PDI Competition Round 3

The judge for tonight’s competition was Riva Pearce, Maria’s daughter. This is the second year we have used a someone to score and comment on entries for a competition that is not a qualified or experienced judge. This enables us to subject our images to a different type of critique.

Riva has been an art educator for 7 years teaching art, photography & textiles to 11-18 year olds. She is currently Head of Art in a challenging school in Dagenham, East London. She completed a BA in Fine Art at Kingston University and a Masters in Painting at Wimbledon College of Art (UAL). Photography has always been at the heart of her practice as a means of documentation, recording, reference and creative expression. She teaches her photography students to frame well without the need to crop, to work with the natural surroundings and to take a good photograph in the first place without the need for over editing. She also encourages conceptual thought and experimental outcomes.

Overall Riva thought there were some very high quality images that used the wealth of beautiful surroundings and subjects that we have on offer here in Wales.

She felt some images lacked authenticity and although technically very good, were quite generic. She prefers a more creative and unusual approach to documenting the subject matter whilst maintaining the rawness and authenticity that is sometimes lost with over editing. Over editing detracts from the content of the image and forces the viewer to focus only on the editing.

So, that’s the background to how Riva judged, so here are the scores. There were 53 images all together, so a really fantastic number of entries. Riva didn’t actually give a 20, so here are the images scoring 17, 18 & 19, and then at the end Riva gave her top 3 images.

Score 17

Effort - Alan Fitzpatrick - Amazing expression caught on the faces of not just the boy in the foreground but also the defeat of those behind. Really like the action shot caught mid air, very natural but well timed photograph.

Elephant’s Eye - Joanne Debenham-Ansty - Lovely framing, makes the photograph very personal, I feel very close to this beast. Subtle use of editing to blur the background just enough to allow the texture of the trunk and the orange of the eye to dominate.

Hidden Depths - Nicola George - Really like the almost painterly quality of this. As the title indicates you could lost in the abstraction of this image. Reminds me of American photorealism of the 1960s.

Shadowland - Ian Thomas- Great use of light and shadow to create abstraction. Limited colour works


Through the Wire - Sue Porter - Excellent use of framing using the natural surroundings. Intersecting lines of the fence, barbed wire and horizon/landscape work really well. Really evocative image. Riva thought the moon was over edited, but Sue assures us it was exactly as captured.

Two Men and a Boat - Gerald Marsh - Well captured, particularly like the contrast of the completely washed out surroundings and the starkness of the figures. Sense of movement through the water.

Unwilling to share - Alan Evans - Amazing to capture this image. The inclusion of some of the surroundings and the dash of red from the meat sets the scene perfectly. Subtle blurring of the fence and saturation of the meat and leopard’s coat. The viewer is instantly drawn to the animal’s eye.

Score 18

A Drive in the Country - Nicky Rhodes - Action of the flying mud captured, good contrast between the green in the background and brown in the foreground without over editing.

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Nicky Rhodes - Lovely capture, sense of action with the light rain falling in the background but a stillness in the body of the bird - beautiful. Editing here is subtle enough to allow the subject to be dominant without detracting from it.

Laughing Donkey - Rob Evans - I love the chaos and comedy in this photo. The line of donkeys leading down from the irregular steps draws the eye up the image. The more I look the more I notice.

Leaf Litter - Sue Porter - Amazing amount of detail captured. Natural light and echoing of colour on berries and left of leaf creates intrigue. (As we found out from Nicky Rhodes, these are wasp eggs, not berries)!

Nuthatch - Alan Fitzpatrick - Wonderful to be able to capture this bird with a tasty morsel in it’s beak. Natural lighting and high level of detail.

What’s the Story - Alan Harris - Well spotted, the longer you look at this image the more you see, the black and white helps remove any distraction. However, what I keep returning to is the question of whose bike is this? What happened here? It keeps reminding the viewer that a child once owned this bike and once you have looked around the rest of the image you keep coming to that same question.

Score 19

Ancient Tree - Maria Pearce - Beautifully textured, the more you look the more you see. The green leaves act well as a vignette around the edges, interesting framing.

In the Spotlight - Mavis Evans - Stunning use of natural lighting. Beautiful muted colour, reflections on the sand work well. The people add an element of intrigue and break up the smoothness of the surface.

Riva’s favourite works were those that captured sudden candid moments or those which were just well framed and thoughtfully composed photographs. So out of these top scorers, Riva’s overall favourite images were:

In the Spotlight


Laughing Donkey

A big thank you to Riva for judging this crop of photos and for giving a different view point from the circuit judges.

Next week is an Internal Night when we will reviewing the images from the previous 3 PDI competitions.

Remember to bring a mug and milk if needed, otherwise loads of tea/coffee available if the bar remains closed.

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