Aiming for photographic distinction awards is a challenge and will improve your photography, but do make sure you have fun along the way. That was the message from the talk given on 8 February by Club President Larry James and members Tim and Sharon Sawyer. They had been successful in gaining the Credit award of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (CPAGB) which is the first step on the Alliance’s system of awards.
Whilst there was much to be said for selecting subjects they had enjoyed taking, there was a warning that it paid to have independent objective advice from a mentor and to attend awards workshops. Be particularly careful, said the threesome, about technical weaknesses such as key parts of images that were not sharp enough or marks and scratches on the prints – a big problem with gloss finishes. Also, at this level, they recommended playing safe with subjects and techniques rather than trying to be ‘too arty’.
Asking the members to guess what scores the images were awarded prompted a stimulating debate – though it was interesting how often members’ suggestions bracketed the scores actually awarded.
Anyone wanting to go down the awards route is very welcome to seek further information from the speakers. The Club is committed to helping members improve their photography whether through awards or through its own regular activities.