The Panels Competition is an eagerly awaited event in the calendar of the club. Not only does it entail capturing quality images but these must be arranged in such a way as to convey a theme or storyline. The six photographs required may be monochrome, colour or projected digital images .
This year’s entry was much higher than in recent years – a feature remarked upon by the guest judge Martin Spackman A.R.P.S. Nevertheless he perused each and every entry carefully and offered constructive criticism and praise where warranted- a gesture appreciated by the entrants who had to spend considerable time ( and not a little expense) constructing the half dozen images required. Martin explained that his criteria for success were quality of photography, composition of the image and impact of the story that each panel conveyed.
Angela Shannon was the winner of the Foundation Monochrome section with a collection of portraits of senior citizens – Darren Brown and Helen Fettis were runners up while Darren’s depiction of various waterfalls took the honours for Colour with Alan Friel and Christine Pearson sharing the podium. Continue reading
“Judge not that ye be not judged” – a Biblical quotation (Matthew 7:1) which might well be applied equally well to photographic competitions as to a moral or ethical path for life.
The lonely, friendless figure who arrives at a camera club intent on delivering a fair, balanced and positive appraisal of the efforts of the members is often the target of the wrath of those whose work is deemed unworthy of accolade. The judge, along with the football referee is on a hiding to nothing. How can he,or she not possibly see the hidden depths, the subtle nuances in my print? How can they possibly choose that out-of-focus, colour-cast monstrosity in front of what is obviously a work of near genius (mine!)
On Friday night Ray Magill (President of the Northern Ireland Photographic Association) prescribed a dose of their own medicine to the members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club by inviting selected (press-ganged!) participants to try their skills at judging panels of entries for accreditation to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.
Each entry consisted of ten images which were shown to the judges for five seconds each. During this time they had to assess the quality of the picture and award marks from one to five. The cumulative total was then measured against a cut-off point of two hundred marks to ascertain the successful candidates. From the anguished cries of the volunteers it was plain that this judging lark was, perhaps not as easy as it looked.
In the event the Bangor panel judged the selections slightly harder than the actual national team which met last week.
Prior to that Hugh Rooney had displayed a selection of the cream of the work selected by The Royal Photographic Association for their annual display.
This represented the best photographic efforts of both amateur and professionals around the world and while the standard of work was very high it was noticeable that a substantial amount of the images had been enhanced and manipulated – some to a degree which, it could be argued lifted them out of the realm of photography and into the sphere of art.
Yet another potential pitfall to ensnare the poor judge!
Competition Judging evenings at Bangor and North Down Camera Club are guaranteed to enjoy a full attendance. This evening was no exception. John Hill from Central Photographic Society, Belfast, was our Judge for the 5th Round competition.
The theme for this round was “Documentary” and as with all themed rounds huge debate raged during the foregoing weeks and months as to the definition of the word. Of course what really matters is the interpretation of Documentary, by the judge on the night and judges for the subsequent Northern Ireland Photographic Association round which selects overall placements from all the Northern Ireland Camera Clubs.
Before proceedings commenced, Awards for Commendation in the recent Audio Visual Festival at Ballyearle were made to Alan Hartley and Jack Thompson. Continue reading
One of the regular activities of a dedicated group of 8 members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club, who feel that they have photographed everything of interest locally, is to have an annual trip away to some off-shore location.
Past trips have been to Grenada, Spain and Tuscany, Italy. On this occasion Paris was the chosen destination and a good opportunity to practice their French on the locals.
Trevor Craig introduced proceedings for the evening stating that it is an old adage that when important photographs have to be taken one should always have a spare camera. As well as his trusty Canikon camera, Trevor brought his Fujifilm X100 as backup. As it turned out the latter camera didn’t work!
Trevor took his audience on a grand tour of some of the well known landmarks, but with a different aspect; very early morning and late night vistas, without the distraction of hoards of tourists in shot. Continue reading
“Plus ça change – plus c’est la même chose”- is the French way of saying, ”The more things change the more they are the same.” And it certainly would appear to apply to photography as the members of Bangor And North Down Camera Club learned on Friday evening.
The Club President Gerrry Coe brought along a fascinating array of memorabilia collected over many years as a professional photographer. Some of the artefacts dated back to the earliest days of cameras and film including a still-functioning plate camera beautifully crafted in mahogany and brass. Among the images he displayed were original Daguerreotypes printed on emulsion coated brass plates and tin-types, cheaper productions mounted on a tin base and usually sold at fairgrounds. Ladies in floral bonnets and military gentlemen, stiff and formal stared fixedly at the lens of a long since gone photographer and bygone family groups posed self-consciously in front of neo-classical backcloths. The sepia tones, Gerry explained were the result of the silver being extracted from the emulsion as this would have caused the image to fade when exposed to light. Continue reading
Bangor and North Down Camera Club celebrated the first competition of 2013 with a healthy entry in all the sections and an encouraging turn out to witness the judging. Ian Lyons from Merville Photographic Club was the guest judge and he offered particular encouragement to the Foundation entrants with a comment and some advice to each member.
The range of subjects reflected the Open nature of the competition with landscapes, natural history ,sport and other categories on display.
Brian McMullan’s spectacular shot of an airborne motor-cyclist took first prize in the Foundation Colour section; Angela Shannon and Michael Rice took the other placings. Continue reading
In the olden days, before the advent of digital photography holiday snaps were either pasted into an album or left to moulder in the dark confines of a forgotten drawer. Modern technology nowadays affords a choice of ways to preserve ones precious images. On Friday night the members of Bangor and North Down explored one such method – Audio-Visual presentations .
Various software packages have made it easy for even the beginners to gather their images and present them in an attractive display complete with musical backing and even a voice-over commentary if required. Quite a few first time efforts were on view along with those of the more experienced practitioners and the themes were as varied as holiday snaps and natural history.
Alan Field offered some memories of a recent adventure in the Amazon while Alan Hartley demonstrated his landscape skills with a collection from the Scottish Highlands. Chairman Harry Watson recalled his days in South Africa with visual memories of photographic safaris and David Roberts revived pleasant memories of holiday cruises in a dramatic portrayal of the ice shows.
For an encore David showed sights of St Thomas and San Juan captured on a recent Caribbean holiday. After Noel Maitland’s take on the beauty of New Zealand’s scenery, Helen Fettus reminded everyone of the sights nearer home by concentrating on the landmarks of Belfast. Jack Thompson delighted the audience with a guided walk around Ballymacormick Point , enhanced by an engaging commentary.
Tenerife was Peter Gibson’s choice of subject while Shirley Graham exhibited a couple of presentations, one of which was completed as an exercise on how to make an A.V. from 100 images in thirty minutes. Christine Pearson meanwhile had her tongue firmly in her cheek when she screened a short, very funny homage to the club’s Ladies’ Night.
Mark Allen is currently running a class for beginners in the medium and it is hoped to introduce a new club competition in the near future. As an example he showed an example of his work which has won awards in the past.