“External Competitions” with Tony Marsh, 8th January, 2020

It seems that every organisation concerned with work or play is littered with a plethora of acronyms.  The world of amateur club photography is no different and many of them are confusing.  Additionally, throughout the year Keswick Photographic Society (KPS) takes part in a number of external competitions at local, regional, national and international levels.

So, to kick off 2020 and ensure everyone of our members start the new year with 2020 vision Dr Tony Marsh our External Competitions Secretary took it upon himself to clear away the fog with his usual clinical precision and explain how each competition was managed.  I’m sure the readers of the Keswick Reminder will be quite relieved to know that I’m not going to explain in fine detail those extremely convoluted processes which only bored bureaucrats could dream up.  The processes and rules also differ for each competition seemingly to get tweaked on an annual basis for the sheer aggravation of it (and possibly in a vain attempt to stop Keswick winning!).  Suffice it to say that KPS consistently punches above its weight locally, regionally and internationally.

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) is divided into a number of regions and Keswick is one of 49 affiliated clubs in the Northern Counties Photographic Federation (NCPF). The NCPF annual competition is made up of 20 categories, including such as Landscape prints, monochrome prints, natural history projected images, beginners etc., etc. for which all 49 clubs compete. Keswick Photographic Society won 9 of the 20 trophies on offer.  This was a remarkable achievement for such a small club. KPS won the club trophies for both colour prints and for projected digital images (PDIs).  Carol Minks, David Woodthorpe, Julie Walker, Tom Stenhouse, Tony Marsh, David Leighton and Deborah Tippett each won individual category trophies.  As the most successful club, this meant that KPS represented the northern counties in the national prints and projected images competitions where the best of the near 1000 clubs competed. We did not finish in the top ten but nevertheless performed creditably in such accomplished company.

On the international stage KPS has also excelled.  The Photographic Society of America (PSA) is open to every photographic society in the world, though clearly not all join.  We joined three years ago to compete in both the open league and in the natural history league and we were initially assigned to the third division.  After two promotions in two years we have now found ourselves competing in the premier division and even managed to achieve third place in the top division at the end of last season.

As well as providing the explanations, Tony showed some images from the national competitions so that we could all get a better understanding of the high standard of those clubs from around the country who are successfully competing at the highest level. Tony was thanked for putting in a great deal of work to produce what turned out to be a very revealing and educational evening.

The next meeting of Keswick Photographic Society is 22nd January when Richard Speirs will judge members’ entries into our third open competition of the season.

David Woodthorpe