IOMPS Courier Report for 4th December

Date Published 
Fri 4 Dec 2020
Courier Report 041220

The IOM Photographic Society this week held its first assignment competition of the season, the set subject being “Still Life”, in theory a very easy theme in that the photographer has total control over his or her images in terms of exposure, lighting and subject matter, given the inanimate and non-moving subject. The competition, being sponsored by Iforium, a Manx based and leading software development company involved in the gaming sector, proved anything but easy. Dennis Wood from the Western Society demonstrated a high level of technical expertise in his judging, whilst his excellent commentary explained in great detail his justification for the marks given. He started with the point that still life can be either “seen” (as in spotting an arrangement of pebbles on a beach) or “made” (when the photographer takes the time to create an harmonious arrangement for the image) – the latter having the advantage of total control. He also pointed out that “still life” can evoke an emotional response, showing for example, love, sadness, or loneliness – and that such images would carry a premium in his assessment.

The Intermediate digital images were first on display, an intriguing shot of a light bulb shining brightly but with no visible electricity supply winning Martin Sanderson the monochrome section. Moira Blyth’s image titled “The Lovers” and comprising an arrangement of pebbles and a twig won both the intermediate digital colour section – and much to her surprise, Dennis’s selection as best image of the evening in competition, showing in his opinion that such a simple arrangement could convey high emotion. Steve Johnstone’s table-top arrangement of two lamps and two books entitled “Spoilt For Choice” won the Advanced mono section, Dennis pointing out that life is all about choices with the image carrying an implicit and significant message for everyone. Steve repeated his success in the colour section with another table-top, this time of a single dahlia flower in a beautifully coloured vase, narrowly beating Ruth Nicholls image "Minted Pea Salad”, a minimalist arrangement of a plate with cutlery but perfectly set-up and lit and gaining the same top score of 20 points.

As the only entrant in the Intermediate prints, Martin Sanderson won both the mono section with ”Forks and Shadows”, another simple arrangement of three forks against a wall, the shadows in bright light, whilst an almost abstract image of the filaments of an antique light bulb with a lovely pattern of shadows and highlights in sepia and amber shades won the colour section. An amusing image, titled “Key Workers”, of a computer keyboard with miniature workers climbing a ladder on to it, won Sue Blythe the Advanced mono print section, whilst a superbly lit and printed table-top image of a pomegranate and its seeds on a linen cloth background by Jeremy Broome-Smith proved unbeatable in the Advanced colour prints and was judged the best print in competition. 

Jeremy gave the well-earned vote of thanks.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 9th December when Doug Allan from the Western Society will judging the second Open Competition of our season, both prints and digital images. The meeting will be held the St John Ambulance HQ on Glencrutchery Road, starting at 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: "The Lovers" by Moira Blyth gained Best dpi and Best Image in the "Still Life" assignment competition 

IMAGE 02: "Pomegranate" by Jeremy Broome-Smith gained Best Print in the competition