The Newcomers and Knockout competitions

Date Published 
Wed 25 Nov 2020

Well, Tuesday night was a blast, wasn’t it? Almost anything which could have gone wrong, did go wrong, yet it was one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year. My internet service was down while Virgin made “service improvements” and when it didn’t come back up as promised, we had to  very quickly go into plan B mode which meant Maggi posting out bulletins and Idse stepping in for me to open the meeting. Idse then had audio problems so we were casting around for others to handle the scoring of the knockout. Luckily my system came back at about 7,45 and as we had started judging the newcomers competition, this enabled me to get my breath, (and a glass of wine), and prepare for the knockout.

Arjun judged the newcomers competition superbly. There were some very high quality images and all of the newcomers to the club are to be commended for supporting the competition. Arjun pulled out some great advice for photographers used to providing images, but not necessarily used to what judges would look for. These included always studying the borders for unwanted objects creeping in and pulling the eye from the main subject; always having a main point in the picture which defines why the image was captured; and the importance of balance with objects complementing one another in the image. Congratulations to Mark, Alan, and Yvonne for their first, second, and third places respectively, and for all three also scoring in the highly commended category. The images are all available to view on the website now.

The knockout competition was hugely enjoyable, mainly because the software knocked out the competition! With a large entry we surprisingly managed to get off to a good start with everyone able to access Mark’s scoring software, everyone voting as requested, and no-one trying to vote twice or anything. I could check the scores easily and reset for each pair of images. So far all was going excellently and we had no contentious recounts like in previous years in the pub. In trying to start the second round the software froze. Whether this was because it was designed for working with projectors rather than screen sharing we don’t know but Peter was forced into the usual trials of opening and closing windows, overlaying images and eventually the full reboot of both his systems, but other than starting again we were foiled. There was the usual helpful (and not so helpful) advice from all and sundry. My attempt to win by claiming the Trumpian high ground of winning the popular vote was overruled as I was the only one who could see the scores. Great chat and camaraderie by all the members made it a good night in the face of adversity. Thanks to Mark for providing the scoring software. I’m sure it will be in constant use in the future.