Saturday saw the opening of the East Anglia Federation of Photographic Societies annual exhibition in the Gibberd Gallery at the Civic Centre in Harlow. It was due to be opened by a Harlow civic dignitary, but they were delayed, so eventually the show proceeded without them. If I heard it right there were over 1500 prints for the judges to select from, and a similar number of projected images, so the judges have to be congratulated on their stamina right up front. If each work had 10 seconds consideration that is about 5 hours on each category.
After the presentation of awards we went upstairs into the nicely air-conditioned council chamber to see the projected images (the few slides had been scanned for this). It may have been an artifice of the usual low resolution of the digital projection, but to me the show had an extreme acutance that screamed too much shrinking, too much photoshop. However I’m not anaesthetised to these effects by watching TV, having banned the haunted fishtank back in 1988. Others may be less sensitive.
It was fascinating to see what caught the judge’s eyes. The nature shots were mostly ‘doing something,’ along the lines of Terns fighting, Eagle with prey, birds with nest materiel… There was lots of monochrome, which seemed to favour the grainier or higher contrast (lith) styles which certainly do nothing for me. Almost completely missing were architectural shots and normal daylight landscapes.
Definitely worth a visot — 10am to 5pm weekdays, and Saturday mornings 9am till 12pm. Parking at the Water Gardens is more expensive (and difficult) on Saturday, but if you need groceries from ASDA you can get a partial parking refund on your way back to your car.
Some of the EAF types running the projected image section had a splendid sense of humour. They managed a completely straight face while maintaining that the projected resolution was completely irrelevant, and there would be no benefit from increasing to 1960 x 1080 from 1400×1050. Quick, let’s enter some 72dpi black and white lithograph prints for next year — nope too late; someone’s already gone there