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Battle to end all Battles

Braintree Battle ‘23

Okay I’ve given up trying to put it on the Windows machine I’m gonna talk this in to a MAC and then transfer it over...

Well that was an interesting experience, you should see the gobbledygook the machine thinks I’m saying ...

Tonight, we had our Braintree Battle ... an annual get together with a club a few feet up the A131. Last year it was a Zoom meet where we narrowly beat them in this prestigious event, to keep this cheap bit of tin plate, sorry, Magnificent Trophy.

Could we hang on to it for another year?

Could Braintree stage a revival?

It all started the previous Thursday for the selection committee. Three hours of bickering, we even made Chris stand in the corner for ten minutes at one stage. Our choice was limited to what you lovely people had put into the competitions plus any that you sent Chris after his appeal earlier. We finally decided on images from thirteen different authors (we do try to limit entries to only two per author) so thanks to all those chosen. If you fancy joining this bloodbath, put your name forward at the next AGM.

For our judge this year, Val had managed to secure the wisdom of Ron Essery of the Colchester Camera Club. Not his first visit to these hallowed halls.

We explained to him that we had five images each, on a set subject, and could he please, after he’d finished marking everything, pick a favourite image that would be a tiebreaker, should we need one.

We opened with People.

Okay first up we had Cathy‘s Train Gang. Some of you may remember this from our Radley Read challenge from earlier in the season. It depicted a ground crew of three lads against the backdrop of a Train. The judge liked the composition, liked the space and also the way the lads stood out from the background where needed.

Second was Chris’s portrait of Jamie Chadwick. This lovely lass was stood behind just enough mechanical bits to let you know she was a racing driver. Judgy said he liked the nice relaxed pose and her neutral smile. Chris nearly fell off his chair when he gave this a ten.

Thirdly, we had Veronica‘s Finger Food. This was one of the shots she took in Bangladesh last year. Many of you would have seen the shot before if you attended her Bangladesh evening a few weeks ago. The judge liked the elegance of the lady, how she was comfortable with the photographer and also the composition.

Next was Nick’s shot of Amy. Liked the pose and sharpness. Knocked it back because he found the red jarring.

Lastly we have Veronica‘s Tribal Dance. Another from her Bangladesh travels. Judge thought it was like a triptych with three participants all in different stages of dance he was a bit confused with the background ... appeared to be monochrome compared to the rest of the photograph.

So when all the action was over, the points were totted up and

Springfield club scored 45 1/2

and Braintree scored 42



First up for us was Jon's Dubrovnik Old Town (he did tell me where exactly but the program chose to ignore it) The judge liked the sense of perspective with lots of people, the sun shining through the clouds creating a soft shadow which accentuates everything. The same cloud also filled a hole in the sky. Very nice, enjoyed it, it reminded him of a holiday there earlier.


Chris’s Finchingfield Our judge waxed lyrical about old England and how this shot seems to emphasise everything that was good about it. He liked the subtle colours of the cottage and the mill and the harmony. Good contrast, good clarity. Gave this a 10, Chris’s second of the night.

Next up was Beauty’s Glance from Selva. Beautiful ... like the high key image. However one little niggle was the branches on the left-hand side, easily removed with lightroom.

Next we had Rob’s Railview. What Rob had done here was put his camera down on a sleeper between the rails and shot from there. the judge the idea, the railway lines directing you to the centre of the image, just lack of a point of view once you got there.

Next up with Selva‘s Enveloping Tranquility. (Apologies for the name shortening, had the size of the titles set a little to big) nice clean image showing a windmill to his greatest effect, liked the balance with the grasses.

That completed our entries. Totting up all the images we scored 45 to Braintree’s 43 fairly close Huh?

Black and white

Our first effort was Val’s shot, also from our Radley Read extravagance earlier this season. What you saw was Charlie Brown posing in front of a Spitfire. He liked the shot, though the two ladies in the background didn’t add anything. He also felt if you darkened it down and lightened Charlie’s face would help to improve the image.

Next was Colin’s Dahlia Dazzler His comments, I applaud your effort as he tried to work out if it was a bunch of dahlias or a creation, oh, & you’re right with the dazzling. Still have it at 9 1/2 though.

Shepherds Home from Tony. He was a bit nonplussed with the high viewing angle, perhaps a little lower, might of helped with the converging verticals. He felt this also could be sorted in light room. He still liked the image, giving it a nine.

Tony’s Bozgira Chalk Rock formations. Okay, he loved it the composition.

Last up in this section was Katherine’s Into the Light shot. This was a photo taken from between the seats of a car, coming out of one of the tunnels on the M25. He felt as if you were actually driving. Minor niggle perhaps, a little bit more to the right maybe to show a bit more of the steering wheel, but ... loved it, another ten.

And the scores on the doors were 45 to Springfield, 44 1/2 to Braintree

Ooooh even closer


Okay we started with Colin’s Dahlia on Fire. Judge says I enjoy the colour and vibrancy, the light on the greens however, is slightly off putting.

Next up we had Jon‘s Souper Swimming Pool. He liked the idea. Not sure he would enjoy the soup after the lady’s been swimming in it

Following was Daves Chrome and Hats. He loved the simplicity of the shot, the crop is daring. Might work as a high key monochrome. Still, it got a 9 1/2

Katherine’s Stampede was up next. This was a wave breaking, possibly on a beach, with the wind whipping the wave tops. This was a white horse experience. He loved the light. The only thing that was making him ponder was the apparent long exposure on the sky but the short exposure in the waves.

Last up for the evening, was Nick’s Kentwell Kitchen. He liked this. He didn’t know the room itself, being a frequent visitor to Kentwell himself, but he thought it might be the bakery. Liked the light. Liked everything ... 10 score.

Final scores for this section were 45 for Springfield 42 1/2 for Braintree

The Judge handed out five tens, four to our side and one to Braintree.

our tens being

Final scores on the doors

Springfield Camera Club 180 1/2 points

Braintree 172 points

Ron Handing Chris the Trophy (cheers Val)

Only thing left was the best of the evening

That went to Katherine’s Into the Light.

Nice one Lass.

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