In the Herald - Michele's Cat is Top Drawer

Date Published 
Sun 18 Oct 2020

This week was the first competition night of the new season for Irvine Camera Club.  Members new & old were asked to enter 3 digital images each of whatever they desired.  This led to a really interesting mix of subjects and photographic approaches.  Our judge for the evening was a long-time friend of the club, Mary Gibson.  Mary is an esteemed camera club photographer who has also excelled in national and international competitions and salons.  She is also a great judge who always brings her experience to bear in a constructive and informative manner.

When we were organising the programme for this season over the summer we had of course hoped that we would all be meeting together at our new venue, Dreghorn Bowling Club.   Under the current restrictions that just isn’t possible so once more we have reverted to meeting virtually using the Zoom application.  Mary was happy to join us online and after the customary welcome to the club she commenced the evenings judging.

Mary provided positive feedback for every single one of the 67 images, always finding interesting points to make on composition, exposure and impact.  She gently guided us with clear explanation of where she considered improvements could have been made in the taking and also in the post processing.  Mary knows her Photoshop and she is a goldmine of hints and tips on how to get the most out of an image.   I am sure many members of the club will have been making careful notes of the advice given.

It’s always a tough job judging an open competition like this one.  There always have to be entries that do better than others and not everyone can come away completely satisfied.  However, Mary was eloquent and clear in her assessments as to why she chose the images she did for special praise.  3rd place went to Alan Campbell’s atmospheric seascape, “Mangarstadh”, which Mary praised for its composition and drama.  Ian Mortimer picked up 2nd place with his medieval inspired portrait, “Lady Erin”, which was singled out for his exemplary use of lighting and the eye contact with the young model.  Tonight, though, it was Michele Campbell who marked her return to Irvine Camera Club with 1st Place for her cat portrait “Diablo”.  Mary was particularly impressed with sense of importance and arrogance that Michele was able to illustrate in her imperious portrait.

Ross Happell was awarded Best Beginner with his beach scene, “Sand Sculpture” which Mary saw as a very well captured moment in time.

Mary commended and highly commended several other images over the course of the evening, many of which you can see here.  I am sure her thoughtful comments will have inspired our members to go out and take more photographs and to perhaps try some of the techniques suggested. You can see all the successful images here -

If you would like to take your photography to the next level you can find all of our details online at or on our various social media feeds.


Well done to all who entered.