Photography for All in Steyning West Sussex

PAGB Inter-Club PDI Championship, 15 July 2017

First time we’ve taken part – could be a long time before we do it again!

I have amended the title of this article and the name of the competition….. I had  thought that it was the ‘Inter-Fed’ championship but, from all reports in PAGB News and their website, the event is called the “PAGB Inter-Club PDI Championship”. There again, each Federation is allowed to select only two clubs to enter on that Federation’s behalf, so you’d think it was ‘Inter-Federation’ and not really ‘Inter-Club’ – in which you might expect every club in the country to enter. Never mind – it’s not likely to involve us again for a while yet!

Early in the morning of Saturday 15th July, three club members – Gail Bell, Wendy Ball and Geoff Chalcraft, driven by Mike Warren, (so that makes four, right?) set off for the outskirts of Coventry and the University of Warwick, to attend the above championship in the superb surrounding of their Arts Centre. Mike’s hopes of being noticed by the Mercedes GP team scouts were dashed by a slight detour off, and back onto, the M25 but he was doing well, without needing more tea.

We arrived at the very attractive University in a little over two hours without further problems, soon got a cup of coffee and found some good seats. There were 38 clubs in the championship, two from each Federation plus the 8 top clubs from last year. Our hopes were high but we realised very soon that we were up against some stiff competition….. but not necessarily in terms of photographic style or quality. Some strange things were happening…. we saw almost no landscape pictures (difficult to believe when lots of clubs were from real ‘landscape country’ – Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cumbria and Scotland). There were some quite ordinary ‘birds on sticks’ getting lots of points (rare birds but in boring settings), a heck of a lot of rugby pictures, some odd portraits and then lots of what we were calling ‘dressing up box’ pictures – those with spooky looking people, in strange clothes, in odd surroundings – we’ve seen them before in the PAGB competitions (think ‘Wigan10’). The final results make for alarming reading, but I can honestly say that, having seen what had scored highly, I was more disappointed with what the PAGB, and the judges, had given high scores to than how we had fared. I’m starting to see why some clubs do their best to avoid the PAGB – and I think even the annual SxPF competition has a better variety of images. There, I got through all that without using the phrase “north/south divide”!

Results….. yes, we were equal 38th out of 38! But…. as Mike says, we are the 38th best club in the UK. I’ll stick with that.  One more thing…. on our way back down the M40, we spotted a Red Kite, then another, then another….. lots of them! Wendy explained that a breeding centre (I think) was nearby and the kites use the embankments of the motorway to do their hunting. We certainly aired our views on the way back.

Results page (on PAGB website)

Gallery (on PAGB eNews)

(This gallery, oddly enough, doesn’t show any rugby pictures – though, proportionally, there ought be be about 6 of them.