An interesting evening at Alnwick and District Camera Club started with its annual Progress Award competition, judged by three experienced club members.
There were only two entries this year but both were of a good standard. The entrants each submitted three images and these were commented on individually by the judges, who awarded up to five points for each picture. Chris Goddard’s entry of three images of automobile headlights was awarded a total of 59 points while Christine Grey’s more varied entry, featuring a landscape, an animal portrait and an unusual garden picture, was awarded 66 points making her this year’s winner.
Next came a new venture for the club under the title ‘Give it Your Best Shot’. Members’ digital files of 31 images were sent to three judges outside the Northern Counties Photographic Federation. They were Paul Keene, of Chilterns Association of Camera Clubs; Walter Benzie, of Surrey Photographic Federation, and Russell (Rusty) Lindsay, of East Anglian Federation of Photographic Societies.
All three judges provided comments on each picture and awarded points out of five. The results were quite surprising at times with judges occasionally giving widely varying scores for the same picture, although it is true to say that the majority of scores were within a point of each other.
It was probably the judges remarks that caused most controversy as in some cases it was difficult to believe that they were commenting on the same image. While we always hope that judges will be as objective as possible, there is always a certain amount of subjectivity that creeps in. Images that presented any sort of challenge seemed to fare particularly badly.
Perhaps what we should all take from this is to realise that judges are only human and not to take it to heart when our pictures do not always fare quite as well as we hope.
Although this was not a competition, the following pictures achieved the highest scores. Carol Mackay’s At Glen Etive was the only picture to score the full 15, Alastair Cochrane’s The Calatrava and the Cloud scored 14 and Richard Stent’s Venetian Glass scored 13. A Hundred Years and More by John Thompson, Where is my Food? by Pat Wood and Navigation Posts by Peter Downs all scored 12.5.
Despite misgivings regarding some scores and comments, this was an interesting exercise and one that the club will almost certainly repeat.