May 2019, has seen the close of another successful season for Catchlight Camera Club - the end of our 7th year in existence! 7 proved to be a lucky number - the Club has finished as Top Club in NIPA in the North, and Top Club in the IPF in the South! This is the 3rd year in a row to hold the IPF Champion Club title, and the 5th time in 6 years we have won the local NIPA title.
The season started with NIPA hosting the Celtic Challenge - a competition between NIPA, the IPF, Scottish Federation, North Wales Federation, and Isle of Man. NIPA had never won this competition before, but due to the efforts of NIPA President Anne Given DPAGB in ensuring a strong selection of NIPA prints, NIPA actually won the event for the first time in its history! Ross McKelvey MPAGB was awarded the top print with "Mischkah" -
The first major club competition of the season was the PAGB PDI (digital image) championships at Warwick last July. The Club reached the final for the 2nd year in a row, and finished in 5th place - a huge credit worthy performance! In the final, 15 of our 20 images scored 13 points or higher! No other club from N.Ireland has ever made the final (top 8) out of 38 clubs that enter.
Next up was the PAGB Print Championships at Blackburn. We were confident of making the final, and felt we had a strong pool of prints to really compete for a top 3 place. Alas, good fortune was not on our side, and a single point meant that we just missed out on a place in the top 8. The remaining 30 clubs however, compete for The Plate (which the club won in 2013) - and we are pleased to report that Catchlight CC again won the Plate Competition with 2 x 15's and 3 x 14's to give a total of 72 from a possible 75 points! It was a great consolation prize, after failing to make the final.
In November came the news that the Club had been awarded the plaque for the best Club entry in the Danish International 'Lanterna Magica' Salon for the 2nd year in a row!
In the IPF 'Photographer of the Year' Competition, our members did extremely well - Hugh Wilkinson was awarded IPF Nature POTY becoming the only person to win both overall POTY and Nature POTY in the IPF! Ross McKelvey was awarded the Gold Medal for the top Mono Print in the main POTY competition, a Gold Medal for Top Creative image, and a Gold Medal for the best 'themed' PDI. In the qualifying round at Carricmacross, the Club was awarded the Setanta Trophy for best Club performance in the North East Region of the IPF, narrowly pipping Dundalk!
Individual members improved their Distinctions and reached new heights throughout the season - most notably Laurie Campbell who achieved her AIPF at Thurles in November, and who was quickly followed by Daria Casement and Karen Crossett who both achieved the AIPF at the assessment in Portlaoise! Well done ladies!
Our guest speaker evenings throughout the season again proved very popular, not only with our own members but also with visitors attending from other clubs or no clubs at all. Stand out presentations were made by Andrea Hargreaves MPAGB from Yorkshire, Dianne Owens FRPS from Southport, Rikki O'Neill FRPS FIPF from Dundee, Robert Millin MPAGB from Wigan 10, and Clive Tanner MPAGB from Kent!
Laurie Campbell was awarded top colour print of the season by judge Clive Tanner at the end of season NIPA Top Print & PDI event hosted by Westcourt Camera Club.
May was an incredibly busy month for the Club! We were hosting the FIAP World Cup for Camera Clubs presentation at the Titanic Hotel in Belfast, and all 9 FIAP Directors were flying in from all over the World for their annual congress prior to the World Cup Presentation. The Club members put in a tremendous effort to ensure that our FIAP guests were well looked after and entertained throughout their stay. The highlights were a visit to Catchlight Studio on the Thursday evening, and a trip to The Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbour, and The Giants Causeway on the Saturday before the main presentation on Saturday evening.
We were delighted to see a large turnout from club members from other clubs, most notably Ards CC who turned out in force!
FIAP Directors at Catchlight Studio, Belfast :
At The Dark Hedges :
The FIAP Directors at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Julio Vasilev, from the World Cup winners, BG Photo Art Club Bulgaria :
30 people then attended for a dinner at Holohans Barge, Waterfront, Belfast - with no less than 12 Countries represented - (Italy; Austria; Belgium; Luxembourg; Andorra; Argentina; Bulgaria; Singapore; Greece; England; Ireland; N.Ireland!) A fantastic and unique evening for the club and for N.I photography!
The same weekend as the FIAP World Cup, saw the IPF Club Championships take place at Mullingar. Several of our members managed to attend the awards presentation on Sunday afternoon, and we are delighted to say that the Club won the Top Mono Panel, were 2nd in the Colour Panels, and were awarded Top Club overall for the 3rd year in a row! The icing on the cake was a Gold Medal for new member Jennifer Willis for Top Mono Print, and a silver Medal for Gerald Gribbon in Colour Prints!
The winning mono panel:
The Colour Panel:
Club members with the panels and the Trophies!
"Soviet" by Jennifer Willis - Top Mono Print
"Butterfly Rescue" by Gerald Gribbon - 2nd in Colour Prints
So our 7th Season finished with our usual Chinese night out at Lee Garden restaurant - and already our preparations for the new season are well underway - with the programme of events almost completed. More of the same is on the cards, and we have another line up of excellent guest speakers from all over the UK and Ireland!
Thank you to all the well wishers throughout another successful season for Catchlight Camera Club - your continued friendship and support means a lot!
Club Chairman David Campbell with the FIAP Medal of Friendship awarded to him by FIAP President Riccardo Busi:
Club Chairman David Campbell ABIPP
Club President Ross McKelvey MPAGB MFIAP FBPE FIPF EFIAP/p
Club Vice Chairman Brian McClure DPAGB, LRPS, LIPF, EFIAP, BPE3*