Our early November evening took the form of an ‘Open’ photography competition when virtually anything could be entered as a legitimate subject matter.
This, of course, makes it more difficult for our invited judge who, on this occasion, was experienced amateur photographer Dennis Wood from the Western Photographic Society.
Dennis said that he preferred not to describe himself as ‘judge’, but rather as someone who had been asked to give his personal assessment and opinion on the entries as an independent person.
Commenting thoughtfully on each image, Dennis, offered several useful hints and suggestions for improvement, including tips about the choice of subject lighting.
Dennis explained his own personal style for assessing the images, which might be a little different to that of others, in that he likes to view them at arm’s length in natural lighting, so this can be quite different to the way members view them on the night, gathered together in a darkened room with one bright light source.
His choice as the best image on the night, was ‘150th Anniversary, Doubleheader’ by Geoff Atkinson, a beautiful study of the bright red, Isle of Man steam locomotive, the Duke of Sutherland, en route to its destination, preferred by him to two excellent images by Sue Blythe.
As agreed at the recent AGM, there is now only one category, with no distinction between beginners and the more advanced.
The full ‘assessments’ were as follows : Colour Prints : 1, 150th Anniversary, Doubleheader by Geoff Atkinson; 2, Swallow by Sue Blythe; 3, Get that bouncing ball by Sue Blythe.
Mono Prints: 1, and 2, Chapelle Retreat and Shack, both by Ruth Nicholls.
Third place in this hotly-contested category was shared by no fewer than six entries, Crypt by Ron Shimmin, Solitude by Barry Murphy, Horse Power by Ron Shimmin, Baker Street by Nigel Owen, and Archie and Venice at Dawn, both by Sue Blythe.
After the refreshments break, attention turned to sports photography with another practical session with well-known local ‘expert’ Brian Goldie, president of the Southern Photographic Club, who was warmly welcomed by the membership.
Brian gave an illustrated talk in which he shared his expertise and personal style in this genre, based on his 15 years’ photography of Rushen United Football Club’s home matches.
This proved to be a fascinating insight, as he described not only the techniques he deploys each week, but also the equipment he has found to be most useful over the years, based on his personal successes.
Photographing football matches in the middle of winter, in the wind and the rain, is not for the faint-hearted, but Brian’s results were highly impressive and revealed the types of action shots that are possible with a little practice.
Some of his images tend to feature from time to time in the Examiner and Manx Independent too, giving them a wider audience.