The Best Prints of 2019 – The Results of the Annual Print Competition Are Here
On Monday evening of 25th November 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.
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 straightforward business but I guess that’s why so many of us are addicted to it.
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 Martin Lichfield and 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. He said that he had lived with them for a few days placed around his house to see if they would pass the test of grabbing attention and being able to be lived with. He commented on the high quality of the entries.
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. There were church interiors, field mice, architecture, plants bridges, animals and birds amongst others. Martin found much to admire and gave very good feedback to all but in the end there had to be winners. Commended were Paul Wagstaff with “Worker Bee” and Nigel Hazell with “Field Poppies In Bud”. Going one better Sally Sallett achieved a Highly Commended with “Millennium Bridge, Manchester”. Taking the top places in the Applied Section this year were Michelloe Howell with “Harvest Mouse Eating Dandelion Seeds”. Nigel Hazell achieved a double with a second place with “Papplewick Winding Chamber” and first place with “Zebra”.
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. Martin 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. Added to the Applied subjects were studio work, creative, street and landscapes. A much higher number of prints were on display in the Open section which was perhaps no surprise. Receiving Commended were Sarah Cremer with “Perched” and “Nuthatch In A Different Stance” by Alan Lawrence. One step up with Highly Commended was Jane Lazenby with “Renaissance Madonna”. Now on to the top 3. In third place was was Neil Clarke with “Hendrix is Alive”, in second was Peter Wells with “So Sad” but the overall winner of the Applied section was …. Peter Wells again with “The Spiv”.
Congratulations to all of the winners but in particular Nigel and Peter for achieving both 1st and 2nd in their respective categories.
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 below or with the rest of the annual competitions winners here.