1st Set Subject Competition, October 23rd 2019

On Wednesday 23rd October we held our first set subject competition of the season. These competitions were introduced to encourage members to have their images critiqued in an informal environment. The emphasis is on providing positive feedback with the aim of helping members improve their photography. Tony Marsh, our External Competitions Secretary, was the judge for the night. Tony has a particular interest in wildlife and macro photography and had set “Small” as the subject for the competition.

In total six prints and 51 digital images were judged. The overall quality of the images was very high which was reflected in the scores. Tony awarded the maximum mark of twenty to ten images. The choice of a winning image proved difficult because of the strength of the entry but Tony finally chose a charming image of two Harvest Mice on an ear of wheat with their tails linked, photographed by Alan Walker. He commented that the image was “absolutely exquisite”.


As expected, the majority of the images submitted were of creatures large and small and the latter were much in evidence. Images which scored twenty included a super sharp image of a bee by Richard Jakobson


and a fabulous image of a Marbled White Butterfly by Tricia Rayment.


Wendy Jordan scored nineteen for an image of a Ladybird and Tony complimented her and commented on the difficulty of producing a satisfactory photograph of this species due to their shiny and highly reflective shells.


Gordon Train also scored nineteen for two of his prints. One was of a tiny snail crossing a road


and the other of a backlit spider and web.


Some members chose to depict animals in their environment, showing their small scale relative to their surroundings. Memorable images included a Polar Bear in an icy landscape by Keith Snell


and another image by Alan Walker of two Klipspringers, which are small antelopes, dwarfed by the rock on which they stood in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Both images scored twenty.


There were also a number if images of birds. The highest scoring of these was Keith Snell’s “Fulmer under a Waterfall” which scored nineteen.


Tony pointed out, however, that many of the bird images suffered from being taken in bright sunlight which resulted in a loss of detail in the white areas.

Other members chose to interpret the subject of small in very different and imaginative ways. Richard Jakobson scored twenty for a humorous composite of two skiers descending in to a teacup.


Another image that raised a laugh from the audience was of smalls hanging on a washing line taken in Venice by Sue Rugg.


Flowers were also well represented and Tom Stenhouse scored twenty for his close up of Tulip stamens. Tony commented on the strong composition and sharpness of this image and felt that it would make a good picture for hanging on a wall.


Tom also scored nineteen for an image of a Parachute Mushroom.



Several members submitted images of children and Sue Rugg scored twenty for a print of a young girl and her toddler brother. Tony remarked that the low angle from which this had been taken was ideal for photographing children.


Another charming image of a four-day old baby was submitted by Heleen Franken-Gill.


Tony made many helpful comments during the evening to assist members to improve their images. He emphasised just how difficult macro photography is due to the small depth of field that a macro lens allows and he also stressed the importance of finding an uncluttered background. The evening was very entertaining and we all learned something to assist us in our photography.

Julie Walker

All the entered images can be viewed in our Gallery