Last weekend I took part in my second photography competition run by a group in Sheffield. The previous competition I took part in was a digital one in Buxton. I got a couple of honourable mentions on that one, meaning I got 4th place. That was a really enjoyable day. So when I saw this film photo event I thought I would join. It would be nice to meet some new film people and be challenged.
It cost £19 to take part which included a film, processing, and a coffee. We were given the theme a day or so before so we could check what it meant, “Frame within a frame“. I didn’t think much beyond looking up the meaning, I certainly didn’t think to prepare anything. So it was interesting to see how prepared some of the other people were.
At the start of the day we met in a cafe for a chat, then we were handed the films and set on our way. You can read the rules here. Then we had around 90 minutes to walk to another cafe location to hand in our film.
As per usual with me, I made a few mistakes. Firstly, the camera I chose to take was one of my favourites but not suitable for a drizzly, wet day. The skin I had put on would not suit getting wet. I chose it because the forecast had said it would be dry. Luckily, I had a spare camera in my car and ended up using that. As I had just used the spare with a black and white film, it had a yellow filter on it. I am so use to seeing yellow in the viewfinder, it slipped my mind that it would not be ok to see yellow when the film I had loaded was a Kodak Colorplus 200. I finally noticed this mistake halfway through the film when I was about to take a shot of some colourful graffiti. Bugger.
I was so proud of myself too, as I had asked a few people to pose for me. In photo terms, it wasn’t a great loss as I could convert them to black and white with Snapseed or Acorn. But it screwed any chance at winning anything.
Secondly, I didn’t prepare. As I said, I was so happy to be there that it never occurred to me to prepare more than a cursory look at some photos of the theme. Plus, I didn’t think beyond the basic theme and ignored the “best collection”, a cohesive roll of 36 shots….and it was hard to shoot 36 images on a specific theme in 90 minutes, especially without a plan. It is also not something I have ever done before. I am definitely going to try that again.
I am looking forward to the next competition where, hopefully, I will be better prepared and check my camera for errant filters.
Anyway, here are my 36 shots out of the camera. Oh and my spare camera was a Chinon CM-7.
Not my favourite set of photos or a set perfect for the theme. I think the scans were adjusted to remove some of the yellow.
I was just so happy to be out taking photos and chatting with people, that I honestly forgot about the theme a few times.
Here are my personal favourite three, all from the yellow section, after some work with Snapseed. I especially like the last one.
I think I will set myself a challenge of a theme for a roll at some point in the future. I have lots of film cartons spare. I will write a theme idea on a piece of paper and put it inside a carton. I can then pick one at random.
Oh and did you notice the Spotify button at the top of the post? I thought I would try Anchor as it popped up as an option. Though without seeing the photos or camera I am not sure of its value at the moment…and it certainly isn’t my voice.
6 thoughts on “Photo Post: The Sheffield Film Photography Walk Competition”
The concept of a walkabout with specific subject/composition/time limits is an old one, at least here in the states. College courses designed to train budding photojournalists (back in the day when photojournalism meant something other than pointing a smartphone at everything) would give such assignments, to teach camerapeople the discipline needed to spot good images lost in the clutter of random surroundings; and to capture them with proper exposure and focus. The more such walkabouts you go on, the better and more consistent will be your output. Not to overlook that these events are a hoot and a great chance to meet others of like mind.
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I agree, it was definitely hard for me so I really do need to do more. I will go on the next one and am planning more for myself.
This is a great Idea, I wonder if I can get a group to do tis over here in the US. Question: How quickly did they turn the development around?
There is a restriction on the number of people who could join due to covid. I think it is 30 at the moment. But we had less than that. So the more people, the slower the turnaround I assume. On this occasion it was less than a week. We did the walk on a Saturday, they were dropped off on Monday, I think I got the files back on Thursday. The results were announce before the next Saturday…I think.
Thanks 🙂 California is starting to open up but 30 would be a big number anyway. Maybe I will discuss this with my local Beers and Cameras group.
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We all set off in different directions. One person got in a car and drove off. So you don’t walk together. I think 30 is too many, especially for a small area
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