This January for our monthly meeting we had invited talented photographer and multiple competition winning photographer Kirsty Andrews to judge our “Best of 2018” Competition. She had travelled from Bristol to see us and we warmed her up upon her arrival with a curry. I also think she finished the evening with some more warming coffee and whisky courtesy of Alex and Mich!
The competition had closed the previous week to give Kirsty time to judge the entries. She had done more than that as she had got a presentation together of her top 10 including her 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices in each of the categories along with her reasoning of why she liked particular photographs.
Kirsty mentioned the importance of composition and how she chose some shots as they showed good behaviour even if there was the odd thing that was not quite spot on with the image whilst other photographs were chosen as they were nicely lit and/or more technically difficult to achieve. She also advised on what could have been improved with some entries such as the removal of some stray bubbles or increasing or decreasing the contrast or saturation of particular colours.
Like the previous year there were a lot of entries and she said it was really difficult to choose from many excellent underwater photographs.
At the end of Kirsty’s’ presentation those present voted for their overall winner from the winner of each category chosen by Kirsty.
Huge congratulations go to Caroline Robertson-Brown and her fantastic “Capturing the Moment” shot of Mandarin fish mating. This image was voted the Best of 2018 on the night as well as being the overall winner of the Overseas Close-Up Category. Runner Up and 3rd in this category were Justin Beevor with his image of a Scorpionfish in tunicates and Maggie Russell with her super-macro image of a pair of minuscule “Shaun the Sheep”.
Scottish Lochs featured prominently in the Open British Close-Up Category. The winner was John Spencer with this lovely shot of a hermit crab and brittlestars taken in a Scottish Loch with 2nd and 3rd places going to Caroline Robertson-Brown and her close-up shot of a fireworks anemone and Yo-Han Cha with a photo of a tiny scorpionfish on a sponge.
There were a lot of seals in the British Wide-Angle Category but the winning shot was that taken by Paul Ansell with his great image of trout and a diver taken in a quarry using a mirrorless system whilst 2nd place went to Nick Robertson-Brown and his fantastically lit image of a diver in a plane fuselage, the thing about this shot that made it stand out was the non-classic pose of the diver, everyone loved the hands. Third place went to Alex Tasker and another nicely lit shot of a very tidy diver by the davits of a wreck.
Nick Robertson-Brown took both the winning and runner-up shot in the Overseas Wide Angle Category with his shot of swirling baitfish taken in the Philippines and a great shot of a American Saltwater crocodile in Cuba respectively. This last shot was taken with an 8mm fish-eye lens, he was close to those teeth! Third place went to Justin Beevor and his lovely portrait of an Oceanic Whitetip taken in The Red Sea.
Once again congratulations to all our winners and thank you to everyone who entered, there were some great images.
If these pictures have inspired you then come along to our next meeting which is being held on the 2nd Monday of the month, the 11th February where we be welcoming Caroline and Nick Robertson-Brown who will be giving a presentation entitled “Telling Stories – Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!” Further details of this talk and this month’s competition theme “Front Cover” will be found on our website at www.nupg.org.uk shortly. Please come along and join us. Everyone welcome.