Portfolio of the Year, 2020

In order to maintain an appropriate degree of social isolation this year’s Portfolio of the Year competition was judged from a more than adequate distance  by John Williams, EFIAP/b, MPSA, DPAGB of Penrith & District Camera Club. Many, many thanks to John for agreeing to judge in this manner for us, and for documenting his comments.  He has made individual comments for each image which can be viewed on the members page. His overall comment was as follows:

“Many thanks for the opportunity to look at some excellent work. Whilst I have added comments to the scores they have to be very brief so that they can be circulated easily. Ideally I would have liked to provide a more detailed explanation. Picking the overall winner from the top scorers was a hard choice as each had many merits and I am sure they will enjoy their own success in other competitions. I wish you all the best in your photography and hopefully the current ‘lockdown’ will not impede opportunities for too long.”

There were 66 images entered in total, from 17 members. Of these, five images scored 20 points and nine scored 19 points. The images which scored 20, with John’s comments are as follows;

“Grecian Beauty” by Julie Walker. “Very skilfully arranged making the model stand out from the soft and lightly toned background. Beautifully illuminated”


“The Eccentric Artist” by Alan Walker. “Wonderful character so much to enjoy, eye patch, glasses and smoke with benefit of muted background to avoid distraction. Great shot.


“Drop Zone” by Richard Jakobson. “Very skilful, amazing amount of work. the sparkle and clarity come through. Enjoyed the composition ending in a brilliant result.”


“Just missed the last tram” by Julie Walker. “Stunning interest with snow adding to the missed tram situation. Loved connection with tram and distant figure”


“Winter Storm” by Ken Rennie. “Full of drama. Stormy waves just sufficiently soft to create movement yet capture detail. Light on rock draws the eye. Excellent landscape”


The “19 point images” were:

“As was, 2.5 Million Years Ago by Richard Jakobson. “Spectacular rendition Dramatic 45 degree angle adds drama. Has great clarity”


“Camargue horses at twilight” by Ronnie Gilbert. “Strong dynamic capture. Light really projects horses. If author wished could remove the head of horse otherwise hidden”


“Venice Icons” by Deborah Tippett. “Well chosen shutter speed adds emotional effect through blurred boats contrasting with sharp posts. Loved the blue tones.”


“St John’s Wort” by Ken Rennie. “Amazing sharpness and clarity with carefully set lighting, no harsh shadows. Excellent study.


“The Cowboy” by Ronnie Gilbert. “Top quality, tremendous detail, excellent lighting. Author has connected with the subject.”


“Mating Kalahari Lions” by Alan Walker. “The snarl of the lions has been caught to add to the drama of the image. Beautifully lit showing every detail of them both. ”


“Juvenile Golden Eagle with Fox” by Ronnie Gilbert. “Superb action and impact. Camera at ground level engages with eagle. Suggest reduce brightness of snow and lighten darker areas of  eagle.”


“In the Light” by Alan Walker. “Lovely pose. Lighting and the almost halo surrounding model very appealing. Very minor suggestion light on forehead a little too bright”


“Eilean Donan Castle” by David Leighton. “Really enjoyed the lighting across the different parts of castle which projects it out from the soft steel blue waters. Holds attention”



When all the scores were totted up. Julie Walker came out top and was also awarded “Best in Show” for “Just Missed the Last Tram”

Congratulations to Julie and to everyone else who contributed.

All the images can be seen on the galleries page and the all the scores and judges comments on the members page.

Richard Jakobson, April 15th 2020