Informal club competitions

The Bolton Camera Club meets weekly throughout most of the year and gives a very warm welcome to visitors and new members. We have been sharing a passion for photography since 1884 and are more than happy to share with you, whether your interest is in film or digital, audio visual or more technical aspects of photography. 

Our second and final found of AV competitions this year took place on Thursday 21st November, and to maintain consistency over the two rounds our guest judge was again Harry Emmett CPAGB from Accrington CC.

The first sequence to be shown was “Windsurfer” which Harry complimented on both the clarity and sharpness of the images. He was, however, unclear as to the storyline as “there were a lot of individually superb photos, one after the other but with no storyline.” The crash was lost as every photo afterwards had the surfer looking away form the camera with no involvement. Harry wondered if the sequence might have been better if it was shorter just leading up to the crash, and with more blending in the transitions.

The second sequence was “Alba” which Harry felt was an aide-mèmoire for the photographer. He said the storyline was not very strong, moving from rushing waterfalls to lovely calm rocks to sea stacks and to an inland loch. He wondered if it was the sequence of a holiday, adding that an AV can be shown in a different order to the order in which the images were taken. The images often changed format from landscape to portrait but the transitions did not take this into account. Harry admitted the music worked well with this sequence.

Third on view was “Amazon Expedition” which Harry said “worked well at the start when the images were slowed down to let the music catch up”. Harry said a lot of different species of animal were shown and some text used to “introduce” them would have added more interest. Some images were cropped which made them a different size, and again some were portrait and then landscape – Harry said that AVs flow better if all the images are the same size, explaining that it is often better to keep portrait images separate from landscape images as it is easier on the eye of the audience than going from one to the other and back again too quickly.

Next to be shown was “Dance in the Subway” which Harry said was “short and sweet!” This AV had good tempo of transitions to the music and the photographer had possibly duplicated and inverted some images, which is a good idea and worked well here to show the theme and idea. He felt the ending was “rather abrupt.”

The fifth AV was “Iceland and the Thingvellir National Park” in which Harry liked the good use of text to identify the views. He felt some of the images could have been duplicated more, especially those showing the Great Geyser, which would have emphasised the effect more. He liked the clever use of panning, and felt the photographer had made good use of Iceland’s constant natural light.

This was followed by “New York” which Harry said captured the tempo and feel of New York. He liked the good use of zooming out and the deliberate attempt to make a third image out of two pictures, notably in the gull sequence. Harry wondered if varying the transition length would have been better “particularly on the night shots.” The start was “very good with the Statue of Liberty clearly making the location identifiable.” Harry liked the “slick” music changes that had “good synchronisation” using the lyrics to identify Central Park. As a general comment he said that using text on an image – as here with the wording on the bell- it needs to be on the screen longer that other images to give the viewer the chance to read the text.

The penultimate AV was “Rajasthan” in which Harry pointed out that the changes of format happened “quite a lot,” adding that some images of the firewood worked well as they were all the same size. He felt the changes of scene from the family to the wells was “a bit abrupt,” and left him “unsure” as to why the family were included. The images of the tea drinking ritual “did not fully explain what was going on – some text might have helped.” The tempo of the music and the tempo of the images were not together, and whilst Harry appreciated the music had a local flavour it “was not easy on western ears.”

The last AV sequence in this competition was “Paris” and while the accordion music typified France Harry felt is could have been “livelier.” Harry said the “length of time the images were on screen could have been changed” and “the transitions were too similar.”

Harry reminded us that AVs are there for our enjoyment, and they are difficult to compare as they are all very different. He said that all of them would make good presentations when we need to present another lecture on photography to a local organisation.

For the ideas and creativity used in “Dance in the Subway” Harry awarded this AV third place.

The “cracking quality” of the images and the educational value of “Amazon Expedition” put this AV in second place.

The worthy winner tonight for the images, transitions and clever use of the music was “New York

As in our other competitions the author’s name is not disclosed during the competition, so in summary the Audio Visual sequences were by the following members:

“Windsurfer” by Richard Towell

“Alba” by Alan Bromily

“Amazon Expedition” by Brian White (2nd Place)

“Dance in the Subway” by Mike Hesp (3rd Place)

“Iceland and the Thingvellir National Park” by Jeff Griffiths

“New York” by Mike Hesp (1st place)

Rajasthanby Richard Towell

“Paris” by Ian Watson

We thank Harry for his honest and very helpful comments, and continue to strive for improvement in this growing area of interest among our members.

A photograph taken by one of our members

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