First PDI Merit Competition

By | 1st November 2022

This was our first zoom PDI Competition of the new season and we were very pleased to welcome Paul Thackeray, LRPS, to judge for the evening. Paul has been judging for approximately seven years and his interests are wide and varied. He appreciates all images from all capabilities, and treats competitions like a photographic exhibition. When Paul submits his own competition images, 60-70% of them are in monochrome, which is probably as a result of his school days when he could only afford black and white film. That said, he appreciates both colour and monochrome images in the photographic world.

We had 26 members attend via zoom, and a super collection of fine images were submitted for critique and comments from Paul. There were 18 images from the beginner group, 18 images from the intermediate group, and 15 images from the advanced group. We commenced with the beginner submissions, followed by the intermediate and advanced groups, and a wealth of hints and tips were forthcoming, which included experimenting with cropping an image to enhance the subject, reducing highlights (especially in skies), colour spectrums and tints, the use of vignette, sharpness at prominent points etc. Paul also gave suggestions on the use of bracketing, shadow detail, and constraining an image – ‘less is more’, as well as the use of letterbox shapes to enhance landscapes.

Paul also reiterated how an image should convey taking the viewer to the scene, to highlight what the photographer saw, and why they took the image. There were several monochrome images submitted and Paul commended the use of monochrome, but also suggested being mindful of whether this was appropriate. The comments and critique received were very welcome and members will certainly take these away to enhance their existing photographic skills and techniques.

Following the judging, Paul commended the club on such a variety of lovely images, and there was a very close fought battle for the overall winner of the competition. Paul’s ‘Best of the Evening’ went to Howard Gibbs with ‘L’Abbaye de Maillezais’.

The winners from each group category are as follows:

Beginner:  Grant Lawrence – ‘ Peaky Blinders train drivers’

Intermediate: Howard Gibbs – ‘L’Abbaye de Maillezais’

Advanced: Jackie Tourle – ‘A Frozen Beauty’

Congratulations to all our winners, and to our members for entering such an amazing collection of beautiful images.

Our very grateful thanks go to Paul for his excellent judging, comments and critique of all the images, as well as Kathy for including him in our programme, also to Rob for collating and presenting the images, and Liz and Jackie for keeping additional scores throughout the evening. We would also like to send a very big thank you to all our members for continuing to support our lovely club.

The Committee