Isle of Man Photographic Society column: An open prints competition provided the entertainment for the latest meeting of the Isle of Man Photographic Society, and was judged by Andrew Barton, a popular and frequent visitor to the club.
Andrew has a very good ‘eye’ as a professional for an image which has impact and quality - whether in the ‘decisive moment’ of its taking, or in the craft and technique of its preparation.
His commentary was, as always, well considered and pertinent, clarifying the good points of each image but also suggesting where improvements might be made - for example in the composition, printing, or mounting.
Nearly 80 images were entered in the competition, a significant number being from new members - all received a full evaluation in what proved to be an excellent, high quality entry, and a very encouraging start to our competitive programme.
Mark Falconer, a new member in the Standard group, had a very good evening, with success in both the mono and colour prints sections.
A crisp and high resolution image of trees giving an almost 3D effect, provided his winning entry in the mono section, whilst an image of two young ladies shot at Peel Castle gave him a second place (interestingly, shot on one of the seminars organised in support of the club’s 75th anniversary exhibition at the House of Manannan).
Mark Corlett gained a third place with a dramatic winter view of Sky Hill.
In the colour prints section, an image of a girl sitting on one of a series of park benches gave Mark Falconer another first place - the line of benches giving a very strong compositional lead-in line.
Good exposure and printing of an otter with its baby earnt Paul Dougherty second place in the section, whilst Norma Cowell’s portrait of a young man against a background of an Agneash cottage gave her a third place.
In similar fashion, the intermediate group was dominated by Elaine Dewhirst, in both the mono and colour sections. A well exposed and printed image of trees by a lakeside was judged as ‘very well handled’ and gave Elaine her mono win, while her image of a child in the bath was considered a ‘little flat in the lighting and perhaps too tightly cropped’ but nevertheless earnt her a third place.
Splitting Elaine’s awards for second place was Jenny Shanley’s image of tombstones at Jurby in the snow, the shadows creating a very graphic and stark image. Elaine’s shot of a swan rising out of the water, the wing feathers beautifully backlit and almost transparent won the colour section, whilst another bird image, also with outstretched wings , gained Annette Slater a second place.
Jiri Podobsky’s Manx cat image, full of detail in the fur, with good lighting and well printed ensured a third place.
The advanced group provided both the largest entry and perhaps the closest competition, with awards being spread widely, though the two members often regarded as the most skilled in the club, vied with each other for the main awards.
Sue Jones came out on top in the mono section with a shot of Derby Fort on Langness, the fort backlit against a dramatic sky, with Ruth Nicholls coming in second with a strong male portrait, the characterful face well shown against a street graffiti background.
A bicycle parked against a bench in the snow had good lighting and was well printed, giving Claire Stringer a third place. Leading positions swapped in the colour section - Ruth’s high quality image of a chair in a derelict cottage with some abandoned toys on the floor, winning first place, and Sue this time in second place with her studio shot of glass bottles, the lighting emphasising the reflections, colours and shadows. Brian Speedie produced an excellent portrait of a meerkat with a child in the background, the child clearly enjoying the moment and the face slightly (but deliberately) out of focus, for a third place.
RESULTS : STANDARD GROUP Mono Prints - Mark Falconer (1 & 2), Mark Corlett (3), Aida Podobska (4), Joy Brodie (5 & 6). Colour Prints - Mark Falconer (1 & 4), Paul Dougherty (2 & 6), Norma Cowell (3), Sue Collier (5). INTERMEDIATE GROUP Mono Prints - Elaine Dewhirst (1 & 3), Jenny Shanley (2), Anne Bidwell (4 & 5). Colour Prints - Elaine Dewhirst (1 & 4), Annette Slater (2 & HC), Jiri Podobsky (3), Jenny Shanley (5), Peter Brew (6), Ian Lumsden (HC). ADVANCED GROUP Mono Prints - Sue Jones (1), Ruth Nicholls (2), Claire Stringer (3), Bob Servante (4), Mark Stringer (5 & 6), Tony Curtis (HC), Chris Blyth (HC). Colour Prints - Ruth Nicholls (1), Sue Jones (2), Brian Speedie (3), Janet Servante (4), Bob Servante (5 & HC), Claire Stringer (6), Mark Stringer (HC).
Isle of Man Photographic Society meetings are held at Thie Ellyn (the Art Society building) in Withington Road, Douglas, starting at 7.30pm. and are open to all, non-members (with an entry fee of £1) will always be given a warm welcome.
Caption: Judge Andrew Barton (centre) with open print winners Mark Falconer, Ruth Nicholls, Elaine Dewhirst and Sue Jones