North Cheshire PS always pull out all the stops to keep these competitions one of the premier club events of the region, so we all shared their disappointment when building work at the Civic Centre in Poynton meant interrupted access to the room and no heating. However, we never felt cold (it was positively tropical compared to Deeside!) and not having a hot drink at break-time actually speeded things up! Paradoxically, it was precisely to avoid problems (with the weather though) that NCPS moved the date of the competitions to March from February.

Wednesday night saw 17 clubs compete for the Print Trophy and with Mike MacNamee as the judge we knew we were in for an informative evening at least! Mike edits a magazine (Professional Imagemaker) which concentrates on the technical side of photography and he is a foremost expert on digital imaging and always has some interesting things to say. He uses his wide knowledge to good effect in his judging, which is why, when he said of Martin McGing’s Fredau “I can’t fault that” I almost let out a whoop of delight, and we started to hope for an overall win for that print. Alas, it was not to be, even though he tantalised us until almost the very end of the competition before announcing that a superb macro shot of a dragonfly from Wigan PS was the winner and not the beautiful Fredau.

Thursday night was a different kettle. 22 clubs took part and, almost from the start, we were in trouble. The judge, it emerged, didn’t approve of pictures of children and knocked out our first image “Coming Down The Hill” after commenting warmly about its virtues! During the evening we found that several subjects were not his favourites for various reasons and by cold-drink time I had frankly lost interest and was just hoping that we didn’t come last. Only our Hyena and Cub and Tulips survived more than one round. Even Wigan 10 were eclipsed as they made the mistake of using a couple of montages which the judge said were now “out of fashion”. We learned quite a bit about the judges achievements during the evening.

The results are HERE.