Photography News | Issue 46 | absolutephoto.com
CameraClubof theYear in associationwith
To win, the members of our five finalists face the ultimate challenge of having to shoot their pictures within a strict time limit using cameras most of them have only read about. How did they get on? Actually, really, really well Camera Club of the Year 2016-17 THE FINAL
Words byWill Cheung
Photography contests, regardless of level, rely on existing pictures. But for the Photography News Camera Club of the Year 2016-17 final, in association with Fujifilm, we wanted to make things just a little more interesting: the photographers had to produce the best possible pictures with the five supplied subjects using cameras most of them had never used before – and all within a set time. Before we talk about the final shoot-out, we should explainhowour five clubs got there. Over the past several months we have been inviting clubs to enter our five themed monthly rounds. The winner of each round won a place in the final and once all five finalists were known, they simultaneously received details of the location, the subjects, the timelines and the cameras to be used. Each club was asked to name a team of four members to represent their club on the day. For the final, five scenarios were planned: we provided a male character model, an aerial artist, a fashion model with a vintage car, an interior still- life/macro situation and an exterior location shoot. For each scenario, Fujifilm cameras were supplied togetherwith technical support andanhour allowed for shooting and editing – missing the deadline meant that no points would be scored for that scenario. The clubs had been asked to bring their own laptops with up-to-date software.
The final concept
PNeditorWill Cheung explains the thinking behind the final “For the CCOTY final, I wanted to do something a bit different and task the club members with producing images on the day, in a limited time and in set situations. Once we got Fujifilm on board as sponsors we saw an opportunity to make the challenge even more tough: contestants had to use Fujifilm cameras provided on the day to produce all images. “I then needed a location. At the time, I had no idea where the qualifying clubs were going to come from so I was thinking of central England as an obvious starting point. As it happened I saw that Natural Light Spaces (NLS) studio near Northampton was opening. “I contacted Tris Dawson and arranged a visit. NLS comprises two large studios. At the time of my visit, the second studio had no more than the beginnings of an infinity curve and a half-finished wooden floor, but its potential was clear. “I wanted a location that would allow a number of different scenarios that could be controlled, to make things as fair as possible and without any need to travel between them. The NLS and the site it was part of (the Depot, www.the-depot.co.uk) seemed to offer the ideal solution. “Now it was simply a matter of devising five challenges that would make our finalists think and provide enough creative potential for a variety of different style approaches, that could also be reset to the original condition after each shoot. The exceptions were the two outdoor shoots. After discussion with Tris of NLS, we agreed on shoots, content, models and lighting. “I know the cynics will say, ‘what, no landscape/nature/action?’ – all key subject areas for club photography. I get that, but I couldn’t see how it would be fair, feasible and manageable in a day’s shoot. If anyone has any suggestions for next year, feel free to drop me a line. “However, I have to say fair play and well done to all our finalists who really got stuck into the tasks and produced, under pressure and well within the time limits, many truly excellent images.”
Each member had to submit one image per scenario; at the end of the day, 20 pictures per club were ‘blind’ judged in a live session. Our judgeswere Andreas Georghiades of Fujifilm UK, Tris Dawson of Natural Light Spaces, and from Photography News , AdamDuckworth and Kingsley Singleton. At the end of a long and exciting day, New City Photographic Society emerged victors, so huge congratulations go to them, and well done to all our finalists for their sterling efforts, too. It was a close- run thing and each club did well in the different scenarios. What impressed was the discipline, creativity and commitment of everyone involved. New City PS’s prize includes six talks by Fujifilm X-photographers of their choosing over the coming season so all club members can reap the benefits of their win, plus a day’s shoot at Natural Light Spaces. Well done again to them, and thanks to all our finalists.
Above The teams were faced with five different scenarios, both interior and exterior. Expert technical advice was on hand from teams fromboth Fujifilm, the competition sponsor, and Photography News .
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