Natural History Competition

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

This evening we gathered together for the annual Natural History competition. But first of all - the crucial question - who was our judge going to be? In the event it turned out to be Rod Bird from the Maidenhead Photographic Club - and who better named to judge this competition? (he did say, though, that he's not an expert on things in the flora and fauna field - ah well - names obviously aren't everything!)

The format of the evening must be one to strike fear into the heart of any judge - a hefty selection of prints, slides and digital images - all to be examined, commented on and marked in the space of two hours (including the refreshment break)!

As expected, both the range and quality of the images was stunning and covered all areas of natural history: animals, birds and creepy-crawlies in their habitats; portraits of the aforementioned; plants and marine life. Rod admitted he had a difficult task in hand and, because of the high standard, would have to differentiate by making negative points. His comments were, however, extremely perceptive as well as being informative for future entries. He noted how, in recent years, the standard of natural history photography has risen sharply and, as a result, judges are now looking for images which inform as well as look good! He also made points regarding the titling of subjects and borders surrounding digitally projected images (ie the narrower the better and not too bright!).

Bee Preeing, image © copyright Mike AlexanderCongratulations to those who scored maximum points. In the print section, Tony Bates gained 20 points for "Shield Beetle" and Neil Stewart was awarded two 20s for "Ice Bear" and "Ocean Predator" (judged as the winning print). In slides Nigel Glover-Wright scored 20 for "Stampeding Wildebeeste" (the section winner), and Neil Stewart once more gained maximum points for "Angry Moray Eel". In the digital projected images there were four 20s: Neil Stewart again (well done indeed Neil!) for "Night Prowler", Melvyn Newman for "Butterfly", David Dare for "Female Teganaria: The House Spider" and Mike Alexander for his image "Bee Preening" which was declared not only the winner of this section but the overall winner of the competition - so special congratulations to Mike!

All in all an excellent evening - superb images, good judging - and afterwards there was still time for the weekly hostelry visit - wonderful!

Results - Digital images
Position Title / Author Points
=1st 'Bee preening' - Mike Alexander (Digital and overall winner) 20
=1st 'Night Prowler' - Neil Stewart 20
=1st 'Butterfly' - Melvyn Newman 20
=1st 'Female Tegenaria The House Spider' - David Dare 20
Results - Slides
Position Title / Author Points
=1st 'Stampeding Wilderbeast' - Nigel Glover-Wright (Slide winner) 20
=1st 'Angry Moray Eel' - Neil Stewart 20
Results - Prints
Position Title / Author Points
=1st 'Ocean Predator' - Neil Stewart (Print winner) 20
=1st 'Ice Bear' - Neil Stewart 20
=1st 'Shield Beetle' - Tony Bates 20


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