19th March 2014 - Triptych sets high standards

Competition evenings at the photo club are always eagerly anticipated and supported. This time the title of the event was ‘Open Triptych’, the first time the club had tried this kind of competition. A triptych is a set of three separate images which have a common theme, compositional elements, colours or which tell a story across the three images arranged vertically or horizontally. So the task of the photographer is tripled – to produce three good prints which work well together. This challenge was taken up by 19 club photographers.
Judge Tony Marriott was given the very difficult task of assessing these triptychs and he set about it with a keen eye and careful examination of each print and the way they worked with their partners. Such was the quality on show that he remarked on how difficult his task had been so much so that from his initial judging he held back no less than 8 sets for a final round of deliberations.
Club members showed great ingenuity in constructing panels of three related images and the genres on show ranged from straight portraits through natural history to the stark realism of images from abandoned Welsh slate mines to the horrors of Auschwtiz-Birkenau. Some triptychs also employed humour and one in particular showed gulls on a rock in the first image, gulls being overcome by a huge wave in the second and the final image was of the deserted rock a set which the judge re-titled ‘Going, going, gone’. Equally amusing was ‘Heron flypast’ which in essence was only one image from which the photographer had culled two further images – one for the heron’s head and the third for its feet. With these stuck either side of the image of the complete bird lo and behold you have a triptych of sorts!
In the final judging Tony Marriott explained how he had identified the winners and how five of the eight had lost out. Mainly this was due to the way the pictures held together as a set. Tonal differences or a better arrangement would have made the difference. In the end the three winners all avoided those problems and the results were 1st – Tom Borg for ‘A Lifting Trio’ – a triptych which powerfully depicted heavy industrial lifting gear set against dramatic skies; 2nd – Jon Peters for ‘Big Art’ – a highly imaginative hi-key set in which a young artist produced charcoal body art swirls and spirals; 3rd –Rose Finch for ‘Sunset Reflections – a triptych of delicate landscapes and water.
After such a successful and keenly fought competition it was decided to retain this kind of event in the following year’s competition programme.