Many thanks to John Murray, the committee member who organised the walk and led us manfully on through the festive throngs and dismal drizzle. A few people were unable to join us at the last minute, but around ten of us set off, enjoying the spectacular Christmas trees in front of the Royal Festival Hall and the myriad of illuminated buildings on both banks of the Thames. The skateboarders provided some interesting action packed images and gradually the group became strung out, taking photographs that took our fancy, loosely maintaining contact in the increasing dusk. We nearly got swept up in a charity race of suitably dressed elves and Father Christmases and we took far longer to complete the route because there were so many distractions and photo opportunities. A solid core limped into a hospitable hostelry and after wining and dining, we bade Happy Christmas to one and all and went home. Hopefully, we will have some images to show at the first meeting of 2018 on January 2nd, alongside our bring and buy photo paraphernalia.
There were plenty of print entries for last night’s third competition of the society’s year, although still out numbered by the Digital Images and it is great to see so many people getting their images into print. Next year’s programme will include several new opportunities for showing prints in various ways to encourage us even more.
We welcomed back one of our favourite judges, the amazingly qualified but modest Jay Charnock and she gave us an entertaining evening of very helpful critiques and advice, despite still adjusting to only recently returning from Cuba. She stressed, as most judges do, that her judgements are personal and subjective, and that she responds to the mood and feel of an image, but we know that that is in the context of an extensive photographic experience; she emphasised how important it is to present images appropriately in proportionate mounts and at the right size for the image. In particular, she waxed lyrically about black and white prints needing ‘to sing’, to have luminosity and depth. As she went through over thirty prints and about fifty DPIs, she found time to painstakingly analyse and critique each one and I am sure every entrant was able to see how their image might have been tweaked or improved by following her suggestions for a certain crop, change of viewpoint or differently processed background. All the winning images are on the gallery page. Thanks to Terry Fallis for this lovely portrait of Jay.
The competition overran slightly, so we did not have time to suitably celebrate the awarding of the Flickr competition Tiger Trophy to Natalie Robinson, as winner of November’s theme; Reflections. Luckily, Colin Page was on hand with his camera. The theme Natalie has set for December is ‘ Winter Shadows’ - an opportunity to explore the low angle of the sun and the resulting light and shade.
We also want to remind everyone to take lots of seasonal images, in readiness for next year’s competitions!