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Open Competition 4 - Landscapes

Judged by: Nick Beretzen CPAGB/BPE3*

         Nick Beretzen CPAGB/BPE3*

New Year's wishes filled the air as we caught up after several weeks of a break in club meetings. This week was competition 4 – Landscape theme. The decision was made this year to add an extra theme competition instead of as many open competitions. A move I found daunting as I knew it would push me out of my comfort zone. A feeling I know was echoed by many of the other members, however, change is good and trying new things can often turn out better than you thought! Just ask our, 'I can't do landscape photography, doubting Thomas of a Chair', who actually did rather well on the night.

There was a very good turnout, considering so much sickness within the club membership, including two new people who came to “try before they buy” and it was great to welcome them. There was a big hole left by the absence of Kath, Ray, Jim and Jean who were poorly and play key roles in the running of the meetings. Luckily we had some volunteers who stepped up and filled the void (well almost, Ray Girling was rather devoid of a tutu). So, thanks to Sue for taking the money, Ray G for doing his best at dolly dealing and assisting in the prints judging and to Sheila and Denise who filled in and were as good as any WI lady and served the tea.

Our judge was Nick Beretzen CPAGB, BPE3*. Nick was an excellent judge, fair and very informative as to how he got to his decision, whilst keeping to a fast pace. I found his comments to be balanced and helpful. It was also refreshing not to have a judge hung up on a landscape composition having to have a focal point, as this is certainly something that has put me off from trying this genre of photography. I most definitely felt inspired by both his landscape photography guidance and by the quality of the shots shown on the night – Catchlight we are coming to get that title back! Here are a few of the pointers he made that stood out to me as particularly helpful…


  1. Lighting is key – it sets the mood and gives the shot atmosphere.

  2. Take the shot from a more elevated viewpoint, if possible, it will give your picture more depth.

  3. When taking shots of water flows, overcast skies are better as it will avoid burnout on your water.

  4. In a woodland scene, the sky can be obtrusive so it's best to not include it if you can.

  5. A symmetrical subject will work well as a centre placement in the frame.

  6. Early morning photography is good for catching feeling and atmosphere.

  7. If shooting an object that is moving try and have 3 x as much space in front of the object as there is behind it.

On to the results:

Prints Competition
1st Cry out for our planet by Ray Girling.
2nd Swan Lake by Ray Girling
3rd Venetian Vista by Kath Hill
4th Hidden Path by Ray Hill
5th Whitby Abby by Sam Holden



PDI Competition
1st Ganges by Ray Girling
2nd Crossing the Andes by Rail by Tom Sheckleston
3rd South Stack Evening Light by Kath Hill
4th Machu Picchu by Trevor Fillingham
5th London Bridge Early Evening by Ray Hill












Congratulations to all our winners and to Ray who took the top spot in both prints and PDI. It was fantastic to see many of our new members scoring so highly and is great for us as a club as it gives us a bigger pool of pictures to choose from when it comes to club battles. All in all it was a very enjoyable night and we will look forward to welcoming Nick back again in the future.

Don’t forget that January's Facebook theme,'weather' is open, upload your picture to our Facebook page with #mcccweather to be in with a chance of having your picture featured as the next Facebook banner photo.

If you would like to join us, we are a friendly bunch and welcome new members. You can “Try before you buy!” and come for up to three sessions before you must join. A session costs £2.50 and membership is £30. We meet on a Wednesday 7.45pm and St Andrews Church, Winsford.

Karen Swift

Press & Publicity Officer


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