Monthly Archives: February 2017

28 February 2017 – Battle of the Prints 2017

This was an inter-club print competition hosted by Malling Photographic Society.

The judge for the evening was Clive Tanner APAGB, FRPS, MPAGB
All scores were out of 20.
All the prints I submitted were A4, printed by DS Colour Labs
All were mounted on 40cm by 50cm boards supplied by Cotswold Mounts

There were 11 clubs entered into this ‘battle’:

Bexleyheath Photographic Society
Dartford & District Photographic Society
Gravesend Camera Club
Faversham & District Camera Club
Invicta Camera Club
Malling Photographic Society
Parkwood Camera Club
Reflex Photographic Club (*)
Sevenoaks Camera Club
Sittingbourne Photographic Society
Staplehurst Photographic Society

Each club could enter a maximum of 6 images each.  There were 66 printed images entered.  Once scored the points for each club’s entries were totaled up and then each club was ranked (see below).

I had two of my prints entered, see below with their scores:



Elevated Egg scored  17
(This image came first place in a club print competition HERE)






Station Shadows scored 16
(This image scored 19 Highly Commended in a club print competition HERE)




There were some really clever image composites entered and overall these seemed to do better than the straightforward photography.

The finals scores were as follows:

1st Parkwood Camera Club (108 points)
2nd Staplehurst Photographic Society (106 points)
3rd Sittingbourne Photographic Society (106 points)
4th Invicta Camera Club (105 points)
5th Faversham & District Camera Club (105 points)
6th Bexleyheath Photographic Society (103 points)
7th Gravesend Camera Club (103 points)
8th Reflex Photographic Club (101 points) (*)
9th Sevenoaks Camera Club (100 points)
10th Dartford & District Photographic Society (98 points)
11th Malling Photographic Society (98 points)

Well done to Parkwood Camera Club for winning this competition.

Malling Photographic Society were very welcoming hosts and everything on the night ran smoothly to time and plan and they should be proud of how the event was ran.

8th is an improved position for my club but we were consistent with our marks at 17, 17, 17, 17, 17 and 16. But also is was confirmation that we need to try harder if we want to compete at the higher end.


16 February 2017 – Digital Manipulation Competition

This was a new style of competition for the Club one which it had not run before.

The basis for the competition was that every member was issued with 6 base images, kindly supplied by members of the club; 2 portrait, 2 landscape and 2 patterned, and each member could enter up to 6 images but had to abide by the following rules:

·         You will be required to use AT LEAST 1 of the base images, or portion of that image.
·         You may use as many of the “base images” as you wish and as many times as you wish.
·         You MUST, in addition to the above, use 1 of your own images as part of the composition.
·         You may not use more than 1 of your own images for each individual entry.
·         You may use any photo manipulation software, technique, filter, plug-in or action to create your image. “Paid for” filters and plugins are allowed.
·         You may not use any images other than the 6 provided and 1 image of your own for each entry.
·         You may enter up to 6 images in this competition.
·         This is a digital projection competition; images must be submitted using the usual digital format.

There were 27 images entered in total.
There was no theme – it was an open competition using the images provided.
The judges for the evening were the Club members
Scorecards were provided and members were asked to place the 3 images they felt were the best; 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

It was a really fun and enjoyable evening seeing the different things members had done with their images and there were some really creative and well executed manipulated images.

Due to the nature of the images they cannot be used/shown without the express consent of the photographers involved and the images could not be used for any other competition purposes as they contained the work of more than one photographer.

That said I was lucky enough to win the competition so I asked my fellow photographer Martin Mitchell who supplied the background image whether he was happy for me to share the winning image on my blog, he consented so that is what I am doing and I will explain a bit about its construction.


I took Martin’s landscape background image, which was of a concrete area that looked like it may have been under a bridge but which had graffiti on the walls.  I applied the filter Fractalius and then chose a photo of Lois Loren I had taken a while back in top hat and tails and added her into the frame.

To makes things a bit more interesting I duplicated this same image and repeated is in different heights down the right hand side to mirror the perspective of the background image.  I then added a large head and shoulder version of the Lois image to the left hand side.  I reduced the opacity of these images so the background Fractalius effect would show through.  And voila!

Hopefully the Club will continue to try new and exciting alternatives to get members together and thinking of different photographic approaches, techniques and composition.

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography at the Tate Modern

Exhibition: The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography 
Date: Thursday 9 February 2017 @ 3:00pm

When you think about Sir Elton John, photography is not one of the first creative mediums that springs to mind, being that he exists in a very aural profession, however, with the glamour of a showbiz lifestyle within the music industry of course the visual would come into play in everyday life e.g. when ‘putting on a show’ and presenting oneself to the public.  So I’m not sure why I was so surprised that Sir Elton was also into the visual art of photography.

The short video which accompanies the exhibition explains the background as to how he came to love photography to the point of wanting to collect it. When you find out how he got into photography as a visual aesthetic then you understand why he has become obsessed by it and why he now owns over 8000 prints.

Irving Penn, a photographer who I admire more for his approach and out of the box thinking rather than his photography per say, met with Sir Elton to take some distortion photographs and it was from then that Sir Elton was hooked.  There is only one of these distortion photographs on show in the exhibition but you see the ‘set’ in the short video; they are a great set.  The technique of moving the camera whilst taking the photograph creates a dragging effect which could be interpreted as the inner Sir Elton trying to get out of his face…. you may well have a different interpretation on this of course.

The collection focuses on the photography of the first half of the twentieth century when photography was ‘coming of age’.  As a result most of the prints are black and white, with a few exceptions which use colour as a post production addition e.g. tinting.  A lot of “artists at this time were transforming how photography was used and their experiments and innovations still impact how we see the world today,” [as stated in the free accompanying exhibition leaflet].

The exhibition includes so many well-known photographers and photographs in one exhibition and as an amateur photographer I couldn’t help but feel privileged to see some of these images in real life and give a big thanks to Sir Elton for recognising their value, sharing them with the general public and treating them with such respect and preserving their longevity.

The photographs are exhibited across 5 rooms: The Radical Eye, Portraits, Portraits / Experiments / Bodies, Documents and Objects / Perspectives / Abstractions.

Notably there are a large number of photographs taken by Man Ray on show in the exhibition and I wonder whether it was Man Ray’s photography that Sir Elton was specifically drawn to or whether it was the character that was Man Ray himself which is why he features so largely in the exhibition collection.  Maybe the accompanying exhibition guide, which unusually includes I believe every photograph in the exhibition at a reasonable price of £24.99 (before student discount), will explain – I have yet to read it from cover to cover but will.

I think the exhibition was well laid out, not too much to take in apart from maybe the last wall which had a lot of images in a large grid but these were well labelled.  I enjoyed seeing the work of the great photographers Penn, Weston, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, Evans, Lange, Adams…. and the list goes on. All the photographs were apparently left in the frames which Sir Elton has them in normally at his home which adds to the intimacy of the collection. There were a lot of photographs of a geometric nature, I particularly liked one of the train tracks in the circular configuration called Rail Spider by Tonz Schneiders 1950, obviously from an engine turning point, which is also a great piece of recording / documentary and gives a sense of history.

There is more I could write about but this is a must see exhibition for anyone into photography, into history, visual aesthetic, in fact anyone would get something from this exhibition. So I will leave it here… this has definitely been an exhibition which will influence me both in my degree studies and in my photography in general.


Collectif,, Mavlin Shoair (2016) Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collec, : Tate Publishing, Limited.

2 February 2017 -Ken Hayward Cup (Digital Competition)

This week was a stand alone digital print competition, the Ken Hayward Cup (Digital).

There were 64 images entered in total.
The theme was Flora and Fauna.
The judge for the evening was Tony Bentley ARPS
Scores were out of 20.


Bottoms Up scored 16

Nicely set up. Contrasts with background. Lots of detail. Look at cropping the image closer as would make a stronger image.





Peekaboo scored 17

Cute image.  The eye is a bit soft, the rest is ok.  It’s the eye that lets this image down.








Pooch Portrait scored 18

Acceptably sharp.  Nice eye contact.







Winter Leaves scored 14

Nice shapes.  Different but lacks punch.  Too dark, needs lifting.



Although comments were good, scores were low so I think I need to re-evaluate my selections for digital competitions going forwards as I seem to be weaker on projected images than printed images.  All comments above understood and noted.