Judge: Don Morley
In camera or in processing ?
The age old question, which was always there but it has really come to the fore in the last few years given the sophistication of the processing software now available.
I felt a certain amount of sympathy with the judge this week. How could he choose between the two final photos. We had been through the comments on each photo, some were graded, some (quite a few) were "held back". We then got the next round of grading and we were down to two photos.
And they were like chalk and cheese, how could a judge make any rational reasoned decision.
One photo was heavenly scene, a solitary hilltop with a well placed clump of tress surrounded on all round sides by white wispy clouds. A Straight from a painters imagination, there was nothing out of place, and maybe more critically absolutely nothing the judge could deduct even a fraction of a point for. The work of an artist at the top of their game.
The other photo was a more definitely more down to earth, a black and white portrayal of Conwy waterfall surrounded by woods and mossy rocks. Everything sat together well in the composition, the exposure and printing was absolutely perfect in every part of the photo, from the pure white and the pure black and every shade in between. A true reflection of the photographers art.
At this stage both had ten points but which one deserved the ten plus ????
I swear I could see the judge changing his mind three of four times as he lingered in front of the easel containing both prints.
After an age, the judge went for the hilltop, an ex professional photographer who doesn't have any of his photos hanging in his house, he said he would consider putting this photo on his wall.
It didn't seem important, in the end, who won and I think congratulations are due to both photographers, Dave S and Dave P for bringing us their photos.
I'm sorry for not mentioning the other photos shown this evening, and there were quite few. Special mention should go to John O and Mark B who took the spoils in the Level 1 competition which as it turns out was another colour vs black and white decision the judge had to make. This time though, the black and white won.