Sunday, 16 October 2016


Every year my local camera club holds a theme competition, where basically you have year to take a set of images based on a key word or phrase.

In previous years we have had "glass", which was relatively straightforward and "opulence" which required some a lot more thought.

This year the theme was "Emphasis", which to be honest has flummoxed most of us.

This is because the term"Emphasis" is ambiguous and its interpretation largely personal. It is easy to just take a photo and place the word emphasis on it  such as 'Emphasis on the seaside' or 'Emphasis on landscapes' in a way that feels lazy and contrived.

You have a year to work out how to meet the brief and I must admit I did not have many ideas. My first thoughts turned to selective colour, but the actual shot I wanted I could not find a suitable location.

So in the end I ended up looking at shots I had taken through the year nad see if the word 'Emphasis' popped out

In the end these were my entries. In truth only one of them actually was taken with the word emphasis in mind(and that one did worst in the competition)

In the end, the competition went down as I predicted with a lot of entries with only vague connections to the theme (lots of landscapes with emphasis on mountain etc). 4 of my entries did OK, but none came in the top 3 (last night was the 1st one with our new scoring system. Instead of marking each picture between 1 and 20,, instead you got commended, highly commended and 1st,2nd and 3rd).

This was the only one I tool which I took specifically for Emphasis. It was not held back. Maybe I went to overboard with the effects, but personally I felt it stood out well

My daughter allowed me to use her image. To be honest I was just playing around with my 90mm macro when out one day, but really liked the images. Playing around with selective colour helped 'emphasize' the eye

Probably my weakest entry and the probably the one I am least proud of in terms of hitting the breif

This one did best and came close I think to being in the top 3.  It is quite a simple image, but I titled it to point to loss in both children and adults by calling it "Emphasis on loss". I think it got a strong audience reaction, which pleased me. It is a good example of how the title can really change how a image is viewed. This wast taken in Southwell workhouse museum where I got a lot of inspiration.

This was taken in Bath. We were sitting on a lawn in front of some Georgian buildings (there are a lot of these in Bath).  This man walked into view and it just seemed so improbable and out of this world that I took a few shots. Later I felt it "emphasised" (see what i did there) cultural differences so that is what I called it.

I think the winners were worthy ones. To be honest the print winner I had identified as a potential winner some months ago when I first saw it.

However I was a little disappointed not to do a little better.

I must admit I found this years theme competition just a bit on the vague side. Still next year the word is "monochrome' which in truth is far to obvious a term, so maybe we should be careful what we wish for.

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