Well that's the theory,
in reality, I head for the bathroom not knowing whether I'm going for a s**t, shower or shave.
so, two weeks ago we had our Tony along, showing us images of a couple of his holidays.
I use that term rather loosely because, when Tony goes on holiday, he goes to some of the most inhospitable places on the planet. Usually to places you sometimes doubt even exist. Calling in on villages who only have rumours of white men, tracking down tribes who are constantly on the move, following the fodder for their cattle, the total antithesis of our life styles. Where just over the horizon forces are vying for power, yet these people's only interest is if they can get through the day/week/month.
The second show was about crossing the eastern Sahara Desert in Sudan, cutting out the loop of the Nile, crossing the Bayuda desert in the opposite direction of the troops sent to relieve General Gordon in Khartoum. Now this was a holiday I definitely couldn't handle, two weeks of walking, riding a camel, sheltering from the sun at the hottest part of the day, drinking 7 litres of water a day, travelling from oasis to oasis, gambling that there would be water there when you arrived. And the photos ... wow!
Now we move on to last week. For this we were entertained by Chas, who came along to show us tricks in photoshop. Well, not really tricks, but simple methods that quickly brought about remarkable changes. He was working on an unfamiliar machine (a windows one) and showing us improvements made to photos submitted by some members of the club. For those of youse that didn't attend, he cropped, and moved stuff around the photos, lightened the eyes, darkened the corners, showing us quick improvements to all the images. It was enlightening to see how much he could wreak out of photo, taking it above and beyond what I'd been doing 'til now. Nice one Mate.
Tonight saw our first official competition in almost two years. Lovely to see so many images. I asked for three plus a first reserve, but ended up putting all four (where submitted) into the mix. I should point out, lovely readers, that only the top three results of your entries have been counted, so you had a brief advantage over those who only gave me three shots.
We Had Chas back again to give his opinions (remember, we only invite judges to avoid any fights amongst ourselves) and suggestions for improvements, whilst picking his favourite shots of the evening.
After a bit of teething (I'd forgotten how the bloody machine works) we got going with Chas rattling through the shots. He made terrible assessments of my images, and I'm sure that everyone else thought the same when their shots came up for judging. Eventually we got through all 60 images, with various teeth gnashing from those who failed to peak Chas's interest for one reason or another. With thirteen shots held back it looked like we were going to be here all night, but no, a quick run through these put them in their places and Chas giving out four 'perfect tens'
When pressed for his first second and third, Katherine's Bouncing off the Walls took top slot with her 'Put on a Happy Face' grabbing second. Mr Nic Tidman scooped third with his Chicory flower and Rob's Hoe Mill also picked up a highly recommended ten.
so the winning shots were