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Rising to the Chairman's Challenge

Every year the Chairman of the Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club sets a photographic challenge for the members. This year it was Creative Macro.

Traditional macro is a unique form of photography that involves photographing small objects to make them look life-sized or larger. The usual subjects include flowers and small insects - the details of which we don't normally get to see up close with the naked eye. However, for this particular challenge, there had to be a creative twist!

With the challenge gauntlet laid down at the start of the season in September, members had plenty of time to think, plan and execute their ideas in time for the judging, which was carried out by the joint Chairs, Naomi Stolow and Nigel West.

Some of the images followed the traditional route of macro photography with intricate close-ups of butterflies, bees, flowers and, rather alarmingly, spiders! Whilst others were more playful with tonic water bubbles in a generous measure of gin, or a fiendishly clever magnification of text from a book.

However, the two Gold prizes were awarded to Jackie Ridley for Jellycotta Warriors - a re-creation of the Terracotta Warriors using Jelly Babies. And to Alex Rosen for his abstract image, A Riot of Colour.

Jackie said of her creative confectionary offering “It took several packets of Jelly Babies and numerous shots to get the image just right because the figures kept falling over, but it was great fun. I even photographed the Jelly Babies in a trench I’d dug in the garden, but this ended up in a very sticky mess!”

Jellycotta Warriors © Jackie Ridley
Jellycotta Warriors © Jackie Ridley

Alex recounted “I was walking along Brunswick Street in Teignmouth trying to find inspiration and was attracted to a series of colourful murals on the site hoarding. This image was created in camera from a small part of the original using a close focusing 24-70 lens. My technique was to move the camera vertically whilst using a slow shutter speed of 1/2 second to get the blur effect - intentional camera movement. Very trial and error with unpredictable and sometimes interesting results.”

A riot of colour © Alex Rosen
A riot of colour © Alex Rosen

A total of 12 prizes were awarded:

Gold – Jackie Ridley, Alex Rosen

Silver – Marc Dunlop, Bob Kethro

Bronze – Barbara Ferrity, Dave Hutton

Highly Commended – Alex Rosen, Ken Holland x 2, Bobbie Smith x 2, Sally Landberger

See all the submitted images >>

New members are always welcome to join the club, which meets on Wednesday evenings on Zoom at the present time.

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