North Cheshire Challenge Trophy goes Digital

Way back in 1984, NCPS introduced an inter-club slide knock-out competition to be held during the period of our Annual Exhibition in the Civic Hall at Poynton. This competition has been operated every year since, without exception, and with never less than 20 clubs enthusiastically competing for the prestigious prize – our “North Cheshire Challenge Trophy”. You should not be surprised to find that the full results for every competing club from each of those 24 years appear on the website.

However, we have now reached the end of an era. Instead of slides, the inter-club knock-out competition for the North Cheshire Challenge Trophy will henceforth feature Digital Images exclusively, projected with the society’s recently acquired high-resolution Digital Projector. The usual clubs, plus some possible additions, from throughout our region and beyond, will be invited to send their images electronically. The format of the competition and scoring of the entries will be on exactly the same lines as before. It will take place on the Thursday evening of Exhibition week as always.

So why the change now?

The acquisition of a lottery grant from the 'Awards for All' scheme facilitated the purchase of a Canon Xeed SX60 projector plus a dedicated computer enabling us to use it to its full potential. We are satisfied that this combination will enable us to do full justice to all material submitted to us in the form of a digital file, provided it is in the correct format – which will, of course, be clearly specified on all entry forms.

This means that at our next Exhibition, we shall be effortlessly projecting perfectly focused, dust-free images that don’t jam due to peeling stickers, that haven’t run the risk of being finger-marked or dropped in transit, that don’t even have to be re-boxed afterwards. They won’t “pop” in the gate so there will be no need for constant re-focusing, and they won’t have to be “moved on” for fear of burning. You will be greatly impressed by the projection quality of atmospheric landscapes, accurate record, characterful portraits and truthful natural history images, and a sprinkling of clever montages with real impact will be there to blow our minds.

The latest computer technology will automatically perform the projection and scoring, minimising the risk of human error (although we shall be persevering with a human judge – at least for the time being). We believe we can look forward to a really slick operation on the night.

Of course, one hard disc crash or software bug could spell catastrophe and we finish with a serious amount of egg on our face. There are exciting times ahead!