RCPS Press Report 5th November 2015

Unfortunately I was unable to be present for our recent speaker on the subject of Greenland and Antarctica, however thanks to Geoff Blackman for keeping me up to speed. Geoff stated that Alan, a holder of a pilots license and a member and many times leader of expeditions to Iceland, Scandinavia, and Greenland between 1967 and1972 showed some stunning shots of scenery and wildlife, illustrating variable weather and ice conditions. In 1968, Alan’s party included one Peter Scott, (later Sir Peter Scott), who was studying the geese population, with a view to taking some back to Slimbridge to breed prior to being returned to the wild. Most of Alan’s expeditions were to research climate change. Alan used an Exacta camera with a standard lens and Kodak film to capture his images that he had transferred to slides.
There’s something of the night about our second competition of the season, Dusk until Dawn, which is due to be judged on Monday 9th November. Competition judging is always an opportunity to learn about the finer points of photography although one should always remember that comments given are only those of the one judge alone, who may or may not be familiar with the subject of the competition and may have their own bias towards certain styles or subjects or the opposite. One only has to look at our Annual Exhibition where all three of placed images in prints and in the digital projected image sections (DPIs) in all the previous season’s competitions were displayed, to see the variance between individual judgments and those of the general public. Prints and DPIs that have done well in competitions do not necessarily attract the public vote and ones that have been the subject of sharper critiques from judges may well do so. Entering competitions is an emotional experience, the excitement and trepidation of the experience mounting until judgment is offered, after which there may be joy, elation and self-satisfaction or deflation, frustration and disappointment that pictures which are your pride and joy didn’t quite grab the judge in the same way. It bodes well for newcomers to competition photography if they can quickly develop a hard shell and accept that comments given by judges are in good faith, usually intended to be helpful and constructive, and often are, after reflection and consideration, mostly sound. Any member can enter competitions no matter how long they have been in RCPS or how long they have been taking pictures – and success might just be an entry away! For example, at a recent, non-RCPS event, the first three places were taken by a newcomer to the group, entering a competition for the first time, so don’t be shy, give it a try!