Thursday, 27 August 2015

Wirral Festival of Firsts Photographic Competition Results

Wirral Festival of Firsts

As most HPS members know for the last 5 years there has been an arts festival in and around Hoylake - the ‘Festival of Firsts’, which has gradually expanded to be both international and more ‘Wirral-wide’ – see Within the Festival has been a photographic competition, and this year Hoylake Photographic Society ‘co-ordinated’ the competition. See

Open to non-professional photographers, anywhere, with a first prize of £100 and two runners up each getting £25 we expected to be inundated with images. Despite website and newspaper inserts, as well as all photo clubs in the North West being notified, we ended up with only 23 entries (there were 25, but two were from a professional, so ultimately had to be excluded). Whilst a bit disappointing, this did increase all the entrants’ chance of winning quite considerably!

As Hoylake Photographic Society was involved in both documenting the Festival and the competition, we had to be fairly constrained on who, within the club, could enter. So we ruled that none of the members who were photographing the events (such as Barry, George, Ian and Robert) could enter, and all judging was done external to the club. As it turned out only two entries were received from HPS members, both ending up short listed, and one was a prize-winning runner up.

All the entries were reviewed by a panel of housewives, who picked out the ‘top ten’ (reduced to 8 when the ‘professional’ images were excluded). In turn these were passed to the final judge to choose the winner and runners-up. The judge was Paul Heaps, the chief photographer of the Wirral Globe, who commented “…I have to say it was a close call between ‘Only in Liverpool’ and ‘Water Screen’. Thought 1st place for ‘Only in Liverpool’ was well deserved as it showed great imagination and good composition… and  “…I would like to wish all the finalists my congratulations on a high standard of work submitted… ”.

The winning entries were:
1st place-  Only in Liverpool - by Sue Orman
Runner up- Water Screen – by Janice Jones
Runner up-  Shades and Leather – by Anthony Clarke (HPS member)

All the entries can be seen at

The 8 finalist images were printed to A2 and shown at the Festival  ‘opening night’ on July 3rd at the Holiday In Express, Hoylake, where the presentations were also made to the winners (except Anthony who was stuck in Europe!). See

The shortlisted A2 prints were then displayed in Hoylake library for two weeks, and will be available to see at HPS first night of the new season on Friday 11th September 2015, at Newton Village Hall – when EVERYONE is welcome, not just club members. Les Pickstock.