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  • Steve Proctor

PAGB PDI Champions 2023

Chorley PS have just been crowned club champions of the UK in the PAGB digital image competition (we were joint winners with Wigan10 FC).

The competition was held at Warwick university arts centre as usual and with a slightly smaller audience which is a shame given the amount of work required to make these events happen. To qualify for the national championships, clubs need to finish in the top two places in their federation competitions – or – finish in the top eight of the previous year’s PAGB championship and the latter was our route in. Chorley were well represented in the running of the event with Jane organising matters, Adrian as usual controlling the range of hardware and software that made it happen, Gordon was of course the MC and Wendy and Steve were supporting by looking after judges, transporting, etc.

On the day there is a set procedure; there are two round where all forty-one clubs enter eight images. These images are viewed and scored live by three judges (Steve Le Provost, Libby Smith and Sue Sibley). Within the set of eight images there must be no more than two by any photographer and no more than two nature images. Once the two rounds are completed the overall scores are calculated and the top eight clubs go into the Final whilst the remaining clubs compete for the Plate. Our ambition was of course to make the Final as we have done consistently over recent years.

After this first round, we were sitting in joint second place with Wigan10 but the scoring was low and as a consequence the leaderboard was fairly tight leaving little leeway for low scoring images in round two. There is then a break where the clubs select their second round of eight images, and we needed to assess how the judges are reacting to certain types of images – is there a preferred genre or style becoming evident. In this instance there weren’t any ‘favoured’ genres but typically high scoring genres such as sport and nature were not noticeably higher as they can tend to be. Within our selection we decided that our ‘character portraits’ did best so we added some more similar images to round two.

The scoring seemed a little higher in this second round but the standard is high and the judges were hard to impress - overall, very few top scores of 15 were given. Again there was a fairly compact leaderboard and we safely made the top eight, so on to the Final. This time we needed twenty images, no more than four per photographer and no more than five nature. Below is our selection with scores, for the first time in my memory we had no scores of 15 but we also had none below 12 either. I thought we had done quite well as there was a scattering of low scores throughout, none of which were ours. When the totals were read out we were delighted to have finished in equal first place.

Well done Chorley PS – not just those whose photographs were chosen but all those who entered the competitions and kept the standard up throughout the season. As you can see from the table below we finished above some ‘big’ clubs in the UK camera club scene including a number of previous FIAP World Cup winners.

It is always good to see several of our local rivals doing well too, there were four L&CPU clubs in the final which means there will be six clubs representing L&CPU in next year’s championships.

Our next challenge is to prepare the ‘Print’ competition to be held at Westholme School in Blackburn on 21st October 2023. If you want a good day out and to see some excellent images along with the excitement of our involvement, get yourselves along to this event – put it in your diaries now!

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