• The Annual M.S.W. Competition

    This event has been running for the past thirty years and is so named as it brings together Middleton, Selsey and Witterings Camera Clubs once a year for an open digital competition featuring twenty images from each club. As was our turn to host the event on the 4th March this year, we decided to hire the exhibition room at Selsey Town Hall in order to accommodate all the members visiting from the three clubs.

    This competition was frequently won by Selsey back in the '90s, but we haven't brought home the MSW trophy since 2004. Bearing that in mind, we had chosen our twenty digital images with very great care this year, and were feeling quietly confident by the start of the evening !

    Our judge for the evening was David Eastley LRPS from Burgess Hill, a very experienced photographic judge and drone photography enthusiast. The evening began with a brief showing of all sixty images to provide David and the assembled club members with a preview of the competition ahead. Each image was then projected separately to enable David to criticise constructively, explain what he liked or didn't like about the picture and give a mark out of twenty. In several cases, the marking was held back until the latter stages of the evening.

    David commented upon a variety of factors that contributed to an image’s success, including aspects of composition, exposure, clarity of detail and its story-telling qualities. With insect pictures, David said that he expected leg hairs to be clear and sharp, and he also pointed out that triangular patterns within a picture make for a strong composition. Above all, David stressed that there was nothing right or wrong with the qualities he or anyone looked for in other people’s pictures – rather it was just the way one perceives them.

    A break for refreshments was called after the first thirty images had been judged. This provided an opportunity for us all to socialise with our friends from the Witterings and Middleton whilst enjoying a hot drink and something tasty from the refreshment table kindly provided by our members and served by Anne Johnson, Louise Satturley and Joan Taylor. The traditional raffle was also drawn at this time by Bob Hoare.

    The second half proceeded with further comments and marks from the judge, following which the sixteen images previously held back were also considered and marked. There then followed a few moments of bated breath while the club's laptop crunched out the final results, which were as follows: Witterings Camera Club 328 marks, Middleton Camera Club 355 marks and Selsey Camera Club 340 marks.

    The evening therefore concluded with a big round of applause and the presentation of the MSW shield to Alan Fitzgerald, Chairman of Middleton Camera Club. Judge David Eastley was also warmly thanked by the three club chairmen along with all the members from the three clubs who had contributed images and come along to support the event.

    Sadly, it was not Selsey's turn to win this year although we had improved upon our last year’s third place by finishing in second place. However, more importantly, by the end of the evening we had all enjoyed the sight of sixty wonderfully inspiring images and the pleasant company of other like-minded photographic enthusiasts.