The 7 Deadly Sins – Sloth wins!

Ron Hassan - Sunset in Turkey_ Open

Ron Hassan – Sunset in Turkey – Open

Last month I mentioned that I hoped we’d do better with our Set Subject this time around but it seems that while there was a little envy over other people’s scores and pride in achievement, we mostly displayed sloth (or am I being mean saying we were too lazy to get out there and find some sins to photograph?)  Perhaps we’re all too angelic or maybe  we need to stick to more conventional Set Subjects?  Committee members will be looking for suggestions for 2016!

Out of a total of 68 images presented on the night just 8 were in the Set Subject.  At least we didn’t give the judge, Susie Lipert, too much difficulty in deciding what was ‘in category’.  Susie gave a lot of thoughtful feedback, showing a preference for sharpness throughout the image and often urging us to get in tighter.  She made the poignant comment that maybe what the author intended was not what she was seeing.  Subjectivity in judging is unavoidable, and I’m sure we all want the judge to ‘get’ our image, but this is never guaranteed!

We were all very pleased to see Ron Hassan’s “Sunset in Turkey” get the recognition it deserves with a 10.  Gloria Brumfield is also shining this year with some brilliant wildlife and nature images.


Gloria Brumfield – Is it Edible? – Open

Ursula Prucha impressed the judge with her night light scenes, taking out all the Projected Image tops.

c16_Ursula Prucha_West Terrace light show_open

Ursula Prucha – West Terrace Light Show – Open

It was great to see an excellent turnout on such a cold night and brilliant to again see a number of new members and visitors.  It would be great to see entries from our new members in the next competition – “Nature in the City”!

As always, click the links for Top Prints and Top Projected Images.


Helen :)

Picassa and Gimp Workshop – Free Image Software – Chris Schultz & James Allan

Angel 1dFor those who would like to follow the instructions of the GIMP exercise, (The painted angel) there is an article posted in Camera clips that will take you through the steps.

Create a Grunge Angel In Gimp. James Allan

And for those interested in some basic Picasa use – have a look at Chris’ slides from last Thursday on YouTube


Minilimist, Milinimist……Minimalist…got it!

Jennifer Williams_On Reflection_Set

Jennifer Williams_On Reflection_Set

Minimalist Landscape ….tricky to say, even harder to define and apparently almost impossible to actually select pictures for which truly fit the category!

Perhaps we needed to go back to school and have a lesson on what a Minimalist Landscape is! We created a bit of a headache for judge, Suzanne Opitz, in trying to decide which images were “in category” and which were not, as only around half of the images submitted for the set subject truly qualified as both “minimalist” and “landscape”!  Jennifer Williams nailed it with “On Reflection”, and Huw Rosser dabbling in the waters of the Novice section with “On the Edge”, taught us a lesson in Minimalism.

Huw Rosser_On the Edge_Set

Huw Rosser_On the Edge_Set

Suzanne seemed relieved each time a section switched from Minimalist Landscape to the Open category (and not just because “minimalist” is a bit of a tongue twister). Then her self-confessed penchant for vignetting and cropping came out as she urged us to get in tighter and darken our edges.

It was great to see some newer members venturing into competition and other members demonstrating their developing processing skills.

Click on the links to see the rest of the Top Prints and Top Projected Images.

We might have struggled with Minimalist Landscape, but I predict we’ll all be experts on the next set subject – “The 7 Deadly Sins” :)




Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens

Another brick

We had a great excursion on Sunday to the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens.  Head on over to Camera Clips and you can check out the gallery of images that has been submitted by those attending. Click here


Judging – the first time!

The first judging at a photography club! Scary!

Alberto called me on Monday of last week – could I fill in at the last minute for a club south of Adelaide? According to Alberto, a bit of a trip, but they were a friendly crowd, a bit like our little happy troop. So on Friday, Alberto and I trekked down the Victor Harbor Road on a wet foggy night to South Coast Camera Club.

On the way we discussed (amongst other things) judging and how to be consistent. I’d re-read my judging school notes over the last few days, and thought about what I was trying to give back. There was lots to think about, and I didn’t want to be the type of judge I had complained about.

Camo Frog – Brad Hodge – South Coast Camera Club

On the night, about 40 people were present, and about 100 images ready to be judged! Now I was scared – I’d been told there would be about 50 images! They must have heard there was a gringo judge coming down! Competition Secretary Brad Hodge, President Andy Mitchell, Vice President Mike Gillies and Club Secretary Wendy Hodge greeted me and led me through the procedures and informed me about the 100 images. The gringo judge was ready!

Brad and Mike presented the images and to be honest, the image quality was very good – similar to our little group. I had spent 10-15 minutes looking at the images before judging started to find what I felt were the top ones – judge between what is there on the night as Keith Seidel kept telling us at judging school.

The set subject was Macro – something I feel I do well. However, Brad led with Open Colour – so it took me a while to get into my rhythm. When we did get to the Macro prints, I’d already judged 40 images and I’d done my homework and felt better about this set. Moving on to set mono prints was a doddle in comparison – just a handful of images there. Digital was harder as they weren’t divided into set or open, and choosing the best after 1 pass is no fun at all. That’s one reason I always give the judge at least 5 seconds to look at an image (time me next competition). All the time, I tried to keep it light and put in the odd one liner or joke. President Andy scored a few references from me (he started it when this horse image was shown at the start!).

Whatya Doing? Laura Wright – South Coast Camera Club

It’s amazing how you need to find the faults to tease out the scores. Yes – I dropped marks for poor focus, softness in the wrong place, composition that broke up what could have been a good image, not being close enough (Robert Capa strikes again!) and distraction (aargh – highlights!). I also docked marks for confusing or difficult images. Was that wrong? It is difficult to be consistent when there is such a broad spectrum of images. I did offer them the chance to beat me up after – in an orderly queue. To help novices, SCCC give the judge a little hint as to who is a novice – as a cue to increase the feedback – with a little yellow tag. And to be fair, a lot of the novice images were actually very good – and scored well.

Summer Snails – Janet Harbottle – South Coast Camera Club

Some images just didn’t click with me, and finding the right words is very difficult when you want to be constructive. However, in the end, I felt I had done my best, and no lynch mob lined up outside to give me rough justice in return.

Like our club, there were more colour prints than mono. There were fewer macro images than I expected, but I gave it my best shot. Some weren’t quite macro, but Brad requested I be flexible.

I did change my score once or twice (bad boy!) and dropped the dreaded “step to the left” comment once (it really did need it – but I qualified it by prefacing it with “many judges would say”). Nerves were part of it – but then again I can talk my way out of most things given time, and I felt I did get more consistent. Alberto coached me from the sidelines between sections (a bit like a footy match) and gave me the thumbs up when I got things right, and a subtle shake of the head when I didn’t.

My spread of marks was probably a bit high to start with (why so many 8s?) but I did settle down. I don’t think I handed out a 5, but a few images scored only 6.

SCCC finish each section by getting the judge to choose the Honour (one of them – thank goodness I handed out only one 10 in each) and Merit images (3 – I handed out too many 9s)  and at the end of the night the image of the night from the top 4. Talk about putting me on the spot again!

Fortunately, when all was done and dusted, I felt I’d given out top scores to the best images, and given some reasonable and constructive feedback. And exhaustion was setting in. Remarkably, 90 minutes of judging flew by.

The night finished with some supper – a short talk from me on macro stacking, and the usual thank you’s etc. The stacking talk resulted in an invitation to come back for a workshop. I hope I’ve made some new friends at SCCC!

On the trip home I had my debrief with Alberto. Pretty good for a first time and I gave the top scores to what he would have. A few things though – don’t change the score, try and keep the constructive comments up as much as possible – particularly with the really difficult images, don’t refer to other images with faults as an example of why an image worked. Ok – I need more practice.

I dropped Alberto at his house at about 11:45pm – and got home at about 12:15am. I couldn’t get to sleep. Had I given the images the justice they deserved? Did I offend any one? I hope not. I had probably dropped a couple of clangers and as I said, tell me what you are trying to achieve.

Overall, I was reasonably comfortable with my first effort – not perfect, but not disastrous. I’ve learnt a few things and appreciate the effort good judges put in more. I promise to try harder for more consistency and constructive comment. I need to make sure that even the most difficult image gets given a positive comment. If I don’t – let me know!

Chris :)


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