Sunday, April 1, 2012

Outside competitions!

Many members, especially newer club members, may not know that we as a club participate in several outside competitions. Specifically, we are members of and participate in electronic Open and Nature competitions sponsored by NECCC (New England Camera Clubs Council); PSA (Photographic Society of America) and the George W. Glennie Nature Salon. PSA runs 4 Open and 3 Nature competitions per season; NECCC runs 3 Open and 3 Nature competitions; and the Glennie is a once a year Nature only competition. These outside competitions are staggered throughout our regular meeting season and a synopsis of the results from the competitions to date follows below.
In the first NECCC Open competition, held in Nov. 2011, the NHCC placed 5th out of 13 Class A clubs. In that Open competition, Patricia Brundage took an Honorable Mention for one of her images. In the Nature competition, images by Lisa Cuchara, Denise Saldana, and Gary Prestash all took 2nd place ribbons and Andrey Antov took an Honorable Mention, putting the NHCC in First Place in Nature after the Fall Competition.
The second NECCC competition was held in Feb. 2012, and the club finished in 6th Place in Open competition, with an image by Susan Naumann receiving an Honorable Mention. Overall, after two competitions, the club is in 5th Place in the NECCC Open competition. In the second Nature competition, the NHCC finished in Second Place, with Paul Peterson and Gary Prestash receiving HM’s on their images. After the Fall and Winter competitions, the club is still in First Place in Nature overall, with several clubs right behind us, with one more competition to go.

We have the results from the first two PSA competitions and these are truly international competitions. These competitions are open to Member Clubs in the USA and from around the world, and the level of competition is very high. In the first Open competition this past fall, the NHCC finished in a tie for 5th Place, along with clubs from England, Idaho,Illinois, and Missouri. Patricia Brundage received an Award of Merit and Victor Krasenics and Susan Naumann received Honorable Mentions. In the second PSA Open competition held this past January, none of the club’s images received awards and we finished much lower down the list than we did in the first competition. So, after two PSA Open competitions, the club is in 10th Place – about in the middle of the pack. The leading club is from Poland, followed by clubs from England, Argentina, Australia, Canada, and from New Jersey, Illinois, and California. A group of our images is currently out for the Open competition in March, and there is one more Open competition after that for this season.
We’ve done better in PSA Nature competitions and the level of work is just as tough there too. We tied for First Place with a club from Poland (the same club leads the PSA Open competition) after the first competition this passed fall, with Denise Saldana and Gary Prestash receiving Honorable Mentions for their images. In the second competition, we had only one image which took a ribbon – an Honorable Mention by Paul Peterson – but all our other images finished just a point or two behind that so that we were able to tie for 4th Place in this competition. Overall, we are tied for 2nd Place in PSA Nature after two competitions, with one competition to go.

The results of the George W. Glennie Nature Salon were just released. This competition, affectionately known as “The Gleenie” and named after George W. Glennie, is also a truly international photographic competition and is sponsored each year by the Merrimack Camera Club of Massachusetts, but the competition is strictly limited to Nature subjects. The Gleenie’s follow the same strict definition and rules for Nature competitions that were adopted by PSA and NECCC and which limit which images which can be selected to represent a club. As examples, domestic animals and cultivated plants are not permitted. The “hand of man” cannot be part of the image: ie- a bird on a fence post – which would be “the hand of man” showing - is not acceptable. Additionally, some of the tools in Photoshop which we use to enhance our images are off limits in these Nature competitions. We cannot use images where something has been cloned out or cloned in. Basically, Nature images can only be cropped and modestly enhanced but not changed by the addition or deletion of parts of the image except by simple cropping. So we can’t use your prize winning rose image (cultivated plant); the bird at your feeder doesn’t qualify because the feeder shows “the hand of man”; a dog, cat, horse or cow image is not acceptable as they are domesticated animals; images of zoo animals and other captive animals are not permitted, etc. Additionally, the Gleenies try to encourage photographing subjects other than birds, mammals and flowers, such as reptiles, marine life, invertebrates, etc. They even have a diversity award for the club with the most diversity in their submission and clubs are allowed to submit up to 10 images in this competition. The judging was on March 17, 2012, at the Greater Lynn Photographic Assoc. and there were 930 entries for the judges to score. There were images from multiple clubs in 20 U.S. states and 7 foreign countries. The winning club was Greater Lynn Photographic Association, followed by the Cape Cod Viewfinders; Boston West Photographic Society; Toronto (Canada) Camera Club; and Nashoba Valley Photo Club. ( Four of the five winning clubs are from Massachusetts. The winning club scored a total of 254 points and the NHCC scored a total of 233 points, and took 19th place out of 94 clubs, so we were not big winners but we did finish in the top 20. Beside scoring the images, approximately 1/3rd of the images were “accepted” for inclusion in a digital slide program of the winning and accepted images which the Merrimack club will put together and release for public viewing in the near future. Members Lisa Cuchara, Denise Saldana, and Gary Prestash had images “accepted” and will be included in the digital slide show, and Gary Prestash had one image which received a Merit Award, which will also be part of the digital slide show which will be release for viewing.
We currently have one set of our images out with PSA for Open competition and there is one more Open and Nature competition left to submit images to later this spring, along with one more Open and one more Nature competitions for NECCC we have to submit images to shortly. Please keep up the fine work that all of you bring to the New Haven Camera Club and perhaps we will move higher in the standings in these upcoming competitions as we save all the images from each our our NHCC club competitions to review and as a pool to draw images from. While most of the images we have submitted have come from our Class A workers, there have been a number of images that we selected that came from Class B workers too.

As we receive the results of this season’s remaining competitions, we will both give members the results both at our regular club meetings and post them on the club blog.

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