Looks like I have wound up with another gig as judge for a camera club night. I’m delighted, as much for the fun of the thing as for the money that they pay at the end. Note: when they tell you what they are going to pay and then pay you afterwards it is a fee – when they don’t tell you it is an honorarium. When they pay you before it is a bribe. When they don’t pay you at all it is a bloody imposition.
Well, I will keep my hopes up. The topic for the night is interestingly technical enough that I think it will draw some imagination from the club members. And It is the sort of photographic subject I like. Of course, an unbiased judge should never be ruled by preferences but I do not pretend to be fair. I want spectacle and snap in my snaps.
The club committees that draw up the contest rules and topics are forced onto some pretty shaky ground sometimes. Someone at a meeting comes up with an airy fairy idea like ” Attitudes” or “Eco-Crisis” and the judge needs a stiff drink before stepping out to view the prints. If the topic involves landscapes make that two stiff drinks. There are only so many over-saturated pictures of Karrajini Gorge or a rusted ’37 Ford ute in a paddock that you can take while sober.
As I am not employed at the shop counter anymore I may be insulated from the worst of the quasi-arguments about prices or deliveries. I can be pleasant and vague in respect to my former employers, while savaging the contestants without fear of having them front me on Monday morning. As I have judged for the club before, the cannier members will know what I look for in a picture and will probably shoot for that. I’m good with that – my assumed platform is to pretend that i am the editor of a picture magazine who has sent out a call for the topic pictures as part of an editorial presentation. The ones that fulfil the call get the prize – the ones that don’t get the flick.
I am hoping for decent coffee and biscuits on the night but if not, at least I can take a hip flask of bourbon and fortify against the rigours. Wish me luck.