This competition is an incredibly cultured and refined event in which digital images (anonymously and randomly selected) are projected in pairs and one of each pair is chosen by a vote of the assembled club members, to go through to the next round.
Or, as the Programme put it, “Our occasional unfair competition to determine, by audience vote, the best picture of the evening. Last man standing wins.”
Members entered 176 images this year covering a wide range of photographic genres, subjects, and approaches. These included wild and domestic animals, birds, insects, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, still life, portraiture, street/candid, colour, monochrome, and so much more.
The whole event was – as usual – utterly chaotic.
Eventually, after endless convoluted discussion, we agreed on who was to count the votes and on some rudimentary rules – with the traditional proviso that “we will make up any further rules we need as we go along”. And so, at last, the vote-counting team was pressed into service – David Marlow in command, assisted by Paul Searle – and carried out their duties (as is also traditional) with less-than-military precision.
Sometime later, however, despite everyone’s best efforts, we arrived at the round of 34 images.
At that point, our heroic endeavours were interrupted by “IT issues” (a hard drive problem as well as a software bug, allegedly) and the conclusion of the competition had to be postponed to another night.
In due course, the competition resumed on 3 April. The vote-counting team was re-formed with David Marlow still in command but assisted now by Lizzie Tingay. Proceedings recommenced with a fresh run of the round of 64 images (as there was no record of which images had progressed beyond that point previously).
And some while later we arrived at the semi-final stage. The last four images were:
- “Romanesco” by Patrick Linford;
- “Deep in the Undergrowth” by Terry Godber;
- “Deep in Thought” by Lynette Mcnicol; and
- “White Throated Kingfisher” by Terry Godber.
The final then was contested by:
- “Deep in the Undergrowth”; and
- “Deep in Thought”.
And in a climactic – and obviously “deep” – finale to an entertaining evening and by a majority vote, the winning image was determined to be “Deep in the Undergrowth” by Terry Godber.
So “congratulations” to Terry – the winner for the second year running!
But the glory is all he gets because, sadly, there is still no prize for winning this fun competition.