Camera Club of the Year 2017


On Friday, 2nd June, Colin Mill led our team of photographers (Dave Cromack, Mark Jones and Jamie White) to victory at the Fujifilm sponsored Photography News Camera Club of the Year competition.

It all actually started the night before, Thursday 1st June. We arrived at the De Vere Staverton Estate hotel where we were treated to a three course meal and a chance to play with the cameras to be used on the day. We also had to draw lots. The winning team got to choose which of the shoots they would do first. We didn't win this. Jamie's fault. Anyway, after dinner we strategised (read : got drunk) then sloped off back to our rooms. The following morning we ate a hearty breakfast and drove to the Royal Ordnance Depot, the venue for the day's shooting.

The competition was divided into 5 photoshoots, each lasting just 60 minutes. In this time, the whole team had to choose a model's outfit, set up camera lights, pose the model, shoot the scene, download them to our own laptops, process them and hand them over to the Photo News team. No pressure then!


The first shoot of the day was with Em Theresa, a freelance model, aerial artist and fire eater! For this shoot, we had been given the Fujifilm X-T2 with a selection of lenses. We had the use of studio lights for this one. Firstly, we were talked through various poses by our model, Em. We were then let loose. Below are the images we entered 

SHOOT TWO - Male portrait

Our second shoot of the day was of a male model, known as Kaos Ady, an "alt" model. He had some great steampunk outfits and props. For this shoot, we had the grand daddy, the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S with a selection of lenses. In total, there was £48,000 of Fuji camera gear in this studio alone! Images entered below


The third shoot of the day was a car fashion shoot with Nicky Phillips as our model. We chose a long red dress for her. The car? A vintage Riley. The proud owner was happy to move it a little for us so we could get shooting. Some opted for a longer shot with reflections, some, right close in. We had the use of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with either a 16-50mm or 50-140 lenses.


This was perhaps the most challenging exercise of the day. We had 60 minutes to wander around the depot to capture creative pictures within the Royal Ordnance Depot using a the Fujifilm X100F fixed lens compact camera – the lens is a 35mm equivalent in the 35mm format. The brief was anything from general scenes, close-up detail shots, patterns, buildings, people and vehicles


The final shoot of the day saw us pick up a Fujifilm X-T20 with a 60mm macro lens. The organisers were looking for interior shots and detail of the shop. Thankfully, we had all remembered tripods! This was a most enjoyable shoot. The organisers had a tab for us at the counter, so we made use of a cake and coffee during the exercise.

After the last session, the images were put together into a slideshow for the tense judging session. Four judges scored each image out of 20. I think we were all pretty pleased with our image scores as they were given, but had no idea we were going to win it! The scores were totted up and finally, just like a Masterchef final, we had fifth place announced, then fourth, then third. We still hadn't been called, so it was just down to us and one other team. finally, the team in second place was announced... It wasn't us! Much cheering and air punching later, we all went up and accepted the trophy. What a fantastic day! 

The team would all like to thank Fujifilm UK, Photography News, Natural Light Spaces studio, The Booksmith bookshop and our models for the day, Em Theresa, Nicky Phillips and Kaos Ady

We would also like to thank all of the club members who submitted entries into the earlier rounds of the competition. Without you, we wouldn't have had the chance to go along to such a fabulous day.