MICKI ASTON - JUDGING OUR FOURTH ROUND PDI for PARK STREET C C 17.2.2021

Date Published 
Fri 19 Feb 2021

Our PDI event 4th round was judged by Micki Aston. She can be relied upon for spotting bits you have missed but not quite as reliable regarding spreading the scores realistically. Slightly suprising that no club up until now had explained to her the possibilities of the annotation tool. Jeremy did this very well and got referred to as ‘Darling’ for the rest of the evening! Her comments were well considered though coming from a slightly different direction than the typical, shall we say, ‘male’ perspective. She seems to have a sensitive touch when criticising the skin or even the shape of lady models. I so wish I could do that so confidently. Anyway the slightly squeezed forearm still won it!

Scores tended to be up in the 17s or better so those that got 16 or worse were even more deeply offended than they might have ordinarily been. Before we considered the numerous held back and the eventual winners Terry Day’s “H16” has to get a mention. This wasn’t judge bait this was a genuine picture and somehow worked all on it’s own. One might have expected it to appear in a Tryptic but as an isolated image - phew! For courage alone it deserved the 18. I might have given it the night because that’s the sort of stuff we want to encourage. Terry had been down the road to where a gas main runs under the tarmac and taken a picture of the short stumpy concrete flag device they use to warn of the main’s presence to those that might be about to dig up the road. Agreed it was a very bright pleasant yellow colour but what made it so attractive? Possibly the green ivy hanging menacingly over it, possibly the bed of autumnal leaves surrounding it possibly just the jaunty angle it sat at. Impossible to say – possibly the sheer bravado from the author. It just worked. I could live with it on my wall! Thank heavens Micki saw it too.

She also made some very valid points about a few things rarely discussed. Fancy illuminations don’t often make winning images unless the author has done something creative, fireworks are never a good idea and the cropping tool is one of the most important and powerful weapons at our disposal. All absolutely right. So often we show too much of an images. Its also worth having a look at street shots in Mono in case that improves them by removing distractions of colour. All good advice.

Nine images were held back which wasn’t so bad but the other 18 that received either 17 or 18 produced a rather an unrealistic and distorted result from which contestants neither learn much nor are encouraged by. The 19s were Jeremy’s “Alien Worlds” – an arid landscape with huge moon. Clearly not from Earth but from an ‘alien world’ as we don’t have a moon like that. I believe Tatooni does, in fact it has two – or is it two suns? Miki missed that. David Butler showed us “Grumpy Cat” cleverly positioning itself in the missing panel of a four frame window, Graham Hutchinson’s was a ‘Busy Bee’ on flower bloom, ‘Sete Cidades’ from Brazil another from Jeremy and another 19 and Dave Hipperson’s ‘The Call of Coffee’ from London Bridge station pictured a fancy piece of wooden bench seat and an approaching pair of legs to make the picture more interesting. Top four were all 20s. Chris Gilbert being unlucky at 4th with Phlomis russellana. (Must have a word with Chris and Jeremy about their titles!) No trouble with ‘Autumn Re-conkered’ however, also his and a very sensitively handled and carefully lit still life it was. Memento Morri would be closest description but a shiny one. One of Jacqui Taylor’s fine Cheetah images was 2nd and a more domesticated animal with human model added from John Jennings “Don’t Look Now” won.

Dave Hipperson

Comments

A very accurate and fair report on last nights competition. Thanks for you comments on my image H16. This came after attending a short RPS web-based lecture from a USA photographer who encouraged all photographers to go out to look for interesting images in there own locality. 

Terry Day

PSCC Chairman

Submitted by terry-day1 on Fri 19 Feb 2021 3:28pm