IPF Mini Rant…..

Swans flying on the Boyne

Abstract art or just a crap photo?

I spent last Saturday and Sunday at the IPF Distinctions weekend down in Athlone. Our club had two panels in the club section and four of our members were trying for their L’s. There were some amazing photos on display both in the club section and in the individual sections. There were also a lot of mediocre shots, including our two club panels according to the judges. I’m not sure which clubs won but it certainly wasn’t us.

Now you have to admire the judges who travelled from abroad to judge the panels. It’s a tough job and not one I’d fancy. However, I wonder sometimes what makes a “good” photo in a judges eyes.

I say this because I saw two complete opposite reactions to two very similar photos from two different judges. One shot was not dissimilar to mine above. It was of a Heron flying from left to right and like my swans, was completely blurred but showed lovely motion. Then other shot was a blurred photo of a kid running around the photographer. Again all blurred but showing lovely motion and movement. They weren’t on the same panel and I’m not sure which clubs they were from but they were two nice shots.

However, one judge dismissed the Heron shot as being blurred, with nothing in focus, while judge number two described the running kid photo as one of the best of the day!

How can two professionals differ so much? I’m not talking aesthetics here, I’m talking technical. Technically both shots “failed” as would my shot above, but yet only one of them got marked down whereas the other presumably didn’t. I know “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but if technical issues were a major factor in judging then there seems to be some serious inconsistencies.

Apart from that little mini rant, a great weekend was had by all. Met up with some old faces and some new ones and will go along to the next one in November.

BTW, the shot above is my poor attempt at panning a swan flying on the Boyne.

I converted my deliberately blurred shot into black and white to make it arty……..


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