Treasure Hunt

Date Published 
Sat 29 May 2021


Perhaps a slight misnomer but it had of course originally been planned as an outdoor club activity evening so this title was close enough. Contestants were asked, in effect, to take one shot in a series of twelve set subject competitions. Pretty reasonable subjects even if a few of them required a bit of tracking down. Only a dozen or so of the club participated and not all of them in full. Twelve subject titles could have been slightly too many. The subjects themselves however were imaginative and interesting. The judging was then done by the club members present who were asked to vote for, and hence attribute one point to each to, their three favourite images in each section.

The images had been sent out in advance to all contestants as of course they were also now judges. However these images were not full size and could only give a vague idea of the photograph’s worth. This would have had an effect on the final scores as many people, like it or not, would have based their scores on these first impressions which were of much lesser definition – only thumb nails. In this case I think a simple run through on the night would have been preferable for simplicity and impartiality.

The original idea was from and hosted by, Jeremy F-M and he had added another dimension to a couple of the subjects. In hindsight this might not have been necessary and definitely skewed the result. It has to be remembered of course that this was an experiment and a departure for us and what with the rather complex itemisation of entries and the further complication of computer scoring at times it became a little difficult to follow. The latter one of the ideas becoming rather unwieldy when two people were sharing the same computer and had to introduce auxiliary laptops! Doubtless this system was introduced logically to speed the totalling of the final scores. However I believe a more simple analogue technique of red and white flags might have been preferable.

There were some distinctly useable competition pictures on display and some amusing ones too. Barbara had fooled me completely with a great shot of a E Type Jag Coupe in red too. Cleverly positioned by water to get a reflection as well. Turned out it was a model. A good one though although left hand drive was a pity. Chris Anderson clearly thought that a picture of a picture of a car was good enough and actually it was a rather good self portrait of himself too but it was given the kiss of death right away with a mark off for non-compatibility. A picture of a picture of a car must qualify every bit as much as a picture of a picture of an X-Ray of a leg in the Portrait section surely? Three people liked it including myself. Chris got revenge slightly with his ’Do They Believe There is a Pandemic’ shot which most people agreed was the strongest there if only because it told the story of closely positioned people not wearing masks.

The two standout Church images were of the same building, Shenley Church but from slightly different angles those of Sue H and Chris Gilbert. I would say Sues’ image was strong enough to enter into an Open event. It was Terry Day’s ‘Ridge Church ‘ that massed the largest congregation of votes however despite a rather intrusive sign in the foreground.

Both Terry and Sue H’s entries into Still Life were deemed (and doomed) to not qualify fully and thus both suffered poor scores as a result, despite being the best images there by a mile. Sue’s compositionally and technically and Terry’s ‘Beer Taster’ particularly inventive. David Butler and Sue H. took the top scores in the self portrait category . Dave looking uncharacteristically menacing; like someone out of Peaky Blinders. Leon Flack’s treble mirrored image was rather overlooked. Ingenious and cleverly executed.

Another image worth using in competition was Sue Anderson’s take on Stripes. A very neatly tied and coloured scarf. Chris Gilbert produced a very competent rural landscape to take the honour in ‘The Great Outdoors’ but personally I think Jeremy’s shot through what looked like a barred window ‘Beyond the Bars’ (probably just Georgian panes actually) got a ‘longing’ for the outdoors message across better still. Only one person liked it! Everyone liked Leon Flack’s ‘Bubble Power’ signifying movement and this too could be a successful competition image.

When totalled scores of 90 gave David Butler the win, followed by 88 from Chris Gilbert and 78.5 from Sue Hipperson. Mention has to be made of both Chris and Jeremy entering only 10 images. In Jeremy’s case possibly because he could not be seen to win an event he was running but in Chris’s case more likely brought on by a feeling that if he won anymore competitions he might start to get unpopular. Quite untrue of course and one can still wonder at his score so nearly top (two points short) with two images in hand. He could have tied for 1st even if they had only received a qualification score of one each and nothing else!

The idea of a contest of this kind has potential and the host has to have some wriggle room to entertain a bit but if it’s the members that are being asked to decided then they shouldn’t be led on. My suggestion would be to ditch the idea of ‘extra points’ for various aspects of the images outside the usual judging parameters or at least ensure that any such thing took place after the members had voted. In the same way as any reference to possible non-compliance should also occur after the main voting and be at the discretion of the members once again not the host – possible a simple show of hands.

Dave Hipperson


One point Dave missed in his report (to be fair, not obvious) is that everybody who participated managed at least one image either winner or runner up in its category.

In any case, as a "fun evening" it's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts!

Good job done Jeremy, we should take note of Dave's comments though. Suggest to the club we make this an annual fixture. 

Submitted by terry-day1 on Sun 30 May 2021 1:31pm