The NCPF Club Championship
This is a competition, held in February each year, between clubs who are members of the Northern Counties Photographic Federation. Typically, fifteen to twenty clubs from our region are involved and, as this is an open event where any member of any club can attend, it is a great opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts from other societies.
There are two sections, one for prints and one for projected digital images. Each club enters twenty pictures in each section and these are assessed by three judges. In the two sections, the pictures from each club are displayed in turn and each judge gives a mark of between 2 and 5 – so each picture gets a mark of between 6 (rare) and 15 (also rare). The judges use an electronic system where they press a button to register their marks. The winner of each section is the club with the highest total after all the images have been seen.
The NCPF uses this competition to select its representatives in the national print and PDI competitions run by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. The top two clubs in the print section go on to compete in the PAGB’s Print Club Championships, held each October at Edgehill University in Ormskirk. The two highest-scoring clubs in PDI go forward to the PAGB PDI Championships, which are held at Warwick University in July.
The NCPF Annual Competitions
While the NCPF Championship is a club competition, the Annual Competitions are basically for individuals (although clubs do pick up awards too). The judging of the Annual Competitions is a closed event, and, unlike the Championship, is not open to general viewing.
There are sections for colour prints, monochrome prints and projected images; in addition, a photographer can enter as a beginner or in the open competition. There are individual awards for the best images in the categories of Portrait, Landscape, Nature and Creativity – although photographers don’t have to enter pictures into those specific categories; they simply enter the colour, mono or PDI sections and the judges sort out which image is the best portrait, or landscape, etc.
This is one competition where there are no pictures ‘rejected’ by a team of selectors – all pictures brought in for this event are entered and each image will receive a mark. Once all the pictures have been collected at your club however club selectors will pick six images from each section to represent your club in the ‘club competitions’.
A photographer may enter up to three images in each of the colour print, mono print and PDI sections (or up to two in each of the Beginners’ competitions).
When the results of the Annual Competitions are posted, individual entries may have an “A” or a “P” printed next to them. These have been “chosen for the Alliance” or “chosen for the Portfolio”. What this means is explained as follows.
The NCPF takes part in inter-federation competitions (organised each year by the PAGB) for both prints and PDI. Once the NCPF Annual Competition judges have made their assessments, the images are looked at again by a different set of NCPF selectors. These then choose the pictures for the “Alliance entry” – the two dozen or so images from each section that will represent the NCPF in the national inter-federation competitions. It goes without saying that it is quite an achievement to have a picture chosen for the Alliance. (It is also interesting to note that occasionally pictures which have done badly in the original competition have later been selected for the Alliance – which says a lot about the subjectivity of judging!).
The “P” is for “Portfolio”. The entry is looked over by yet another set of selectors. Their task is to pick out pictures which, although they may not be competition winners, are interesting as images and which are representative of the kind of work being produced by the clubs of the Federation.
The Annual Competition winning images and the pictures chosen for the Alliance and the Portfolio are put onto DVD and are available to clubs and can provide an evening’s entertainment .
Joe Grabham EFIAP/b