We’re meeting again in Lockdown

1st in Open: “Refractions” by Ron Wykes

In July SPG members would normally be exercising their shutter fingers in an outside shoot; but in these uncertain times we had another Zoom based competition with the usual open section and a very appropriate set theme of “Me in Lockdown”.

Our judge for the evening was Chris Baldwin from Daventry Photographic Society. Chris had seen the images beforehand so was well prepared with notes and not a little humour to go through our efforts, giving plenty of tips on how some of our work could be improved.

In the open normal service was resumed with first place going to Ron Wykes for his very Intriguing “Refractions”. This was Ron’s third win of the year to put him well placed to retain the Peter Saul Cup.

See all the placed open images >>

Lockdown Theme

In the theme of “Me in Lockdown” Anne Blaber made the pieces fit for her first ever win with “Lockdown Jigsaw”.

Lockdown Jigsaw
1st in Theme: “Lockdown Jigsaw” by Anne Blaber









See all the placed theme images >>

A Socially Distanced Walk on the Wildside

A Portrait of Nicola
1st in Open: “A Portrait of Nicola” by Alan Roffey

Our June meeting was held via Zoom and our judge dialling in was Alan Edwards from Club Abington Photographic.

Alan was able to see the images beforehand full size on Flickr which allowed him to take a forensic look at our images both in the open section and in the theme of “Wildlife”.

On the night Alan gave a detailed commentary on the compositional and technical aspects of our work and his top images were held back for final review.

With our current competitions leader unexpectedly resting on his laurels this month others were given a chance to score some league points, and two of our members took full advantage scoring first and second places in both the open and the theme.

As a result, things are much tighter at the top of the tables.

See the current League Standings

Open Win
Because the model in the winning  shot was wearing a rather bright top the author had converted the image to black and white and then recoloured it in Photoshop to give a more pleasing effect.

See all the placed Open Images >>

Judge Dilemma
The judge had a hard time deciding the theme winner, seeming to change his mind several times between the eventual winner and second place.

But in the end a trip to the Farne Islands yielded the winning wildlife shot. While primarily looking for Puffins with a beak full of sand eels the author, Elmer Fudd like, spotted a “wabbit”. 


Wild Rabbit on Inner Farne
1st in Theme: “Wild Rabbit on Inner Farne” by Alan Roffey

See all the placed Wildlife Images

The Virtues of Virtual

Our April Meeting, postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, eventual happened as a virtual competition. Images were submitted as usual but were posted online for members to vote on.

In the Open, Ron Wykes triumphed for the second month in succession with his “Faded Beauty”.

Faded Beauty
1st in Open: “Faded Beauty” by Ron Wykes

See all the placed open images >>

In the theme of “Shadows” Ray Barnes took first position with his “Bike Stand”. 

Bike Stand
1st in Theme: “Bike Stand” by Ray Barnes

See all the placed theme images >>

Tabletops are tops in March

Our competition judge this month was Daventry member John Lewis LRPS. Both the winning images he chose happened to be tabletop setups, and two of our number did well securing a first and third place each in the two categories.

In the open section Ron Wykes shot tethered in natural light and used focus stacking to get his “Red Red Bobbin”.

The Red Red Bobbin
1st in Open: “The Red Red Bobbin” by Ron Wykes

See all the placed Open images >>

The theme of “Culture” was a challenge both to us and the judge with so many varied interpretations offered. Building upon a second place in the open Richard Hollingum showed us that “Dead Life and Penicillium are the only Culture Here”.

Dead Life and Penicillium are the only Culture Here
1st in Theme: “Dead Life and Penicillium are the only Culture Here” by Richard Hollingum

Though I am also reminded of a line from the TV comedy Benidorm: “The only culture these people have got is between their toes”.

See all the placed Theme images >>

No Easy Road

Our February meeting had an open section and a set theme of “Roads”. Our judge, Brian Pere, had hit the road from Duston Camera Club to run the rule over our efforts.

In the open Alan Roffey won out, with his recent upgrade to Photoshop Elements 2020 paying dividends with his composite “Three Times a Lady” taken against  a backdrop of Willen Lake.

Three Times a Lady
1st in Open: “Three Times a Lady” by Alan Roffey

See all the placed open images >>

In the theme Ron Wykes stormed back with an image taken on a Derbyshire road “Between Showers”.

Between Showers
1st in Theme: “Between Showers” by Ron Wykes


See all the placed theme Images >>

As Ron Wykes was in attendance we were able to present him with the Peter Saul Cup for his open league win in 2019. It was his third win, but unlike football – where Brazil were able to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1970 –  Ron will have to give it back at the end of the year; unless of course he wins it again!

Cup Presenttion
2018 winner Mark Blaber (left) presents Ron Wykes with the the Peter Saul Cup for 2019

Ring in the New

Our first meeting of the new year was a competition evening with an open section and a set theme of “Framed”.

Our judge for the night was Graham Heywood EFIAPp FBPE. Graham gave an informative and amusing commentary on our efforts with many valuable tips as to how images could be improved, even if they were good to begin with.

Boxing Day Dip
1st in Open: “Boxing Day Dip” by Ray Barnes

In the open, braving a beach in Northumberland on Boxing Day rewarded Ray Barnes with the first winning image of the year.

See all the placed open images >>

In the theme, a composite image of people looking out of railway carriage windows gained a laugh and a first place for Alan Roffey.

Frame Frenzy
1st in Theme: “Frame Frenzy” by Alan Roffey

See all the placed theme images >>

Our Cups Runneth Over

Members of SPG enjoy a social evening

Our December meeting was a social evening featuring a viewing of the images from this year’s Badby Challenge (which was won by the hosts Daventry) and a presentation of the cups from our annual competitions.

Unfortunately the three time winner of the Peter Saul Cup for the Open league, Ron Wykes, was unable to attend but the previous winner of the Andy Stewart Cup for the Theme league was on hand to present the cup to the current holder, our Chair, Richard Hollingum.

Ray Barnes (right) presents the Andy Stewart Cup to Richard Hollingum

They think it’s all over – it is now!

The last time Brian Pere of Duston Camera Club judged our competitions he awarded first place in both categories to the same author: and this month he did it again!

The recipient of his largesse on this occasion was Richard Hollingum, who happens to be our chair and who had arranged for Brian to judge the final round of our annual contests. (Conspiracy theorists are always welcome to join SPG).

A recent trip to Northumberland provided the winning shot in the Open.

Pair of Admirable Admirals
1st in Open: “Pair of Admirable Admirals” by Richard Hollingum

However this success was never going to be enough to deny Ron Wykes winning the Peter Saul Cup for the third time, having amassed 3 wins for the Open league through the year – together with  a second place on the night taking him well clear of the field.

See all the placed Open entries.

It was a different story in the theme of “Autumnal”.

Autumnal Morning Mist in the Churchyard
1st in Theme: “Autumnal Morning Mist in the Churchyard” by Richard Hollingum

A first win of the season with an early morning churchyard shot catapulted Richard from third to first in the league for the Andy Stewart Cup, getting his name on the trophy for the first time.

See all the placed Theme entries.

See the Final 2019 Standings

Self- judgement Day

The penultimate round of our 2019 competition was self-judged, all members in attendance voting for for their first, second and third choices in both the Open and Theme sections. So instead of being aghast at the critique of a judge we only had ourselves to blame for the result! Placings are decided by the most accumulated votes relevant to the ranked choices.

Fenland Wind Pump
1st in Open: “Fenland Wind Pump” by Ron Wykes

In the Open Ron Wykes pumped out his third win of the season, and he holds a three point lead going into the final round of this competition for the Peter Saul Cup.

See all the placed entries for the Open

In the Theme this month of “Anything with Wheels” a shot taken at the North Norfolk Railway earned Phil Roseblade a second win of the competition drawing him into a three way tussle for the Andy Stewart Cup.

Train Wheels
1st in Theme: “Train Wheels” by Phil Roseblade

See all the placed Theme entries

Return to Competition

On our return from SPG’s summer break the judge for the evening was Paul Nickerson from Desborough & Rothwell Photographic Society. Paul held many entries back for further consideration and gave a fair sprinkling of commended and highly commended to those who did not make the top three.

In the Open Phil Roseblade singularly echoed a old Who hit with a picture of a lily. Flower pictures proved popular with the judge as can be seen by the Open top places.

1st in Open: “Lily” by Phil Roseblade

The Theme of Monochrome was topped by a panorama of the Miami skyline, taken from the deck of a cruise ship in port. See all the placed entries under Theme – top places.

Miami Morning
1st in Theme: “Miami Morning” by Alan Roffey