Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday - Weather surprisingly good

After I'd dropped Y at the Railway Station, for her trip to London to meet Jill for lunch, I came home via Colliers Wood. I had rather hoped for some different birds but these Canada Geese rather dominated the lake. Why they all suddenly decided to follow the lead goose was a mystery. After not finding anything interesting they dispersed and started milling about again.

One always suspects 'food' but there wasn't anyone with a bag of bread or anything.

I was home for 11am and then spent half an hour installing McAfee 'total protection' on Y's laptop. The problem was that there was a period of 3 days left to run on her previous 30 day free trial. In the end I had to uninstall that before I could install the new one. Anyway, job done, and she should be fine now for a year.

While in the kitchen I spotted this young Robin at his ablutions. Due to adverse conditions there aren't many robins around this year but this chap seems settled and happy enough.

Y has just texted me that she and Jill have had a great time and she is now at the tube. Hope to see her shortly after 8pm.

Nice e-mail from Sue Lewis who has read the blog-post about Calke Abbey and wants to have some of the images. I made a Picasa Web Album of the whole folder and e-mailed her a 'link' to it, with the message that she can use whichever she wants to.

Bungus sent me photos of his (almost pet) mice whose activities in the garden, and ingenuity in reaching the bird-feeders fascinate him. I'm afraid I don't share his interest ! Unpleasant, creepy, creatures in my opinion who deserve their verminous classification, and although I don't suffer from Y's near-phobia they certainly aren't going in my blog.

The sun, shining through the sunflower petals on the other hand does appeal. They really last suprisingly well as cut flowers and look so bright and cheerful. And we know how much Van Gogh loved them.

I just hope that my snap does justice to the Chrome Yellow which Vincent used. The pigment (as oil paint) had only just become available in 1888 when he started painting the series.


bungus ..... Can't find much in your comment to quibble about. Is this good?

I think we all agree about the merit, and humour, of Helen's 'tent' picture. There is, of course, nothing to stop her using it again in a different competition, with a different judge.

Whatever, - I shan't be there. I've decided to let people tell me about 'judged evenings' rather than sit through them.

anonymous JB ..... You are quite right of course to speak up for camera club judges ! There are problems, and they do give up their time. But one of the pleasures of a blog is that, subject to the laws of libel etc., I am free to enjoy a good old rant.

There is a facility called google blog search which has a search box to enter any subject in which one has an interest. I regularly use it for restaurants, or places we are going to visit etc., and you get some blog-writer's unadulterated opinion about whatever it is. Power to the People !

quotation time .......

"Many would be cowards if they had courage enough"

Thomas Fuller

Catch you tomorrow - Sleep tight !



Reg said...

I wonder wether to continue this diatribe on camera club judges. We all realise they give their time etc.,(not often free)and all judging of this nature is subjective.
In my 25 years as an International Model Aircraft Flying Judge I never had a winner complain. It is always to the losers who are hard done by. However I was,upset, puzzled, annoyed, etc., last Thursday when a picture of mine which the highly respected Anon Rob had said "I would have that on my wall" Didn't make it to anywhere near the last three.
The judge is supposed to know about photography and should be able to reconise a picute taken with a long telephoto lens when he sees one not suggest its been concocted in photoshop.

Jill said...

Y and I had a great time today, the brasserie in Peter Jones (John Lewis by another name) was chock-a-block, on a Monday lunchtime, no sign of a credit crunch in Chelsea.....

Loved the gorgeous yellow sun-flower - that is a colour which looks great in nature but awful on people, or in furnishings etc.etc. in my opinion....

I have no problem with mice outside the house, it is inside I don't like them or tolerate them. I know about Y's phobia re mice.....

Judging photos sounds a bit like judging knittings at county shows etc. I have never participated in such - and don't intend to - but forums etc. are full of very disgruntled people after the results. And I have a friend who was - on one ccasion only - a judge on a WI competition - never again!

bungus said...

Nice big-ducks picture but, to be picky, I would prefer the title starting from immediately above the post, half way between the top of it and the rearguard bod.
Strange are the ways of birds (and judges).

We too now have a Robin putting in a regular appearance.
As a matter of interest, can you tell a Dunnock (Hedge Sparrow) from a Sparrow (House Sparrow)? My dad could but I haven’t got it yet. I understand the former are more common than the latter – and the second most common garden bird is now the Wood Pigeon. Chaffinches, once the most common British bird, now seem to have dropped right out of contention. Mind you, you don’t see a lot of Stegasaurus about, not these days, not in Ollerton.

The persitent mice had chewed their way through the bottom of the plant pot to get to the nuts. This morning one had got stuck with his head through the hole and could move neither forward nor backward which meant I was able to take close-ups of his cheeky little face. I was unable to push him either forward or back (he never tried to nip me) and I have yet to discover whether Sandra managed to free him even after I had removed his tricorne and mini-cutlass.

The sunflowewr is very decorative too. Vinnie would love you. (I tried to tell him but I must have been on his wrong side).

I hope that today will provide some point of contention otherwise you will be getting ‘allah-keefik’.

It seems to me that JB was adding his voice to the grossly unfair criticism of photo competition judges. Perhaps I don’t understand the jargon?
Anything I say, of course, is from a totally unbiased viewpoint called ignorance.

I am sure the ‘hero’ quote is true.
You do not share this fear of which T Fuller speaks, having declared yourself brave enough to avoid 'judged evenings'
But if you are giving up camera club competitions what will you do for aggravation?

JB Anon:
I like the idea of judges having undergone humourectomies in order to meet their job description.
But surely they can’t ALL be that bad?

You are right to be annoyed at being unappreciated. It is something which has blighted the whole of my life with only a few bright intervals.
Even I (ME) know the effect of a telephoto lens (RG will confirm).

Sorry to disagree but Sandra had a pair of sunflower yellow trousers which suited her better than any others she has ever worn in my presence. But whenever she was saying, “I’ve nothing to wear,” and I responded, “What about those yellow trousers; they really suit you?” she would say, “I can’t wear those old things!”
We also had a set of bedroom curtains in similar yellow, with brown stripes, which were lovely; really cheered up the dullest morning awakening when the light filtered through.

We too draw the line at entertaining mice indoors. I have been working on the theory that if I feed them enough outside they will happily stay there. But when there are five of them at once on the birds’ peanut feeder it does make me think a cull may be required – I hope they will fall for my humane trap so that I can transport and release them in the wild.

On the few occasions I have been asked to do it, I always enjoyed judging ‘writing’. I cannot speak for the competitors of course. But, from the other side of the fence* I cannot recall any occasion when I was offended by judgments of my own work (and I didn’t always win, although RG’s retirement did allow me to become his successor as ‘Writer of the Year’ at Nottingham Writers’ Club).

* A little poem:
Here astride life’s fence I sit,
Why else should buttocks be so
neatly split?

anonymousrob said...

Last night I penned a comment in defence of camera club judges. Then, for good measure, I added one criticising them. When I tried to post it, it wouldn't take. Maybe the blogmeister has inserted a hidden filter that prevents anyone defending camera club judges. I will try again tonight as I have saved the comment in Word. Anyway, as has been commented in the past, it doesn't matter how the image was produced (as long as it fits the competition rules), it's the final result that matters.

Moving away from the Arts Desk to the Sports Desk, the Stags have been docked 4 points for fielding an ineligible player in their first two games of the season. As they won one of those and drew the other they have lost the points they gained in those games. Another miserable result to go with the others of the past few weeks.

Sitting on the fence
Brings me many benefits
And a sore backside

4 TICKS said...

Hello I'm back, been busy. Canada Geese should should b***** off back to Canada. Don't they make such an awful mess.
Robins, however, Are attractive, endearing and you can make friends with them. What a lovely picture. Ours bathe in the fountain rather than the bird bath, they seem to prefer a shower. The Sparrows are recognisable by their habits. The Dunnock doesn't like the bird table preferring to feed on the ground. The House Sparrow will dine anywhere so sort them out from that.
The Sunflowers have been amazing this year, we had some massive ones and Himself has harvested the heads so that he can use them to feed the birds in winter. This one here is a particularly good shot. Makes me want to paint them. Have done in the past but perhaps it's time to have another go.
Camera Club Judges are the pits. Quote, "It would look better if the gate had been open and taken in natural light". The gate was open and the sun wash shining with all it's might. Nuff Sed.

anonymousrob said...

This is what I tried to post last night (ha ha, have just realised my closing tag on the word give didn't match the opening one, my fault not the computer's):
Oh dear, oh dear. Camera club judges - you can't live with 'em and you can't live with 'em.
In defence of judges:
They do , virtually, give their time. Expenses equate to 22p per mile plus petrol which equals not very much. For many it's a minimum two hours and often much more. Only rarely do they have the opportunity to see the entries more than a few minutes in advance of the competition so have to make (dare I say it) snap judgements on every image. In the majority of cases they are asked to assess and separate, by way of a mark that has no consistent standard across competitions, images of totally different and very diverse subjects, eg birds, landscapes, portraits, architecture, sport etc. On top of this they are expected to give consistent marks across any number of pictures from (in my experience) 5 to 70. I remember one night in Sheffield I judged over 120 images in an hour and a half and was expected to remember all the scores I gave and justify them. Sorry, but I don't think that's humanly possible.
In criticism of judges:
In my opinion can be summed up in a couple of phrases - closed minds and an inability to put themselves in the photographer's place. Surely, to comment on and constructively criticise an image the judge needs to have an idea of what the photographer was trying to achieve as well as how images work. In amateur competition photography, it seems to me that people try to 'copy' (not really the right word) images that are known to be successful. Any image that dares to be different isn't (generally) regarded as successful so is marked down. Thus we have competitions (and exhibitions, which are national or international competitions) where the same type of image always wins. There is a formula for competition-winning pictures; if you want to win you have to learn it.

What's to be done? There should be enough accumulated wisdom, knowledge and experience on this blog to come up with a constructive suggestion or two. My suggestions, though, are not constructive as I don't believe you'll ever change the nature of, and attitude to, competition photography in all its respects. Because of that I opted out. I stopped judging completely for a number of years and now do only 4 or 5 a year; I do them because I think I've got something to offer. Whether anyone takes any notice is another matter. I stopped entering competitions to stop hearing judges comments. In my view, if you want to enter competitions you have to accept the system as it is; it's probably more at fault than individual judges. If you don't like the results then either stop entering or stop the competition.

Oh dear, I've gone off on one. Sorry.


PS, love to sunflower picture, 18 out of 20.
PPS, Reg or RG, can you re-publish the photo I want on my wall; I'd love to see it again.

4 TICKS said...

To Rob.

That was the very last time I entered any photographs in any competition.