At the meeting of Fraserburgh Photographic Society held on October 2 the results of the first monthly competition of the 1024/5 season were revealed.
The judge was Clive Watkins Chairman of Town End Camera Club, Irvine.
Clive’s gallery page on the club web site is: www.townendcc.co.uk/clivewatkins.html
Clive said that he judges two aspects of photography, the craft and the art.
The craft, he said, is about the photographer understanding the equipment and being able to use it effectively and using different techniques to get the best out of the camera.
Clive felt that the art is something that photographers often struggle with and some do not see what they do as art. He said that anything where you are expressing an opinion or your view of the world is art: you are trying to convey and communicate emotion and meaning in what you are doing.
So as well as looking at the technical aspects of the photographs Clive was looking to see if the image had something to say, conveying emotion and telling a story.
The images were awarded marks out of 20 and each member was able to submit three images. There are six of these open competitions during the season. At the end of the year the total marks awarded to each member for all the images they submitted are added up and the person with the highest total is the ‘Photographer of the year’.
In first place was Scott Fraser’s photograph ‘Young Eye’ which was given 20 points. Clive opened his comments on the image by saying: “This is just fantastic. We have a very strong photograph here with very, very strong focus on the all important eye.”
He suspected that a long lens and wide aperture had been used because as soon as you moved forward or backward from the eye focus drops of rapidly to a nice pleasing blurred focus.
The image showed the power of simplicity in a photograph. Converting to monochrome is another way of simplifying an image as you take away a layer of information that isn’t important.
Second place with 19 points was given to ‘Kessock Sunrise’ by Billy Watson. A curve of the tidal stream takes the viewer through the image and the pier and beacon stop the eye from wandering out to the side, bringing it back into the picture.
Clive liked the image with ‘beautiful sunrise light and colours of orange and yellow on the base of the clouds.’
The exposure had been handled well with no loss of detail in the shadows or highlights.
Lewis Duthie’s image ‘Shard Pointer’ was in third place with 18 points. This image is a good example of looking up at a subject making it more impressive and also serving to remove distracting clutter from the background. Clive said the high contrast was working well to give a really good three-dimensional feeling and to lift the tower from the dark brooding background. There is a good tension between the man-made tower and the organic shapes of the clouds. The story telling of the aeroplane placed in the frame with a tall building must remind viewers of 9/11 and the horrors of that event. Clive said this photograph had always been in the running as one of the best in the competition.
These images and other by members of the society can be found online at http://fraserburghps.weebly.com/
The next meeting of Fraserburgh Photographic Society was held on Thursday, October 9, when the President, Andrew West was due to give a show entitled ‘Memphis and Gracelands’.