It’s time for a change. After many years of fun and success with the Club’s annual photographic competition, we’re refreshing the photo competition categories for 2023/24. There will be four new categories, as follows:
- The Club in action
- Mountain weather
- Portrait of a mountain, hill or crag
- Adventure in wild places
Photographs taken between January 2023 and January 2024 are eligible for entry into any of the categories. Judging will take place during February 2024, with feedback for all entrants and prizes for winners. Further details and rules will be announced later in the year. *
Judge, Peter Salenieks says:
“I think that the essence of ‘The Club in action’ is portraying the spirit of the Club, so I’d like to see images that bring out camaraderie and esprit de corps as a Club (i.e., interaction between members in a mountaineering setting and conveying a sense of belonging and shared endeavour). ‘Adventure in wild places’ is more a celebration of wilderness and travel to the wild places of the world. It could also include adventures in adverse conditions (i.e., the weather can turn somewhere familiar into an adventure in a wild place). This is distinct from ‘Mountain weather’, which is about the environment, rather than people having adventures in the environment. ‘Portrait of a mountain, hill or crag aims to capture the unique character and beauty of these natural features.”
Below, you can find an explanation of each of the new categories, with ideas to guide you.
The Club in action
‘The Club in action’ aims to capture the energy, excitement, and community spirit that defines the Club experience. Whether you focus on action shots, group shots, landscape shots, or candid shots, strive to create images that capture the essence of the Club and its unique outdoor adventures.
Ideas for images you could submit in this category include:
- Action shots: Capture the Club members in action, whether they are climbing a crag, scrambling up a rocky slope, or hiking along a mountain ridge. Use a fast shutter speed and focus on the person in motion to create sharp, dynamic images that convey a sense of energy and movement.
- Group shots: Take advantage of the camaraderie and spirit of the Club by capturing group shots of members enjoying their adventures together. Whether they are taking a break for lunch on a mountain peak, celebrating a successful climb, or swapping stories around the fire in a Club hut, these shots can capture the sense of community and shared experience that makes the Club special.
- Candid shots: Don’t be afraid to capture candid shots of Club members as they go about their adventures (within reason!) in the natural environment. These shots can capture the sense of fun, excitement, and camaraderie that makes the Club special. Whether it’s a member taking a break to enjoy the view, or the group huddled together to plan their next move, these shots can convey the sense of adventure and community that defines the Club experience.
The mountain weather category aims to capture the drama, beauty, and challenges of weather conditions in mountainous terrain. Look for opportunities to play with lighting, contrast, and composition to create striking, memorable images that capture the essence of weather in the mountains.
Ideas for images you could submit in the second of our new photo competition categories include:
- Stormy skies: Use dramatic lighting and composition to capture the majesty and power of storms rolling over mountain peaks. Experiment with different shutter speeds and exposure settings to create moody, atmospheric shots that convey a sense of the power and unpredictability of mountain weather.
- Fog, mist and rarities: In mountainous terrain, light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles – rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Fog and mist can create an otherworldly, almost mystical atmosphere. Use soft lighting and shallow depth of field to create dreamy shots of mountain landscapes shrouded in mist. Look for opportunities to play with contrast, texture, and pattern to create visual interest in your shots. Keep your camera handy, as you never know what rarities may occur once in a while.
- Sunsets and sunrises: The changing light during the golden hours around dawn and dusk can create some of the most striking and memorable images of mountain weather. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture the warm, golden light of sunrise or the vivid colours of sunset against the backdrop of mountain peaks.
- Snow and ice: In mountainous terrain, snow and ice can create stunning, surreal landscapes. Look for opportunities to capture the interplay of light and shadow on snow-covered slopes, or the intricate patterns of ice formations on rock faces. Use contrast and texture to create depth and visual interest in your shots.
Portrait of a mountain, hill or crag
Portray the unique character and beauty of the natural mountain, hill or crag features we all encounter through our mountain and climbing activities. Whether you focus on the details, the shape and form, the changing moods and atmosphere, or the human scale, strive to create images that convey the awe-inspiring majesty of these features in all their glory.
Ideas for images you could submit in the third of our photo competition categories include:
- Landscape shots: A sweeping vista of a mountain range provides a sense of place and conveys the rugged, natural beauty of areas the Club explores.
- Close-up details: Instead of capturing sweeping vistas, focus on the details that make each mountain, hill or crag unique. Look for interesting textures, patterns, and colours in the rock or vegetation, or the interplay of light and shadow on the surface. Use a macro lens or other close-up techniques to capture these details in all their beauty.
- Silhouettes: Use the shape and silhouette of a mountain, hill or crag to create striking, dramatic images. Look for opportunities to capture the outline of a mountain against the sky, or the silhouette of a hill or crag against a backdrop of clouds or sunset. Play with framing and composition to create images that emphasize the shape and form of the natural feature.
- Time-lapse or long-exposure: Use time-lapse or long-exposure techniques to capture the changing moods and atmosphere of a mountain, hill or crag over time. Set up your camera in a stable location and capture a series of images over the course of an hour or more, then combine them into a time-lapse video or use a long exposure to capture movement in the sky or water.
- Human scale: To emphasize the scale and majesty of a mountain, hill or crag, try including a person in your shots. This could be a member of the Club standing on a rock ledge or looking out over a valley, or a group of climbers on a route up a crag. Including people in your shots can give a sense of perspective and scale to the natural feature.
Adventure in wild places
The key to the last of our new photo competition categories for 2023/24 is wild places that we wouldn’t or couldn’t visit as a matter of routine (and perhaps visits at unusual times for a different sense of adventure), whether because of distance or accessibility to places that are off the beaten track. Images should lift us above the ordinary and can include landscapes, action shots, close-up details, or people.
Ideas for images you could submit in this category include:
- Landscape vistas: Capture the vast, sweeping views of mountain ranges, valleys, and other wild places that the Club explores on their adventures. Use wide-angle lenses and composition techniques such as leading lines and the rule of thirds to create striking landscape shots.
- Action shots: Capture the physical exertion and thrill of hill-walking and climbing with action shots of members navigating steep terrain, crossing rivers, or scaling rocky cliffs. Use fast shutter speeds to freeze the motion and capture the energy and excitement of the moment.
- Close-up details: In addition to capturing the broad vistas and action shots, try to capture the smaller details that make the Club’s adventures unique. This could include shots of wildflowers, insects, or other small details that add to the beauty and richness of the natural environment.
- People in the landscape: Don’t forget to include members of the Club in your photos. Shots of members camping in wild places, walking along a ridge or standing on a mountain top can add a sense of scale and perspective to your landscape shots.
Finally, whether you’re out climbing, walking, hiking, trekking or camping, with Club friends, or on your own, keep these photo competition categories in mind throughout the remainder of this year and look for opportunities to take great photos. Good luck!
* Note that images generated using new AI tools such as Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator will not be accepted as entries.