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3rd print results and talk by Polina Plotnikova ARPS EFIAP

Report by Marjorie Burge

Friday 24th January

The talk by Polina Plotnikova ARPS EFIAP was all about the Lensbaby and ‘Capturing the mood with special effect lens’, and there are many lenses to choose from. Polina’s speciality is fine art photography, particularly using flowers and still life, and most of her work is studio based. She has described herself as ‘a control freak’ and constructing her own images within the studio allows her to have complete control. Her resulting images are very creative and personal. Using the Lensbaby lenses allows pin sharp images within a gently blurred background, all in camera, as Polina explained ‘creating imperfection quite deliberately’. Polina does occasionally venture into the outside world and we saw some stunning autumn scenes taken in Sheffield Park, with variations on what she termed ‘the slice of focus’, sometimes upright, sometimes horizontal. Polina explained meticulously how to use each lens for different effects and showed us some stunning images – as someone said afterwards ‘it makes sense now to see how it is done’. Google her name and you will find so much more about her life and her photography, see her beautiful images for yourself.  Another good evening at APS.

Friday 31st January

Our 3rd Print Competition was judged by Paul Parkinson LRPS CPAGB of Aperture Woolwich Camera Club.  Before he started judging, Paul said we should not be adversely affected by comments and marking, saying that he felt it important that everyone should continue to enter competitions, a timely lecture for those at APS entering in the lower divisions where numbers have dwindled to the point where divisions 3 and 2 have been merged into just one. Those who entered had once again provided a selection of excellent high-quality images to make life difficult for our judge. Paul often became quite personally involved in seeking to understand the photographer’s intention, expressed his concern at photographing beggars, thought out loud constantly, and related lots of background stories triggered by the images. He was very keen on tidy edges, occasionally recommended drastic cropping, found some colours too intense, and was always looking for a wider story to be revealed. He held quite a few images back in each division and found it extremely difficult to have to leave some behind when choosing the winning entries. He was a very entertaining judge; I think we all enjoyed listening to him and definitely look forward to seeing him again in the future. 

Division 1:

1st Stuart Thompson with Kyle of Durness at Dusk

2nd Stuart Thompson with The Lone Skier

3rd Nicholas Hill with Doors Within Doors

Division 2:

1st Zuzana Valla with Justine

2nd Katrina Devenport with Red Eyed Tree Frog

3rd Zuzana Valla with Twins Embrace

Next Friday, 7th February, is a Club Night when some of our own members will be showing their work and explaining why they are such excellent photographers. Club evenings are always good. Visitors welcome – an opportunity to find out who we really are.