Thursday, 8 December 2016

'Where in The World' Quiz Night, 7 Dec 2016

I must say, not being one who spends their time boeying the planet for enjoyment, I found Wednesday's Quiz night hard going - some 86 snaps from anywhere and everywhere, many from places I hadn't even heard of, and we were expected say where they were.

The locations varied from the celestial (the Milky Way) to the macabre (a granite slab Aztecs used to sacrifice maidens to appease the gods). As if it wasn't hard enough for people like me, there were deliberate attempts to throw us off the scent with multicultural references. Thus we had a Ukrainian parade in national costume in Toronto, and a statue of Charlie Chaplin at the Chinese New Year celebrations in Leicester Square.

Many contributors insisted that clues were to be found in their pictures. A tiny part of a flag lurking in a corner of the picture.. a signpost with wording beyond the resolution of the projector. Do me a favour!

But when it came to totting up the scores at the end of the evening, all the teams deserve credit for how well they actually did. Congratulations to the winning team for an outstandingly good score (no-one actually remembers what it was!). So well done Anne, Martin, Dave S and Abi. It was Abi's first visit to the club - so nice to meet you Abi and we hope to see you again soon.

It was a great evening enjoyed by everyone and good practice incidentally for anyone expecting a couple of rounds of Trivial Pursuits after their Christmas dinners. Thank you Mark for organising the evening to ensure its success.

When the President of the SPA Kathy McLenaghan visited PhotoCraft earlier in the year, Mark's wistful side-glances at her Chain of Office did not escape our notice! So at the end of the evening, Mandy presented Mark with something we knew he secretly coveted. Apologies for having to compromise on the materials, but knowing he has a sweet tooth, we felt that chocolate money would be a suitable substitute for gold medallions.

I am sure everyone will want to join me in wishing Mark a very a happy and enjoyable Christmas. Mark has worked like stink all year to make sure the club runs smoothly. Not only has he taken the Chair and kept the website up to date, but with Aodan away, he has also been helping out on the club secretary front, organising the programme and publicity.
All this would be a full time job for many of us (he does one of those as well). All taken in his stride without a murmur of complaint, so please accept a big thank you Mark from all of us. And have a great Christmas in Iceland - keep safe and wrap up warm!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Print Competition | 30 November 2016

Why bother with a print competition? Why bother printing out your photos at all? We're getting so used to looking at and sharing our photos on our mobiles and tablets. Is there any point in printing them? And is there any point in spending time and energy mounting them for a print competition?

Well, to start with, a print is less vulnerable to being accidentally deleted (however many backups you make!). There is something more permanent about a print, although, of course, it will eventually fade. A print is also something much more tangible than a digital image on a screen. It is something you can hold as well as look at. You can feel the heft and texture of the paper. It's like the difference between an e-reader and a real book. Nothing quite matches picking up a real print from your printer or receiving a real print from the shop.

Prints have a life of their own. Part of their attraction is that they may look different in different light, depending on the time of day and season. Yes, maybe an image on a screen is more consistent, but there is something special about being able to carry a print over to the window in order to see it in its full glory!

Prints can become part of your life, and other people's lives, when they are displayed. It's not quite the same with an electronic photo frame (especially once the battery runs out!). Prints, especially family photos, can travel with you to a new home and can be literally passed down through the generations. They can become treasured possessions (well, maybe not all your photos, but at least some!).

When it comes to photo competitions, there is a unique advantage in entering images as prints, rather than PDIs - you have full control over the size. Within the overall size-constraints (usually 50cm X 40cm, although 60cm X 50cm is actually permissible at Photocraft), you can make your print as large or small as you choose. The experts suggest that if you've got a busy, complex image, you should opt for a larger size. Whereas, if you have a simple, uncluttered image, you can get away with a much smaller image. By entering a print competition you have the chance to gauge what size works best.

It was great to see so many impressive entries to this week's Print Competition. Thank you to our judge, Ian Brash, for selecting these worthy winners -

Level 1

'Friend or Foe?' - Joy Szott (10)

 Level 2

'Dried Grasses' - Dave Stoneleigh (10+)
'Cornered' - Mandy Byatt (10)