IOMPS Courier Report for 27th November

Date Published 
Fri 27 Nov 2020
Courier Report 271120


The Three Way Digital Battle is the only occasion in the year when all three of the island’s photographic societies meet as a group in friendly competition, to share a mutual enthusiasm for taking – and looking at – images, and perhaps to see some superb examples from other photographers to inspire their own work.

Hosted by the Western Society, our judge was local photographer Steve Woodley who was given the onerous task of commenting on and marking 30 images from each club, each image to be awarded a mark out of 20. Steve very quickly explained the difference he felt between his own experience as a professional – where speed and expertise make for a cost efficient production process and ensure prompt payment by the client for a job hopefully well done (and a profit for the professional). This he compared with amateurs such as our members where we have only ourselves to please and lots of time in which to do it – and can afford to take and re-take an image until satisfied.

The commentary, done with some humour, thus provided many useful hints – on cropping the image to remove the unnecessary elements, or cloning out irritating “bits” such as highlights which distract the eye from the main subject, for example, or of removing any evidence of dust on the camera sensor. Steve’s marking – which he himself confessed was sometimes “rather harsh”, was certainly controversial – giving more than half of all entries including what many considered to be top quality images, the “baseline” of just 12 marks, with higher marks going to relatively few entries. However, the scoring proved consistent between the three clubs – all three taking their share of low scores, and resulting in a very close competition. 

In such circumstances, whichever club could get at least a couple of the top scores was likely to prove decisive, and so it proved. An image by Doug Allan from the Western of RAF planes flying in close echelon getting a score of 18 in the first half enabling his club to lead at the half-time break with 207 points, the IOM on 203, and the Southern just behind on 200 points.

The knock-out blow came early in the second half, with Western’s Dorothy Flint getting a score of 20 for a lovely backlit image of a horse and rider rearing in shallow water, a pin sharp image with considerable impact. Whilst Sue Blythe’s image of a kingfisher with a score of 19 gave brief hopes of an IOMPS recovery, it was not to be, the Western coming top of the leader board with a final score of 411, the IOMPS close behind on 409 and the Southern slightly further back on 400 points.

As with sport, the judge is always right, with the correct club emerging as winners. Jeremy Broome-Smith, President of the IOMPS gave a well-considered vote of thanks to the judge for his work and to the Western committee for their organisation of a well attended and enjoyable evening.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 2nd December when we will be showing a video recording of the Three Way Digital Battle held earlier this year between ourselves and the Rochdale and Oldham clubs – an annual fixture which is always much anticipated, again with top quality images on display.. The meeting will be held the St John Ambulance HQ on Glencrutchery Road, with a new start-time of 7:00 pm. Full details of our programme may be found on our Facebook page or on our website Our meetings are open to the public (non-members with a modest entry fee), and all will be given a very warm welcome.

By Chris Blyth


IMAGE 01: 'Restless at Sunset' by Western’s Dorothy Flint gained Best Image in the Three Way Digital Battle with 20 points

IMAGE 02: 'Underwater Kingfisher' by Sue Blythe gained 2nd place with 19 points for IOMPS

IMAGE 03: 'Farnborough Fly Past' by Doug Allan took 3rd place for Western with 18 points