The DI Knockout is, as the Programme puts it, “Our occasional unfair competition to determine, by audience vote, the best picture of the evening. Last man standing wins.” Images (anonymous and randomly selected by software) 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. And so on, like a tennis tournament, through successive rounds. And, as one might image, this ought to be a very civilised and sophisticated affair.
Members entered 137 images this year covering a wide range of photographic genres, subjects and approaches. These included portraiture, street/candid, art/creative, travel, transport, sport, wild and domestic animals, birds, flowers, insects, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, nostalgia/re-enactment, still life, colour, monochrome, and so much more.
Our compere for the evening was officially “your own, your very own … Mr David Marlow”. But, with Paul Needham pulling the technological levers, it was more of a double act. While they provided plenty of fun and banter, Morecambe & Wise can probably rest easy on their pedestal!
The whole event was – unusually – only mildly chaotic. Usually, it is utterly chaotic!
This year the votes were cast and counted electronically, with none of the traditional confusion of the “hands up” method used in previous years. And the cunning trick of muting everyone’s microphones ensured there was none of the normal heckling. (Such a pity – it’s all so much more fun with heckling.)
Strangely enough, though, the slicker voting process and the absence of the customary badinage did not seem to speed things up. This turned into a marathon meeting as the event continued way past most members’ bedtimes! A real test of stamina.
Eventually, however, we arrived at the semi-final stage. The last four images – all terrific – were:
- “Diaphanous Wings” by John Curd;
- “G String” by David Manning;
- “An April Shower in Oxford” by David Manning; and
- “Bathing Belle” by John Curd.
The final was then contested by two quite different sorts of image:
- “Diaphanous Wings”; and
- “An April Shower in Oxford”.
And in the climactic finale to the Curd & Manning show the winning image was, by a majority vote, determined to be “Diaphanous Wings” by John Curd.
A great end to a very entertaining evening.
“Congratulations” to John on his splendid victory – and his even more splendid image! Commiserations to David.
To the victor the glory. But that is all John gets as, sadly, there is still no prize for winning this fun competition.