IOMPS Courier Report for 12th February

Date Published 
Fri 12 Feb 2021
Courier Report 120221

In the absence of a regular weekly meeting, this week saw the return of our annual “Three Way Battle” with the Oldham and Rochdale clubs. This is usually a video recording of the physical meeting, always hosted and recorded by the Oldham club, but with such meetings still banned across the water, this year was a Zoom session with judging and watching all done via the internet. From the technological aspects, it proved a very successful evening, demonstrating that the pandemic need not result in complete isolation from our fellow enthusiasts.

In all the previous years this competition has been held, the IOM Photographic Society has only won once – the usual hierarchy being Oldham with a number of very skilled and highly qualified members on top, and the IOMPS taking second place. Would this year be any different?

The competition requires 25 entries from each club, all being marked out of a maximum of 20 points, this year with Caroline Colegate ARPS APAGB from the Southern Counties Photographic Federation as judge. Caroline is well qualified, achieving her ARPS in Contemporary Photography in 2011, with her personal choice of subject matter being anything to which she has a strong emotional attachment or one that has an enduring expressive quality with a story being told – something that became very clear in her commentary and judging. Given an inter-club battle, the quality of images should almost be a given, with only the best images from each club being entered, but Caroline did not hesitate to take marks off for what she saw as any lapse in technique or quality. Her scoring ranged from lows of 12 up to the maximum of 20, but any score of 12 clearly has an enormous impact on a club’s final total score.

Judges in clubs across usually comment on every image in turn, announcing most of their scores as images are displayed – but holding back their top images (and scores) for further deliberation in a final summary, and Caroline was no different, with 9 of the 75 entries being held back. At that stage, the audience had no idea as to their club’s performance as no running totals had been announced – nor the ownership of the 9 entries held back but all destined for a very high score, and with an enormous impact on the final totals.

Sadly, only one of the nine was an IOMPS entry – a beautiful image of a wren by Jeremy Broome-Smith, the other eight all belonging to the Oldham Society, most of which were portraits or “contrived” composite portraits. One has to acknowledge their excellence, but they were in genres not well represented in our entry, so it was little surprise that the final scores showed the Oldham Society way out in front with a score of 444 points, the IOMPS (again!) in second place with 401, and Rochdale trailing in third place with 368 points. Ruth Nicholls monochrome “Arrival” - a delightful and very well composed image also scored highly – but we just didn’t have enough of those high scores to run Oldham closer…. Roll on next year!

Our next meeting is on 17th February when James Brew will be presenting images of landscape photography and explaining his technique. Our meetings are held the St John Ambulance HQ on Glencrutchery Road, starting at 7:00 pm and are open to the public (non-members with a modest entry fee), and all will be given a very warm welcome. Please check our website – – or our Facebook page for full details of our updated programme.

The Isle of Man Photographic Society is supported by the Arts Council

By Chris Blyth


IMAGE 01: Wren by Jeremy Broome-Smith

IMAGE 02: Arrival by Ruth Nicholls