And so a new photography year has started for the Bloemfontein Camera Club – so to speak. The first meeting and judging of photos took placed yesterday evening. Not the usual first Tuesday of the month because in January the club wants its members to return safely from their holiday destinations and settle down. The reason for the “late” start in the new year – as from February our club meeting will be held in February 2014 and visitors are more than welcome to attend and look at some interesting photos. Well, the late start did not have an influence on the quality of photos submitted for judging. On the contrary, excellent photos were projected and the scores of the judges reflected the quality of the images.
This time around I decided to submit only 2 photos in the Nature category, 1 in the Pictorial category and the usual 2 images in the set subject category which as “Panoramic”. I’ve missed the club evening meeting in September because I was in the Kgalagadi with my two sisters and brother in law for about 9 days. But more about the trip later on. First the outcome of the club meeting – my 3 photos were submitted in the Nature category. I also decided to submit two images in the set subject division which as “Altered reality”. The members who attended the meeting informed me about the level of judging on that particular evening – no comment, I’ll let you be the judge.
Here is the outcome – see if you agree with the scores of the judges (if not please feel free to leave a comment with your crit – I do not take scores and comments personally but rather try to learn from it):
A. Nature category:
Almost 1 – scored 11/15 (gold award)
The image just made it into the gold award category (gold = 11-13/15). I hope it is not an emotional thing but being there and capturing the image, I know how difficult it is to get an in-focus (sharp) image of the sandgrouse as well as jackal. I am not even talking about getting only one sandgrouse in the photo. But I’ll leave it with you. .
Lion portrait – scored 13/15 (gold award).
Just missing out on a COM award – possibly because the right eye is not sharp (and I must admit – I did use the wrong f-stop when I captured the image). I did not concentrate and did not adjust my f-stop as the lion was walking closer and closer to our vehicle. Well, let’s see how the image does in national and international salons – the image was entered already in 3 international salons as well as an international print circuit and I am awaiting the outcomes.
Surfer 1 – score 13/15 (gold award)
Another image just missing out on a COM award. I really did not expect even a gold award. My first ever try to capture the action of a surfer and the face of the surfer is a little obscure. But like I said before – I’ll let you be the judge.
C. Set subject – Panoramic:
A very interesting topic and not easy to get great shots as you horizontal axis must be at least three times the length of your vertical axis. Your composition should be spot on. But here are my two images submitted for judging:
Lines – score 12/15 (gold award)
Not too bad a score – totally satisfied
Ghost rain Namibia – scored 10/15 (silver award)
A score that I was expecting – not everybody’s cup of tea but the end-product was dramatic enough for me. Post-processing done with a Nik plug-in recipe
Message to take home:
After yesterday evening sitting in the meeting and looking at the scores and listening to the comments, I was thinking: “The camera club and the judges are not the ultimate goal when it comes to photography.” Yes, it is great to receive positive feedback but remember: Learn to read images. When you view a piece, stop for a moment and really soak it in. This can be hard these days when we’re chasing content faster than ever before. But stop, breathe and enjoy another monthly camera club meeting and receiving a score of my images I was thinking of the issue of judging photos and personal opinion”.
Also think about the following: “Do not be critical about an image with the first view. Learn to read images. When you look at an image, stop for a moment and really soak it in. This can be hard these days when we’re chasing content faster than ever before. But stop, breathe and enjoy it.”
Until the next camera club meeting in February 2014, take out your camera, keep on shooting and go out and join a camera/photography club. Just for the fun of it and not to take scores/comments personally!!!