Judge: Sally Mason
Yep - in your camera. ICM, Blur, Exposure timings, Filters .... you'll need work hard on this topic

The judge has mentioned that she will be expecting only in camera alered reality images.

The image may be of any subject matter and must obviously display a change in natural color, form, shape or any combination of these three.

An artificial experience that consists of images, sounds and even sensations from within your camara.  
ie could be impressionism, ICM, long exposure, motion blur, textures – be creative. You cannot use any photoediting application to manuipulate your image. 




Set Subject

Marlborough Camera Club – 2023     Open, and Set Subject : Altered Reality in-camera 

Firstly, many thanks for allowing me to comment on your images.  I believe that every photographer should fully explore their camera and become familiar with its many functions.  Once you know it well, you can instinctively explore the possibilities you have at your fingertips and choose what is necessary to create the mood and feeling you seek to portray in your image, giving it visual atmosphere and a visual message.

An image that is created on the spot, made with an understanding between you and your camera, connects you to the feelings you have in that particular situation. SOMETHING draws you to connect with it, and you need to be able to express that in such a way that the viewer feels it as well. This is visual communication.  SEEING is the most important part of image making - being aware of the reasons it attracted you to it, whatever IT is. This is a personal response – each of us see differently. Making a very personal image is important. It reflects YOU, who you are and how you see.

Your first TOOLS are your eyes and your heart.

These are only one of the many “layers” in image making – the FEELING layer. 

Alongside this is an understanding of composition, choice of viewpoint, exposure (there is no correct exposure), shutter speed, ISO, maybe multiple exposure, black and white options, camera movement. No amount of creative play can turn an image with bad bones into a good one. Your choices help you to convey what you SEE in your heart.

There’s a lot to learn before it CAN become an instinctive response. (liken this to learning to drive a car…..)

In presenting these images there are other factors that can add an enhancement layer.

FORMAT – Instead of always submitting your images in the “standard” format, think about alternative options…..  eg.  the sea can feel even more endless with a horizontal format cropped to emphasis its horizontality - and this in itself, can add  to a feeling of peace…. If that’s what you feel.

A square format – images become stronger, inward looking, more centrally focused on the subject.

A vertical format should complement the subject and enhance that feeling.

VIEWPOINT   is an important aspect – consider the many ways you can see.

I have assessed the images as they were presented to me. In some cases they could have become stronger, more “communicative” images if some of the above options were explored. I have chosen to write about them in general rather than to each individual image.  You know your images and you can relate these comments to them.

AWARENESS is a most important aspect of image making…. TAKING TIME to look, and see more deeply than just looking, getting to know what you are looking at, and why it attracts you, THEN deciding HOW you will create your personal answer, photographically speaking.

Kind regards to you all

 Sally Mason,  FPSNZ


RESULTS     Image of the Month :   Shingles and Steel





A different world


Choosing to use Black and White suits this image of the old shed – rendering it devoid of the colours of life. The darkness of the windows can be likened to the sightless eyes of this old structure.

Composition is balanced, a thought out image.


Brisbane construction site



Well caught - I love the light in the eye. The shadowed white feathers come across as grey, but the light on its head adds the contrast.

Black-fronted Tern



Very tightly controlled composition – anything extraneous is not included. The play of shapes, and colours is great. Well seen

Sign of the times



A dramatic image – the interesting viewpoint adds to to the impact, as does the sign and the partially seen words. Love the message! The positioning of the yellow area is great. Well done,


Aliens...Here Already

Not Acc

The image is a bit dull and murky – maybe this was intentional? The idea is good, but I don’t think this image has worked well.

Pond weeds



The vertical format compliments the subject, as does the choice of vertical camera movement. A gentle image – the muted colours add to the effect. The composition is good – the brown head of the

Raupo well placed. I do like the softly coloured background bands of colour that move down the image. Well thought out.

Rolling Moon



Wonderful. Playful. Simplicity. Great composition. The clear details of the tiny animals and fence on the black horizon, the size and brightness of the huge moon all add up to make a dramatic and

effective image




Dramatic with contrasting light, and simple in approach. I think that if the Lancewood stalks were standing stiff and straight, the “Salient” factor would have been more powerful. I think this idea

can be explored further.

Street Bent by ICM


Not Acc

I find this confusing – in my mind, Intentional Camera Movement creates an image in which the subjects show that movement. This doesn’t happen here, and I wonder if more has been used in the

making of this image.



Not Acc

Mysterious. Draws the viewer in, trying tom understand what is happening. An idea that can be explored further. Composition hasn’t worked well though


2 horsepower



Beautiful animals, with good attention to the details of the harnessware. I like the clear sky behind – the power pole does quietly interfere with the concept of horsepower though. Maybe this was intentional?


Fallow deer bucks



More beautiful animals, marching in line. The image as it stands – while my eye should go straight to the deer, it is the dark area at the top that grabs my attention. If this was removed, the format would

have increased horizontality – which would then compliment the horizontal lines of green grass, deer, thistles, golden grasses. My eye would definitely have gone straight to the main subject. It’s attention to these kind of details that can strengthen an image.

mount tapuae-o-uenuku in winter sunshine


I find this quite a dull photo - which is different from being gentle. There can be strength in gentleness. This is a beautiful morning, with

the light on the snow. The lines of the vineyard fence post are a great part of the image – maybe their lightness could be heightened, maybe adding a bit of “sparkle” to this crisp morning? A pleasant

image but not reaching its potential.

Reflected light

Not Acc


A good idea, but much more could have been made of this opportunity. Look at the word LIGHT – this is not fully explored. This is only the beginning of an idea


A Winters Diversion


Beautiful morning light. Horizon well placed… a lovely horizontal feel to the immensity of the ocean. The movement of the water is softened – I find the straight lines of the outgoing water conflicts a little, though they do draw the eye towards the rocks.

A Winters Diversion


Beautiful morning light. Horizon well placed… a lovely horizontal feel to the immensity of the ocean. The movement of the water is softened – I find the straight lines of the outgoing water conflicts a little, though they do draw the eye towards the rocks.

Call to Arms



A glimpse that sets your imagination going, telling a story – but not all of it. A simple approach, with drama included, colour-wise.



Intriguing water patterns, and I’m glad you have included the patch of blue water. Looking at the composition, I feel that the image is a bit top heavy, darkness-wise. With abstract images, try viewing them in many different ways. They are ABSTRACT after all and not an actual rendition of what is  there. It may be that turning it around in some way will strengthen the effect

Receding Tide



Everything comes together here….. the colours, tones, the choice of shutter speed, the softly swirling lines of the water, the composition all compliment each other to created a gentle  morning. Well done.

Sea Stacks on Ice



The strongest part of this image is the gentleness of the lighting effect on the ice, and that’s the area my eye wants to explore. The vertical camera movement echoes the shapes of the sea stacks.

Here, your upwards camera movement has created a shadow. In another approach, have a go at downwards camera movement which would leave the outline of the sea stack intact. The effect will

be different – try as many ways of photographing this as you can.

Shingles and Steel



A well-structured image. The elements of composition, strong lines, colour (or lack of it), choice of camera technique, all go together to

form a strong image. The controlled touch of colour at the top is the finishing touch.

Space Balls



The format compliments the subject, the composition suits the

subject, reaching sky-ward, and the lack of colour adds a touch of mystery to this image.

stock car racing


Not Acc

The flickering of the lights show the movement. The main area of interest is the three cars, and maybe the image could be cropped to accentuate this. There is a lot of information in the image presented as it is, that I find extraneous.


Structured and Chaotic



The black and white approach creates drama, as do the lines in the image. I find the two triangles in the top corners distracting, and I think, unnecessary. Simplify. This is an abstract image that doesn’t need a touch of reality.

Through the bus window


Not Acc

A nice idea, but the strength and clarity of the raindrops

overwhelms the intention.




Not Acc

Very overexposed waves, which of course contrasts with the dark

sand at the base. All of this adds to the drama of movement, but I

feel this hasn’t worked as well as it could have.


Wine Country



A combination of the colours, the soft tones, the horizontal format and feel, the lines of the vineyard rows, and the choice of movement technique all go towards creating this image. I feel that the central point of the movement could have been more strictly centrally placed.


Last Light Through the Lenses


Not Acc

I think that the figure is unnecessary in the way if is portrayed. The dramatic seascape is the thrust of the image – it seems that the person is an extra, not really relating to the landscape. Concentrate on what attracts you in the first place. Your first “attraction” is the most important.

Masked tree frog



Wonderful detail caught in this image of this gorgeous frog. Its

colours blend in beautifully with its setting. The placement of its

head against the dark background is great. I think it would have

been even stronger if it was presented in a square format (see back to the introductory comments)

The Marlborough Flyer

Not Acc

A nice, standard shot of the train, however I don’t think it is a strong enough image in an A grade competition.

The Medway River



A pleasant image – a visual story of this part of the Marlborough