4 Nations Competition. Judge - Mike Cullis

This competition uniquely involves a club from each of the four nations of the British Isles. So, we had a great opportunity to see images from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and, of course, Wales. The participating clubs were; Alton for England, Peterhead for Scotland, Islandmagee for Northern Ireland and we, at Carmarthen, represented Wales and hosted the event! Each club entered 10 images using various techniques including vibrant colour, mono and collage, with subjects ranging across wildlife, still life, landscapes and street scenes, with all manner of styles and ideas. Judge Mike Cullis began by explaining the judging process from his point of view. He pictures it like a triangle, with the majority of criteria used to critique a photo starting at the bottom, for instance exposure, focussing and technical skills. He then works his way up through composition, processing and story telling to the tip of the triangle, where he is left with decisions based on much more subjective aspects, like what impact it has on him, some of which can be somewhat contentious!

With that, he embarked on his analysis of all 40 images, without knowing who the authors were or which club or nation they were from. His marks ranged from 14 to 20 out of 20 and he held back 6 for further comment and final marking. His comments were clear and fair and I think we all agreed with his choice of the winner - well, most of us, anyway! Some ideas for improvements were identified and sound advice given, including places where cropping or better composition may enhance a picture or where greater preparation and good focussing would result in better marks. Mike also advised us to use borders to stop dark images bleeding off into a black background - something I should remember to do more often! Here are the top results.

The images in joint 3rd place, with 18 points each, were:

The images in joint 2nd place with 19 points each were:

And the very worthy winner, with the maximum 20 points was:

The full results will be available on the “Competition Results” page of the website, where you will see that Wales came a well deserved 2nd to England, having 2 images in the top 6.

Congratulations to Alton on your win for England and very well done to the author of the winning image as well as Nicky and Maria of Carmarthen - and thanks to everyone who entered and supported the evening. Thank you very much to Mike, for his honest and well explained judging, and a big thank you to Jo, for organising the competition and managing the presentation and marking process Also, thanks to Alan Harris for introducing the evening and standing in for Sue, who we all hope will be better very soon.

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