In the Herald - Competition captured all the drama of action sports

Date Published 
Wed 17 Nov 2021

This week at Irvine Camera Club we held the judging for the first two trophies of the season.  The In-Store Photo Quaich is awarded this year to the winner of our Sports In Action competition, and the Perceton Quaich goes to the winner of the Landscape competition.

Our judge for both comps was Rob Davis from Ayr Photographic Society.  Rob is a good friend of the club and it was a pleasure to welcome him back to Irvine in person after the constraints of only being able to meet virtually over the last couple of years.

In this edition we are presenting the sports images which Rob singled out for praise.  From the very beginning Rob brought his usual informative and constructive approach to the judging.  He has a keen eye for the technical aspects of photography but he also looks for the story telling aspects in photography.  He explained that specifically in sports action that the photographer needs to capture the decisive moment so that the viewer is left in no doubt about what is happening and why that particular moment is important.

Although, as you would perhaps expect, we had a number of rugby and football images, there was a good variety of other sports for Rob to get his teeth into.  From basketball to speedway, cycling to kayaking, there was something for everyone.

Colin Duffy was selected by Rob as the Best Beginner for his kite surfing images which Rob said, but for a few minor issues, were very close to making it into the commended images.

Sandra King picked up a third place for her image “Ba’heid” of Darvel FC taking a free kick with the action captured perfectly as a defender blocks the ball with his head.

Nigel Herron shared third place his very strong narrative motor sport image “Retired” which Rob praised for the thoughts of despair and isolation it conjures as the dejected driver walks away from the crashed car.

Also in joint third place, Alan Campbell’s “Speedway” shows the classic image of three dirt bikes careering around the corner at the Glasgow Tigers track.

I managed to pick up a joint second place with my image of a group of football players intently waiting for a ball to drop out of the sky.  Rob liked that all the players were looking at the ball – except the guy with his eyes shut!

Sharing joint second place was Colin Houston with “Reach for the Skies” depicting a rugby line-out.  Rob liked the composition but what really tipped it for him was the inclusion of the young fans on the touch line showing their total engagement in the game.

In the end though Rob chose the drama and intensity of Fiona Wallace’s “Who’s bright idea was this?”.  Fiona’s trophy winning shot was taken at the Red Bull Neptune Steps event which is an obstacle swim race held in a cold-water canal.  Competitors have to swim a total of 420meters upstream, passing various obstacles including ladders, ropes and cargo nets at each of the lock gates.  Rob said that the shot was his favourite from the moment he saw it because it evoked an emotional response in him – not only of the exhilaration of the event but also because of his terror of imagining having to do it himself!