NOTES FROM THE AUDITORIUM (A PERSONAL VIEW OF THE PAGB INTER CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP 2019)

The hall was almost packed to the rafters, we were treated to some fabulous prints. There were a good number of people who thought the scoring was “a bit on the low side’ (there always are) and the usual suspects (give or take a club or two) finished up in the top 8. Huge round of applause…. the crowd goes wild….. goodbye hugs and waves all round. The audience has left the building

So that’s an overall view of what happened yesterday…. but what about the actual the prints on display?

Well…….. I have to report that there were only one or two Ragged Victorians who showed up. I am referring to the tatterly dressed models who pose at the various organised shoots around the U.K. and not referring to anyone sitting in the audience ! Only a couple of “Peaky Blinder” characters sneaked in and from what I can remember, there were no white hares in the snow, or kingfishers gobbling up fish. However there were a number of fabulous images of Dalmatian Pelicans so, it seems they have replaced (for the time being) the white hares/kingfishers/sea eagles we grew so fond of.

There were a few lone trees in snow (they always are) and a smattering of stunning landscapes that didn’t seem to score too highly, which is a shame. Portraits, on the whole, didn’t do so well , I know mine didn’t…… booooo !! And I am here to dispel the myth that “creative images” ALWAYS win….. they clearly don’t and didn’t yesterday. Only a couple of creative images made it into the selection of one of the highest scoring clubs (who I am delighted to report had a variety of genres) and I have to say those images were stunning. I wish they were mine.

So……I hear you cry…. Get on with it , what DID score well. Well….judging (no pun intended) by the top winning clubs submissions it was sport, nature and elderly folk in their environment or as someone described them to me recently “headscarfs and hovels”. However, as I said previously, one of the top clubs had a variety of genre including studio shoots , sport, creative images and thus demonstrated how versatile they are as a group – you know who you are…. the Irish Sea obviously didn’t stop you from travelling to Blackburn oooops think I gave it away there.

So, that said, I will say a few words about those genres…… obviously these my own personal views don’t forget. You no doubt, will have your own opinion, and that’s fine.

There were lots and lots of fantastic spots shots, pin sharp by the look of it (and the 3 judges did handle a lot the prints for a more detailed inspection) and the action captured at the optimum moment – fabulous images. From memory, I think one of the top winning clubs final submission was almost all sport images (might have been one or two nature shots) but obviously a winning selection and good for them – they guessed correctly what the judges favoured on the day. Most of the high scoring sports shots seemed to have been taken by people who could get good access to the action and consequently they were great pictures that deservedly did well.

Not so many staged birdie pictures that we all know and “love” – that particular posing post (you know the one) didn’t appear too often, but we did see some stunning butterflies and even the return (if they ever went away) of the good old bird on a stick. Again, lots of super images with a good number of birds/insects which looked like they were actually in their natural habitat – but who knows?

So what else scored highly? Well it seems like elderly folk in their humble homes were very VERY popular again – so I am going to stop photographing beautiful models and instead buy a couple of headscarfs and the odd chicken and head off to Eastern Europe. These were obviously stunning images that told a story – old lady/man holding poultry or standing next to a goat or two or sitting looking very glum with a picture of a dead loved one on the wall behind them. Like the peaky blinder pictures or the ragged victorians these, I think, are staged/organised photographic shoots but you have to travel a bit further to get them. Great pictures with lots of atmosphere and narrative and something that usually appeals to the judges, so grab your chicken and scarf and head east. Cuba was also a featured destination along with the much closer to home people in and around the Black Country Museum (or similar venues ). Craggy faced seniors seem to have superseded the smooth skin beauties at the moment.

So to sum up – the pictures on show were of a very high quality and although the majority of people walked away disappointed the U.K . photographic world ultimately was the winner.

Congratulations all and hopefully the images next year will be just as impressive…… now where’s that chicken gone? Taxi !!!!

NOTES FROM THE JUDGES CHAIR (MY OWN PERSONAL VIEW)

THE NEW BLOG (1)
NOTES FROM THE JUDGES CHAIR (MY PERSONAL VIEW)
So, imagine the scene…. you invite 3 friends round to enjoy your wonderful culinary expertise and to begin with you put in front of them an expertly cooked, mouth watering and pleasing to the eye meal. “Yum yum” your friends think “this looks and tastes delicious”.
The three friends really enjoy what has been put in front of them and sit back with a satisfied smile. “What a GREAT plate of food” they all declare.
3 minutes later you bring out virtually the same plate of food – the peas might have been placed a little more to the right hand side but essentially it’s the same as the first meal they enjoyed. Hmmmm “very nice”, your friends say in unison patting their tummies – still enjoyable, but think to themselves “I’m sure I just ate that same meal a few minutes ago” .
Less than 2 minutes later out you scurry from the kitchen carrying almost the exact meal but this time the difference is it’s carrots instead of peas…… but all of the essential parts of the dinner are there and the plate the meal is sitting on is identical. ‘Hmmm” think your friends …. “this is getting a bit samey”.
Unfortunately, this plate of food is just for starters … and your friends are served it again and again and again not only for the main meal but also for the pudding and instead of an after dinner mint. By the end of the meal your friends are really jaded and can hardly pick up their forks to enjoy what is put in front of them.
But wait….. your next door neighbour rushes in with their meal for your friends and guess what? it’s EXACTLY the same meal but this time its a different plate design but all of the essential ingredients are still there.
Your friends are trying their very best to enjoy each identical meal from you and your friend and comment on how much they have enjoyed each mouthful – but it’s really difficult because they are only human and not a computerised eating machine.
Okay, I hope you see where I am going with this… if not then let me be more explicit.
Substitute the meal for images in a photographic competition and your friends are now judges scoring those images from 2 -5. The judges see the same or very similar versions of the same picture over and over again spread across 4 sections. Can you imagine how little impact the last picture of the same theme will have after the judges have seen it repeated over and over again.
Judges are only human and not a computerised scoring machine
Next Blog – what genres are getting more and more popular

TALK AT THE SOUTH EAST ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY DIG GROUP 1ST SEPTEMBER

 

I only agree to 3 presentations per year and the last one for this year is on the 1st September in Maidstone, Kent. There is a workshop the day before but it is fully booked…. sorry.

So, to anyone who would like to attend one of my talks and lives in the South East of the U.K. this could be your opportunity (if you don’t have anything better to do !).

More information an how to purchase tickets is below and I hope to see you there.

 

More info  on the Royal Photographic Society website,    EVENTS, SOUTH EAST DIG GROUP

rps.org/events/2019/september/01/dig-south-east–bad-start-great-finish

 

NOTES FROM THE CONCERT

(yes I know its been a while since my last blog – I’ve been away !)

It seems that almost every time I go to a concert/play/film the person who has booked the seat in front of me is the tallest man mountain in the place. Not only that, he will be a head scratcher or buttock shifter who can’t sit still. So last night when we went to watch a tribute band John (my Husband) ordered tickets at the front of the balcony to avoid the “massive head” issue….. thank you, your a star !

With an uninterrupted view of the stage I enjoyed the first half of the first half and then….. it began.

A row behind me and about 5 people away was a couple who managed to conduct a constant conversation at the top their voices for the whole of the second part of the first set. How on earth they managed to drown out the band I don’t know and I use to be an audiologist so you would think I would know these things! They shouted inane drivel to each other which, more often than not, ended in hysterical laughter.

The people around them looked at each other in dismay, but as this guy – who wore a t-shirt with the name of an aggressive punk band and an expression of “mess with me at you peril mate” continued to scream his chat up lines to his heavily made up girlfriend. She in turn had an equally good set of lungs and vocal chords and thus the conversation continued for about 25 mins.

Thank goodness the band announced a 20 min break …. John and I made our way to the bar and decided to sit downstairs far away from the human megaphones.

We could see that the last couple of rows at the back of the hall were unoccupied so we settled down to enjoy the band. However, the band’s manager and the 2 roadies decided to stand next to our aisle and have a loud conversation about venues and dates …. So we moved to the other side of the hall away from them.

Ah….. we finally found the quiet area and settled back for the first song, oh joy ! This joy however didn’t last because there, striding towards us, was the punk t shirted gob on a stick and his equally annoying date. And where did they deiced to sit…… yep, right in front of us !

Now, unbelievably with lots of crap still to talk about they were now loved up and decided that their mouths could also be deployed as snogging devises ……. With heavy sighs and loud tuts (not that they could be heard over the slurping lip smacking noises) we moved to the other side of the hall.

Please…. can we just listen and watch the band in peace?? No was the resounding answer. Two rows in front were a couple of couples who also had decided to not watch the band but instead sit and chat about goodness knows what. Unbelievable !!

After 2 more songs that they shouted their conversations to, they decided it was time to stand up and throw themselves around to the music. Now obscuring the stage and obliterating the music John and I looked at each other …. and left.

A good night ruined by spectacularly ignorantly selfish people.

My question is……. Why do you pay good money to see a band and then talk through the whole performance. Answers on a postcard….

THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT IS OVER – THE RESULTS ARE HERE !

 

This is a VERY long post (apologies) but please get your favourite beverage and read to the end.

LETS START WITH THE THANKS 

Firstly, I would like to thank all of the people who entered the Charity Print Competition in support of St. Rocco’s Hospice. The kindness of those who sent in an entry or donation was very heartwarming especially when I had no idea who some of those people were – didn’t even recognise the name. In some ways you already know the people who will support you and they come through for you every time and those people will always have my heartfelt thanks.  The major surprise, as I say, were the people who I don’t know and who took the time, trouble and expense to enter – thank you so much.

AN UNSELFISH GESTURE

This wasn’t a competition where you gained personal points or even an opportunity to see your picture hanging in a prestigious gallery…… it was an opportunity to give something selflessly of yourself. This print competition was in support of  people who are in great need of care and comfort in life limiting circumstances and the generosity of those that entered made a difference. If you are one of the people who entered the competition and  I have described above, please give yourself a pat on the back for being so kind.

Some people sent a donation of £10 but only entered one picture, most people entered 4 prints and a few very kind people “just” sent a donation (they apologised for not being able to send prints).   All donations and prints were obviously very welcome.

GOOD AND NOT SO GOOD

It was interesting to hear (on the grapevine) that the charity print competition was somewhat  “sneered “ at with the hope that it wouldn’t be too successful. Apparently the question was also raised as to “why is she doing it?” and “what is she going to personally get out of it?”. But fortunately not everyone thought along those lines and due to people’s generosity it was a success and raised just over £700. ALL of the money raised went to the hospice. I did not take a penny from the competition and I was supported by friends and family (who do not want to be mentioned here ) who personally bought  the medals, mounts etc. At this point I would also like to thank Mr. Chris Roberts and Paper Spectrum for their generosity too.

WHY PRINTS?

I could have organised a digital comp but thought that a print comp would encourage the ever plummeting numbers of people who enter prints in the various salons/exhibitions. This subject is regularly brought up on Facebook etc with a number of people continually appealing for us to “keep prints alive”.  Unfortunately, only one person who regularly beats the drum for keeping prints alive was kind enough to enter – you know who you are and thank you.

THANKS TO THE JUDGES

Thank you to the judges who gave up their time and without wanting or expecting a fee/travelling expenses. They therefore  gave freely of their time and expertise and took the task given to them very seriously – but also with good humour, we really did have a fab time. Therefore, it was a very pleasant experience and I can confirm that each picture was given plenty of time to be assessed for its merits…. not the usual 3/5 seconds given to them  in most competitions. 

The images were varied in genre  – as you would expect from an open theme and it seems that people entered more A4 prints than A3 prints with square prints being very popular.

The judges looked initially at all off the prints and then whittled the numbers down and made their final cut from those. There was a unanimous decision for the overall winner and then a  each of the judges chose  a picture that appealed to them personally . I had no say in any of this – I just made them drinks and fed them copious amounts of  biscuits to keep them going . I was glad I wasn’t judging and it was interesting to see how a none photographic judge (a conventional painter and lecturer) assessed the pictures. I would advise other salons to think along those lines too.

The final selection came out at 20 images  (approx 10% of the total submission) from which the overall winner and 3 judges selections were chosen. There will be 2 more medals awarded St. Rocco’a Admin’s choice and the people’s choice (voted for on the day of the fair) and those people will be notified after the spring fair on May 11th at St. Rocco’s Hospice. 

….. And so to the results, I bet you scrolled down to this bit straight away !

MEDAL WINNERS 

OVERALL WINNER

DID YOU SAY TREAT – ROSS MCKELVEY

CHRISTINE JOHNSON JUDGES AWARD

COURAGE – LYNNE MORRIS 

 

ROBERT MILLIN JUDGES AWARD

JUST THE TWO OF US  – JIM HILL

MARC TURNER JUDGES AWARD

RELEASE – PENNY PIDDOCK

THE WINNERS OF THE ST. ROCCO’S HOSPICE AWARD AND THE PEOPLE CHOICE AWARD WILL BE ANNOUNCED AFTER THE 11TH MAY 2019

SELECTED IMAGES (ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

PHIL BARKER – TIME FOR A CUDDLE

PAUL BULLOCK – LAUGHING DUCK

ELIZABETH BROWN – SCABIOUS

LAURIE CAMPBELL – FLY HIGH

GAILLE GRAY – RESPLENDENT IN RED

GAILLE GRAY – LIGHT AS A FEATHER

GIALLE GRAY -PINK COLUMBINE

LYNDA HANEY – PONY IN SNOW

LYNDA HANEY – DROPPING IN

EILEEN JONES – FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

ROSS MCKELVEY – REACH FOR THE SKY

ROSS MCKELVEY – CIRCULAR BALLET

MALGORZATA KRASNIEWSKA – MOTHER TO BE

LYNNE MORRIS – BETTER TOGETHER

WHO IS THE VISITOR WITH THE CAMERA – PENNY PIDDOCK

DANCE LIFT – BILL PRESTON

If your name doesn’t appear above then I am sorry to say your print wasn’t selected but you have my personal vote of gratitude for entering the competition. 

I have been asked would I do it agaIn and the answer is, I don’t know …… watch this space.  

Thank you to everyone who supported this wonderful cause – you may have had a friend or loved one in a hospice and know how much good work these places do, that’s why I chose this cause.

It WAS a different print competition and YOU did make a difference x

Only 17 days to the closing date of the CHARITY PRINT COMPETITION

ALL proceeds will go to the charity

Please don’t wait till the last minute to enter

A DIFFERENT PRINT COMPETITION FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

More info on my website butterflysmind.com

www.butterflysmind.com

PLEASE SHARE THIS NOTIFICATION ON YOUR OWN FACEBOOK PAGE OR ON YOUR CAMERA CLUBS WEBSITE (IF THAT’S ACCEPTABLE TO YOUR CLUB)

Charity Print Competition

 

 

People have asked me what my expectations are for this charity print competition…….. I have to say that I don’t think its going to break any records LOL.

If 50 people enter then it will raise £500 for the charity – which runs, in the main, on donations given by extremely kind and caring people and I am sure that any amount of money will be gratefully received.

If you are part of a camera club – please remind everyone about the comp and if you would share the link I would be most grateful.

A different print competition for people who want to make a difference

Thanks in anticipation

Log onto the Butterflysmind website   -start with a www  and end with a .com