Club critique

Open Competition Results – May 2017

Congratulations to last nights winners of the first Open competition this competition year.

The winners were…

Open class

Ist place


Darren Green – Liz

2nd place


Wendy North – Sarah

3rd place


Jeff Cummins – Gannet

Endeavour class

Ist place


Darren Green – Liz

2nd place


Mark Slater – Owl Eyes

3rd place


Chris Thompson – Fete

3rd place


Paul Nind – Ullswater

3rd place


Robert Wood – Spring Lamb

Competition scores

Lessons from yesterday’s Critique Evening; ‘Scapes. – by Wendy North


90% of time the sky doesn’t add anything to the image, so either crop it out or compose your image without the sky

If the sky has clouds and drama make sure you capture the full effect of this in your post processing or with a graduated filter at the time of shooting.

Soft movement in clouds (as well as water) is very popular at the moment.  This effect utilises filters which block out the light.  Maybe we need a speaker who can help us understand this better at a club meeting in the future.

Shoot wide, shoot high, get down low, get up high!  Move position.

You’re not using film so you can afford to take lots of images around a spot and then delete.  Change position – and take a few images.  When you look at them later you are sure to find ones that work and ones that don’t.

Look for Atmosphere

These are the images that do best in competitions. The way we photograph them and post process them can make a difference but only if the basic conditions are there in the landscape. These images will probably need us to use a tripod or support our camera by other means.

Often simple is best!

We noticed last night that it was the bold and simple images that had impact.

Post Processing – can MAKE or BREAK the image

The camera doesn’t always capture what we see! Our eyes are much more efficient. SO – post processing of the image is important. Selectively change the exposure or clarity or vibrance etc of your image at the post processing stage. The circular graduated filter is a very useful tool when it comes to making selective changes in Lightroom. Nik software, Viveza provides a similar tool and it’s free. Photoshop lasso tool in combination with levels/ curves can also do the job. Don’t forget to calibrate your monitor. Some images were showing rather over or under saturated yesterday evening.

Some images are memory shots that capture a special  `holiday’ moment.

They are often the kinds of photos that do well on calendars or on postcards because they capture the magic of the experience. They probably won’t do well in PAGB judged competitions (external judges used by the camera club have an eye to PAGB competitions). Nevertheless, it’s good to present them as well as possible if you want an image for your wall at home – so post processing is important.

I felt the buildings were not straight in the frame so in straightening them up I lost the top of the mountain.  For me this crop strengthens the image, but I accept that in losing the mountain behind it also loses something of the sense of place which may have been one of the most important reasons for taking this photograph.

Landscape photography composition

I also came across a website that I felt was easily accessible and worth looking at.  You can find it at:

NIK Software is now free!

It’s worth reminding everyone that NIK Software is now free and can be downloaded from…

Wendy North

Judge Peter Cheetham is booked for the Sheffield Knock-out this year

When we enter an inter-club competition I quite often have a look to see if I can find anything about the judge online.  I wasn’t too successful in finding photographs from Peter Cheetham, though it quickly became apparent that he is a highly experienced judge who is well thought of.  What I did find was an amazing write-up from a competition he judged for Retford Photographic Society.  There is so much information about what he looks for/ what distracts/ what makes for a good composition.  It’s well worth reading.  A big thank you to Joy Allison who has done this (and many more brilliant write-ups for their club).

Click on the image to be taken to the relevant page on the Retford PS website and then if you have time search for a few more articles.