Gordon explained his views of each image carefully and with humour, and it became apparent that we could all learn from his advice on looking dispassionately at our own images, searching for the extraneous, the distracting, the blown-out and the plain boring bits. He has wide experience of national and international competitions and often suggested that his own opinion might not be agreed with by judges in other more creative salons and competitions.
Quite often, Gordon was able to be enthusiastic about elements of an image whilst making suggestions for how in his opinion, the composition could be improved. One interesting idea was to think about flipping an image 180 degrees to se if the effect improves the image. Another point of discussion was the idea of a subject being ‘too large in the frame’, particularly for wildlife images, where relative proportions need to be minded and some environmental information might add to the overall impact.
We were told that most images are judged within three seconds, hence the need to avoid jarring and distracting elements and to present the subject as powerfully as possible. The marks awarded ranged from 5 to ten, with no half marks, and when totted up, it was evident that Walthamstow PS was the winner by a respectable margin: a good result as they were our guests. Maybe we will be invited back?
This was the first time CoL&CPS has hosted such a competition evening and it would be really helpful to have plenty of comments (below) to see whether we should repeat the occasion or how we might improve the format, if at all.
Many thanks to Ben and Sue for scoring, and to Caroline for organising the evening and to Walthamstow Photographic Society for coming to visit.