Versatility assured

Whoops. I’ve only gone and won the poison chalice of the camera club I attend. Didn’t mean to do that, honest.

Every year Buckingham Camera Club holds a “Versatility Challenge”. The titles are announced just two weeks before the competition, the idea being that you have to have the images for the subjects in your photo library. Five topics are announced and the next week the images are submitted ready for the competition. It’s all a bit of fun really, but unusually for a club competition there is money riding on it…

…the reason for this being that the winner of the Versatility Challenge gets free membership for the next year. Brilliant you say? Yes, I’d agree with that. Every little helps. BUT. The winner also has to pick the five titles for the next competition. OK, bit of thinking needed but not the end of the world. The biggest BUT is about to come…the winner also judges the next competition. D’oh.

Now, judges in the world of camera clubs have the worst job ever. My image is the best image ever, it’s better than that one, and whatever is said by the judge will be wrong. Not just my opinion, but the opinion of everyone – which makes things tricky. After every competition night there is invariably a heated discussion in the car and on Facebook about how so-and-so was robbed, or why such-and-such comment was made when it was blatantly wrong. These judges travel the country for petrol money and have a hard time frankly – although being British we are always very reserved and polite to their faces.

So next year I have the challenge of judging the work of my fellow club members, and somehow have to manage not to p*** anyone off. No idea how that’ll work, but on the plus side I’ve already got a reasonable list of possible titles. But that is a year away at present, so no point worrying about it just yet…!

The Versatility Challenge was jointly won by two members last year – Neil and John. John is a judge already, with lots of experience. Neil is like me, quite new to the club and very keen to sit at the back and avoid controversy. Neil and John judged jointly this year, and it worked pretty well. The titles were good, the comments were not bad either. The only criticism I have of the pair of them was that they made me the winner!

The titles were Playing with Fire, Film Titles, Up Close and Personal, This Green and Sceptred Isle, and Have I got News for you. Lots of scope for interpretation, particularly with the film titles, News and Up Close. My entries are below with the scores, and were good enough for an overall total of 91 – four points ahead of second placed Pauline, who was the real winner of the evening – second place is the perfect position in this competition.

So next year the baton passes to me. Five subjects and lots of images entered by my club mates  to judge. It’ll be fun. Hopefully.

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