel Hazell with “Crossing”. Going one better Nigel Hazell also achieved a Highly Commended with “Point of View”. Taking the top places in the Open Section this year were Peter Wells in third place with “Silver Girl”. Jayne Lazenby achieved a double with a second place with “Counterpoints” and first place with “Green Paths”. Well done everyone, especially those gaining more than one award and thanks to Bill Johnson for what was a difficult task well done. You can see a gallery of the winners or with the rest of the annual competitions winners here.