Set Subject images complying with the definition was discussed by the Committee (again) at the last meeting.
The last time this issue was discussed was in February 2108 and the minutes stated:
‘It was confirmed that the definitions be kept as open as possible, so as not to stifle creativity, and that we need to rely on the judges to do their job.’
At Judges Forums over the past couple of years it was confirmed that the onus for disqualification be on the judge rather than the Club.
This obviously puts pressure on the judge, especially with the prints, in front of a live audience, and the judge is likely to be generous rather than strict.
At most competition nights I run through the definition with the judge before the judging starts just to make sure that they are conversant with the definition. (I neglected to do this at the last comp night.)
Our last competition had a very specific definition, which is what we are trying to avoid. There were images that one could argue did not meet the definition. I spoke to the members involved and it was not done intentionally or to gain advantage. The images without text included, had put the line of poetry as the title and considered that that was sufficient. I had used a line from Hamlet which is a play, even though, when one googles for popular lines from a poem, the line I used comes up.
Next month our definition is Movement and it states ‘a finished image that depicts motion blur, resulting from long exposure or panning or in camera movement.’ You may find images that do not conform exactly with this.
We are trapped between punishing those who have not met the letter of the law, and being too generous with those who have casually followed the spirit of the law, and following either path will upset some of our members.
For me personally, I prefer to focus on having members put in the best images they can, that meet what they consider is the definition is.
This issue can be easily solved without any arguments or discussions. That is for each member to read the definition very carefully, and make sure that they comply with what is written. It is unfair on those who make the effort to comply to have to compete with those that have been negligent or lazy.
I look forward to the day when we do not have to have a discussion on whether an image complies or not. We have had suggestions of not having set subjects, or only having the well defined ones such as nature and landscape. I think set subject is important and challenging, and an opportunity to be creative, and would hate to get to the point where we stop having them for fear of arguments.
I ask for every members tolerance, and ask you to take the time and put the effort in to meet the definition. It is only being fair and treating your fellow members with respect.