Blog archive of the 2011 Challenges
We had a good turnout of members to help set up the Exhibition at 12.30pm on Wednesday 9th. Some of us arrived early 11.30am in the hope that we might get in sooner but the “Physical Exercise Club” appeared to have several sessions, the last of which continued until nearly 12.30! The 18 stands were set up, the lights tested and installed, and the Prints mounted on the stands with a minimum amount of fuss, which is now standard for the event. Other members erected the giant screen and Peter supervised the setting up of the Projector and the Sound system. We soon discovered that the Hall Sound system was not working, and eventually the Hall staff produced a stand-alone Speaker-Amplifier system which, once understood, proved admirable. This system had its own two radio microphones to complement the three that the Society possessed.
In the Wednesday evening people again were queuing well before the 7.00pm opening time, emphasising the need to have our door people and the raffle prizes and tickets in place before 7.00pm.
The room quickly filled up. Twenty one clubs finally entered the Inter-Club Digital Print competition.
NCPS President Graham Johnston welcomed L&CPU President Christine Widdall and invited her to formally open the Exhibition and present the Exhibitions major trophies (to Jackie Robinson as the member with the best overall performance, to Paula Martin for the Best Print, and to Jon Allanson for the best PDI). He then welcomed Ray Brammall, whose Yorkshire accent would be a change from the Brummie accents of last year. Ray claimed to have some Lancashire blood and proved to be an excellent judge. Near the end of the competition we were excited to find that Wigan 10 and NCPS were tying first equal with 91 points each. But the judge was then asked to pick a best Print and to give this print an extra mark. His choice was a Kathryn Scorah print, which meant the Wigan 10 were the final winners. Gwen Charnock.accepted the trophy. The judge commented that it had been a pleasure to judge such a well organized event.
On the Thursday morning Barry, John, Roger and Bill turned up to assist Peter Redford in moving all the tables, adding extra chairs, and setting up the Projection system for the evenings inter-club PDI Knockout competition. In the evening Graham introduced Judge Mike McNamee to a really full house (over two hundred people – more chairs had to be hurriedly found!). Mike was not over-awed by the numbers and by the interval had whittled down the image numbers to 36 after two rounds. NCPS had only lost 1 but Wigan 10 had lost none! In the final score NCPS came a creditable third beaton by two points by Hoylake PS but well behind Wigan 10 who amassed 26 points, including a 7 for the best Image.
On Friday morning the morning stalwarts replaced the Digital Projector by a remotely controlled Slide projector (courtesy of Jon Allanson). Our Friday Speaker, David Johnston, explained that he had concatenated several short talks to show a range of images which he hoped would suit all tastes. Indian Portraits were an initial strong point,
And we had several examples of a technique contrasting strong foreground figures with a blurred, second, background figure giving depth to the total image. Memorable in the second half were nude images of distant females, contrasting with the sweeping curves of sand dunes, taken in Gran Canaria. We then saw the effects of images of a nude lady swathed in cotton fabric rolls and located amongst trees.
David was reluctant to wear a lapel microphone in the first half, but was persuaded by members of the audience to do so in the second half
The Raffle, accumulated by Paula Martin, and called during each interval by Bill Chadband, again served us well, without taking up too much of the interval time. Members were again generous in producing raffle Prizes. David Hockin organized the Refreshments rota.
Members again assembled on the Saturday morning to dismantle the Exhibition. As ever, folks needed no guidance as they stacked the chairs, removed the Prints, dismantled the Electrical lighting, followed by the Stands themselves. The Library Prints were also taken down. A big thank you to the many members who helped in so many ways to make the job easy for the Exhibition Co-ordinator.
We were pleased that Competition judge, Keith Brown, and his wife Kate, were able to join us for the Sunday “Celebration” lunch. The Beijing staff are concerned that we should have an enjoyable event, and are to be congratulated on the food they served. Treasurer, Geoff Robinson, collected tips from the tables to demonstrate our satisfaction with the event. It is a great bonus that the Restaurant is opened just for NCPS members, and the local parking is most convenient.
L&CPU President Christine Widdall presents the
Alan Adshead Trophy to Wigan 10 (Gwen Charnock)
Judge Mike MacNamee presents the
North Cheshire Challenge Trophy to Wigan 10 (Austin Thomas)
Judge Mike MacNamee presents the award for
"Best Projected Image" to Austin Thomas for "Cheetah Kill"
Photographs supplied by Jon Allanson
Following a long-standing tradition, the Wednesday and Thursday evenings of our 2011 Annual Exhibition were taken over by the big inter-club competitions and it was a delight to witness once again the enthusiasm and support from the clubs and their visiting members, support that we rely upon for the continued success of these events.
On Wednesday, 21 clubs entered 5 prints (and submitted digital files for projection) for the Alan Adshead Trophy competition. Each of the 105 prints was, in turn, awarded a mark out of 20 accompanied by a constructive criticism from our judge, Ray Brammall ARPS DPAGB. Ray had travelled across the Pennines from Doncaster on this, his first visit to Poynton and made a very considerable challenge look easy. His relaxed style and pertinent comments were well received by the audience. We soon realised that the knowledge and experience gained over many years in club photography was standing him in good stead and would guarantee a fair result at the end of the competition. Although there can only be one winner, the great majority of our 150-strong audience seemed to leave with a broad smile of satisfaction, confirming that the evening had gone well.
Thursday saw a packed house of 200+ here to witness our major knock-out competition for the North Cheshire Challenge Trophy which goes from strength to strength. This year a record 150 digitally projected images from 30 clubs were dealt with, and extremely competently, by judge Mike McNamee FRPS FBPPA. Mike has performed a similar task for us on previous occasions at Poynton so we were confident that this prestigious event was in very capable hands. Again no-one - despite the eventual winners' runaway victory - could have been anything but impressed by the skill and ruthless efficiency with which Mike handled the task of gradually disposing of so many quality images.
The Results Tables for both events confirm that our friends from Wigan 10 are still the set to beat, but we can be encouraged by the performance of North Cheshire PS as, once again, we finished right up there in the top bracket. Even when pitted against the best images from such a wide range of leading clubs we've proved we can more than hold our own!
I would like to thank, on behalf of North Cheshire, all those who took part in, and travelled over to witness, these competitions. I am aware that collecting, collating and submitting entries places a considerable burden on hard-working Competition Secretaries. Their efforts in submitting all those correctly prepared files before the deadline really is appreciated. I hope everyone enjoyed their visits to Poynton. The team certainly appreciated all the favourable comments received on the night about our running of the events. We were also made aware of the odd mistake and shall be trying even harder to please everybody next year when we look forward to welcoming even greater numbers back to Poynton for another crack at winning these major trophies.
Wednesday 9 February - Alan Adshead Trophy (digital prints competition)
Thursday 10 February - North Cheshire Challenge Trophy (projected digital images KO)
The Inter-Club Competitions in the 2011 Exhibition
I can confirm that we shall have two excellent and hard-fought battles to witness on the Wednesday and Thursday of our Annual Exhibition!
Entries have been received and collated from 21 clubs for Wednesday's print competition and from no less than 29 clubs for the DPI knock-out competition on Thursday - that's up on last year's entry.
This means that, in total, 250 different competition images will be here to admire and inspire over the two evenings, in addition, of course, to our own impressive display of exhibition prints and DPIs.
Everyone will be gunning for world champions Wigan 10 again, especially as they narrowly won both trophies last year and they obviously mean to do it again having submitted a very strong set of 5 for both competitions. But there is some real competition, not least from our own club of course.
So, these are two evenings not to be missed by anyone interested in learning from the very best of competitive photography - and that surely includes everyone reading this notice as well as the considerable support expected from all the participating clubs. Be early to grab a good seat!