Informal club competitions

The Bolton Camera Club meets weekly throughout most of the year and gives a very warm welcome to visitors and new members. We have been sharing a passion for photography since 1884 and are more than happy to share with you, whether your interest is in film or digital, audio visual or more technical aspects of photography. 

Thursday 15th November 2012 saw our second and final round of the Audio Visual competition this year. Our guest judges as for the first round in May were Bernard Longley ARPS and Keith Fisher ARPS who work together to produce award-winning AVs.

After each of our entries were shown they gave their comments and observations, and whilst they were scoring the sequences they did not reveal the scores until the end. Their comments contained many useful tips to help our members produce even better sequences in future, in particular to the type and length of a fade between tow images. They prefer “Pictures to exe” software to “Pro-Show Gold” as it does not have any deterioration to the image during a fade – PSG compresses an image from jpeg to run and softens the image in doing so. They pointed out it is important to have a long fade between images to create a third image, and in their sequences they use layers in Photoshop to save two images and actually create a third image to use.

Our first sequence was “ A Walk to three Cliffs Bay in the Gower” by Ray Jefferson, which Bernard and Keith said contained many good images, but the fades were a bit predictable and needed to be longer and slower. They liked the use of the map to show placement.

Our second AV was “Born to Die” by Rob Wigley, which Bernard and Keith recognised as similar to one shown back in May that had been improved upon they felt that there was too much zooming in and out, and some of the images did not benefit from this effect. The images were very good, but the effect lost the third image. They explained that an AV sequence should only have a zoom effect used once or twice where the picture needs it.

Third to be shown was “Casas Colgadas” by Mike Hesp, which Bernard and Keith said had a good choice of music that fitted with the Spanish theme. This AV contained text that Bernard said should be shown at the top of the images, as people at the back of the room could not read as it was “too low.” They also felt that sometimes images need to be more “pacy” to keep up with the music. They said the author “had a good go” and admitted it is difficult to take photographs at that type of event.

Next to be presented was “Doomsday” by Rob Wigley, which both Bernard and Keith liked very much. The music was very punchy and the quality of the images was very good. It had a good story and very good fades in time with the beat, and it kept pace with the music from beginning to end.

The fifth sequence was “Half a Sixpence” by Ray Jefferson, which the judges said was a good idea and to take photos of two people on a stage is very difficult, but this was a good effort. They felt the fades were generally too quick and many third images were lost. It was hard to pull off, but for a difficult subject this was handled well.

Our penultimate sequence was “Looking Up at Bolton” by Tony Watts which Bernard and Keith said had good images but was let down by poor software. They explained that a blank screen between images should be avoided, even if it is only for a split second. They felt this sequence was rather like a travelogue but had many interesting images of Bolton, and it told a story. The font was poor and the different colours used made it difficult to read. They said that generally a “sans serif” font like Ariel is easy to read especially if in black.

Our seventh and final AV was by Neil Pilkington and was based around rock concerts. Bernard and Keith admitted the author did very well to get the variation of images, and it was well put together. They said that an image should fill the whole screen rather than half of it, and several images showed various guitarists but the end on the guitar had been cropped. They liked the way black and white images had been used and it made them stand out, and was more effective than if they were in colour. The gritty effect also added some feel to the sequences, and the change of tempo in the music was a good contrast between the rock guitars and softer guitar images.

The final scores were as follows:





Rob Wigley


Born to Die

Rob Wigley

Second Place

Rock Guitarists

Neil Pilkington

Third Place

Half a Sixpence

Ray Jefferson

Highly Commended

Casa Colgadas

Mike Hesp

Highly Commended

A Walk to Three Cliffs Bay in the Gower

Ray Jefferson


Looking Up At Bolton

Tony Watts


We thank both Bernard Longley and Keith Fisher for their honest and constructive comments and thoughts, and advice freely given to enable our members to further improve their AV techniques.

After the scores were announced we were treated to seeing a selection of their work, and we learned much about what can be achieved with ideas, time, and good use of software to create superb AV presentations.

A photograph taken by one of our members

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