We braved the weather of the day to venture into the depths of the Welsh valleys, The Monkey Club in Ton y Pandy the destination for all 3 of us from Neath.
The judge was to be Margaret Collis ARPS, DPAGB, APAGB, and Hon EFIAP. Past President PAGB.
She began, having stated in her own words that she was regarded as a kind judge it came as some surprise that the first salvo of marks were in the 10- 14 range. Our first image â€˜Wheels of the Pastâ€™ by DeniceÂ Evans was adjudged to be a competent pieceÂ of work that was well seen, well processed suiting the sepia toning and well presented and received 14 marks which was towards the top end of the marks for round 1
Straight on to round 2, and what a start the first three images receiving 9â€™s. The marking then improved slightly and with a low entry on the landscapes, which were her genre hopes were pinned on Arfon John and â€™The Last Boatâ€™ however she loved everything about it, the tonal range, the exposure, the position of the boat, the sweep of the wake but, as always there was a but, she thought there was too much sky and a mark of 13 as awarded.
At half time this put us in 9th place, hopefully the wonderful food that was provided for all, would see her in a more generous mood in the second half.
Round 3, there were some highs and lows in the scoring, she had hinted at the fact that, it was a pityÂ there was not an individual award for wildlife,Â as there were some good examples and up next we had Dave Edwards and â€˜They are fighting over meâ€™ which she thought wasÂ wonderful shoot with all the right components , thatÂ told theÂ storyÂ of the title well,Â BUT whilst enjoying the image very much, she also noticed a few clone marks above one of the Zebra and awarded it 13 marks . After round 3 we were in 10th position
Into the last round we were now 10 points behind the leaders Gwynfa and only a miracle could help us win. The marks for most now stepped up a little with a couple of 20â€™s been given one of these to Gwynfa the eventual winners. We now had no chance of a win but a good place would be nice.â€™ A Tern of Aggressionâ€™ by Tony Shadrach was judged kindly and received 19 marks. This was good enough to move us up a few places.
The winners were Gwynfa on 70 Marks,Â Â Â Â Â 2. LlanelliÂ Â 65,Â Â Â Â Â 3. Western Valley 63Â Â Â Â Â 4. NewportÂ Â 61Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5. CwmbranÂ Â 60Â Â Â 6. NeathÂ Â 59Â Â Â Â 7. Cardiff, Bridgend, SwanseaÂ Â 57
All in all not a bad result better than last yearâ€™s 15th, next year itâ€™s ours
I would like thank Margaret Collis for some very interesting and informative critique from which I personally learnt much, which will hopefully stand me in good stead for future competitions.
It is only by attending these events and listening to the critique of such respected individuals that we are able to understand what we should be looking for when we are planning, composing, taking, processing, printing and mounting our images.
Report by Tony Shadrach