Last Friday BNDCC members gathered to welcome Robert Sergeant who would judge tonights competition. Judging night is always much anticipated, especially for those who have entered their work and eagerly await the judge's verdict .
For some, especially those new to photography it is sometimes tinged with foreboding as they wonder if they are about to be held to account or their efforts not appreciated.
However, they should not worry as the learning process is much enhanced by the advice given by judges and everyone gains including more experienced photographers.
It was with this in mind that Robert thanking members for the invitation to judge, said that his wish was to give helpful and constructive advice which he hoped participants would find useful .
Robert declared that as a judge he was looking for something special in an image that lifted it to a higher level, to something out of the ordinary that indicated the photographer had engaged with his subject or had in some way thought out of the box.
This was an open round meaning subject matter was chosen by each photographer, and all present were treated to a variety of subjects including landscape, animal and people portrait, still life, close up or macro photography, abstract, flowers, sport, architecture and street photography.
Starting with colour print, Robert said that it had been a delight to see such a high standard of work presented, and that there was an advantage in having prior sight of the entry in that he could take time to evaluate the images and was able to consider these several times and become aware of a better understanding of the photographers vision.
Robert gave particular praise to the high standard of the mono section.
Considering each image in all categories, Robert gave much time in offering his advice where improvements might be considered.
Matters of lighting, the time of day, position of the subject in the frame, over processing in Photoshop, the exclusion of unnecessary elements, treatment of backgrounds .sharpness were important considerations .
Robert gave much praise to some delightful colour portraits, flower and animal images .
In the end it was a superb image by Alistair Bell that Robert placed first .
In the novice category it was a superbly lit flower image by Beverly Stevenson that took first place which Robert said would be well considered in the advanced section. Beverley has become something of a flower expert with a succession of much praised work.
Turning his attention to the mono and digital projection images, Robert again giving time to talk about each entry revealed the winning images .
The winning image in digital projection of a Grey Heron by Nigel Snell was much praised by Robert for in addition to being a superb wild life portrait was an outstanding artistic rendition of the subject.
The evening was brought to a close when the club chairman John Sullivan thanked Robert for his considerable efforts in judging this competition.
Congratulations to the winning and placed authors for their work and congratulations to all who entered their photographs for consideration, it is your endeavours that provides much delight.
Colour Print Advanced
Alastair Bell Le Grand Vin First
Nigel Snell Great Tit Second
Alan Field Flying Tackle Third
Mandy Milliken Tottenham Court Road Highly Commended
John Sullivan Elsa Highly Commended
Nigel Snell Wren Commended
Ray Magill Barmouth Structure Commended
Colour Print Novice
Beverley Stevenson Spring Flowers First
Mono Print Advanced
Edward McCavana The Eye First
Alan Field Looking Good Second
Nigel Snell All I Want for Christmas Third
Alastair Bell Carla At The Mirror Highly Commended
Ray Magill Wet Arum Lily Highly Commended
John Sullivan In The Midst of Knowledge Commended
Judith Kimber Wrapped Rope Commended
Mono Print Novice
Beverley Stevenson Narcissus Thalia First
Digital Projection Advanced
Nigel Snell Grey Heron First
Mandy Milliken Somerset House Panorama Second
John Sullivan Piper Third
Judith Kimber Leaf On The Shimna HighlyCommended
Leanne Simpson Sunlit Evening Highly Commended
Nigel Snell A Hare Too Close and
Great Spotted Woodpecker Commended
Digital Projection Novice
Beverley Stevenson Sweetpea and Roses First