Report - Major Creative & Major Photojournalism Print Competitions

The twin disciplines of art and photography may intermingle to varying degrees to produce a pleasing image. In the recent Leek Photographic Club ‘Creative’ competition, photographers were able to give full reign to their imagination and artistic flair as rules were relaxed to allow any amount of image manipulation, the object being to produce a novel or experimental effect, altered reality or originality of concept.

The result was a startling array of surreal images ranging from every cricketer’s dream catch (‘The Catch’ – see below) to a bizarre but interesting image featuring polo mints and a man in a bowler hat with a red umbrella, entitled ‘Revolution’ (see below). Hilda Oultram even managed to discern a ballet performance in the smear of toothpaste on the cap of a tube and was commended for her originality, with the judge commenting that he does not see a lot of shots of toothpaste! Also commended were Lisa Burdett with ‘Swan Quartet’ and Brian Ross with ‘The Catch’ as well as ‘Power Dive’. Don Barker was Highly Commended with ‘Monday Morning’. Alan Battersby was Very Highly Commended with ‘Swirling Autumn leaves’.

Brian Ross came third with ‘Autumn leaves tryptich’ and Don Barker was placed second with ‘Revolution’. But the judge, Alan Towse LRPS of Stockport, had no trouble in picking a clear winner. Ann Sharratt’s original
'A disastrous game’ showed just how dramatic a few chessmen can appear when well arranged, beautifully lit and distorted in shape.

This competition was followed by the ‘Photojournalism’ competition which represents the opposite end of the art/photography spectrum when no manipulation is allowed, the objective being to produce an accurate representation of a newsworthy image which tells a story. The judge was very experienced in this type of photography and stressed that the picture must tell the whole story, with the main object clearly distinct from the background. The image must have no superfluous parts and should make the observers feel they are part of the action.

Will Knight was Commended with ‘The Winning Sneeze’ as he had actually managed to capture a horse in the middle of a sneeze on the winners’ rostrum. Cliff Beardmore was Highly Commended with ‘USA sandpiper attracts Twitchers to Leek’ and Sonia Haigh was Very Highly Commended with ‘Falconry fun’.

Rob Gough came third with ‘Student protest, Barcelona’, and Will Knight was second with ‘Jack the Lad’. The judge loved the winning photo ‘Sandcastle competition, Hope Cove’ by Rob Gough. He commented this would be especially fascinating in 50 years’ time as a truly representative snapshot of the British way of life on a Summer holiday in the early 21st century.

Tomorrow, February 5th, is our Major Landscape projected images competition, which is certain to produce some beautiful images, perhaps of local landscapes in interesting lighting conditions. So do come along to the Dove Room, Moorlands House at 7.30, visitors £1. On Monday February 9th, the Digital Group meets at the Cheddleton Community Centre, Hollow Lane, Cheddleton at 7.30 (members £1, visitors £2). Alan Brown will be giving a presentation entitled ‘My journey into pixels (or how I fell off the fence)’. All are welcome.

Report by Linda Battersby

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