Provisional end of season league tables

Date Published 
Thu 26 Apr 2018

Attached is a provisional end of season league table for all divisions. It is provisional because of the problems with the web site earlier in the season which forced us to export all the results to a spreadsheet. I am pretty confident it is correct, but If you spot any possible errors please let me know.

Congratulations to the league winners; some truly outstanding performances!

(If you want to print the leagues, set your printer to landscape)    

John Gough


Very interesting.  What happens next ?   I would strongly suggest but for the, as I see it, nonsense of the multitude of marks of 15, that at least the top and bottom 2 (3 would be more realistic) of each group swap places.

Nothing happens until we see who rejoins and starts to enter comps.  We have several people leaving the Club who have entered in the past and some people remaining but who are choosing not the continue entering.  It means we have to wait until the first Comp to allocate and promote and demote.  After the AGM the comps will be created, giving those who like to enter in advance to do so, that can be done before the leagues are allocated. We have listened to the members who disliked the late start of the Competition season last year and starting early again.

I think people should be given an indication to what groups they will be in next season. Rather than having to pay for a another season only to find out they are being left in the lower ranks even if they have gained a good standing in their present league. Transparency in a process such as this is foremost.

Some Camera Clubs ask prospective members to submit work to be scrutinised so they can ascertain their level and place them in a suitable league.  We have never done this at Folkestone.  Complete beginners are put in the lower divisions, some newcomers come with a history of having entered work before and may be placed higher but it’s always a difficult decision to make without upsetting existing or longstanding members. if you wish to question the transparency of the process please come to me with your concerns.  As explained until we see who is entering the competitions it is really difficult to divide them up.  Last season I think we had several leaving the club freeing up places in the top one therefore affecting all the lower divisions. It is a difficult and thankless task and obviously upsets some people. To actually state at this time the make up of the divisions might  be counterproductive but if you are top of your division now you would definitely be promoted next season.  Some people actually prefer to stay in a lower division, better to be ‘top dog‘ than struggling at the bottom!

This is where having just one division open to all has terrific advantages. You don't have the issue of waiting to the last minute to make decisions on promotions and demotions which are not transparent to all and the issue of dealing with new members with varying levels of experience in terms of the divisions into which they should be placed. The perennial problem of people dropping out from regular competition entry during the season becomes less of an issue with a larger group. Marks out of 20 over 5 rounds should provide sufficient differentiation. Our current POTY competition is exactly of this format! One argument is that people in lower divisions are scared of an entering an "Open" competition. Having seen the images in the lower divisions this year, I have no doubt that they would do well if not better than some of the images in the top divisions. As we have had an entry of 28 in the POTY competition this year it would appear that most people are not afraid of an "Open" competition. Lastly, doing well in divisions B,C and D is all very well but it really doesn't answer the question "How good are my photos really?". I believe there are some in the lower divisions who are much better than they realise. An "Open" competition may well boost their self confidence and self esteem. Long live the FA cup!

Submitted by eric-young on Sat 28 Apr 2018 11:30am

We have had this system in the past, and it was also unpopular.  Some felt that the same people would always win,and some would have no chance of ever getting a  “Pot” At least with the smaller groups or leagues you have more people achieving the top spot. Please make a proposal for this change and for different scoring to be discussed once more at the AGM, but it does need to be a formalised statement.

Does the opinion of a Judge really truly answer that Question, ‘How good are my photos really’  I don’t think so! If your image, on that night is not the choice of the judge, is not to their taste, or for example they hate dogs, trains or flowers or whatever, that does not make it a bad image. Getting a mark of 12 or 13 at Club level can win a Gold medal at County level.  To really test an image and find out how good it is surely you have to receive many acceptances for the same image in Salons or such like? Or get a lot of votes on something like Gurushots? 

I absolutely agree with Eric here - a much fairer and simpler system is just to hold the competitions for everyone who wants to enter, marks out of 10 or 20 - job done, easier for everyone to understand and for the committee to run.  Then you can see yourself improving, (or not) among everyone. I personally think the leagues system has been tried, tested and failed.  I don't pretend to be among the best photographers but I love taking pictures and have learnt a lot since I have been in the club - more thanks recently too to Tom and Andy and Steve.  I have told Melanie that I am not entering competitions next season ... but if there are no no leagues, well then I am free to choose, and if I have something I think is good enough then I will!  I hate having to enter to keep the numbers up even if I have been away or doing something else and haven't had time to sort out anything even slightly worth a mark, so of course the judge will say it's a snap - and he's right!  

Totally agree with Eric.

Submitted by andy-smith on Sat 28 Apr 2018 12:03pm

It was said earlier on this year that the divison system has helped improve standards. Personally, I think it is the tremendous effort made by Tom and Andy, in particular, in tutoring newcomers / old hands with their Wednesday and Thursday practical sessions that has made a visible difference. The more people get together and share their experiences in a supportive, friendly environment the more their photography will improve.

Submitted by eric-young on Sat 28 Apr 2018 12:12pm

Ditto! Eric regarding the sessions with Tom, Andy and Steve bringing people on. Also the extra learning/practical bits on Mondays too with info and experience  being shared between all have been great and very sociable :-)

Totally agree, Eric. "One division, marks out of 20 over 5 rounds"  As said an "Open league" is more fair,  a member will find their own level, will be inspired to improve their photography, picking up tips and learn by others images....

I also agree with Vince - one division. If a very good photographer wanted to join FCC, it would take five year to compete with the best of the best in PDI group, surly a big deterant for any experienced potential new members

At the AGM last year, the club voted not to change the allocation of points and to stay with a minimum of 15, also to keep the four league system with a starting line up of approx 12 per league, and to have a two up and two down promotion and relegation system, please don't put any blame on the club for things that have in practice not quite worked because of lack of entries. Members have to put any changes up for the vote at the AGM or the committee cannot under the club rules, change what is decided on, also they have to be there to vote at the AGM. The committee have to then implement the majority decision, even if they do not agree as best they can on a week to week basis, so  if you want changes, you need to raise and support it via the correct procedure. I can offer this opinion now I am not a committee member as I know the committee has to take a lot of flack that is not justified.

Submitted by andy-smith on Sat 28 Apr 2018 4:51pm

Discussing proposals at AGMs is always a fraught affair as we all have different views. I am also mindful that any change causes extra work for the committee. Any proposals for change at the AGM need to have the broad support of club members before they are put in writing to ensure minimum upset. I realise, from previous votes, that I am probably in the minority with my views and therefore do not wish to inflict them upon others. However, there are, as I see it, 3 variables that impact upon our competitions that might be worth exploring via a questionnaire to determine the wishes of the members before any proposals are put forward. These are (a) The number of divisions preferred, (b) The number of rounds preferred and (c) The preferred scoring system. I think feedback on (b) was probably gathered in the recent questionnaire.

Submitted by eric-young on Sun 29 Apr 2018 9:30am

I support no classes, you are on a hiding to nothing trying to put people into classes.  There are often some very good images in the lower classes and it is lovely to see them do well up against, theoretically, superior opposition.  The problem with leaving it to the competitors to decide is, as Melanie points out, a small number will stay in a lower class to remain top dog.  Lets have marks over a wider range please, if my image is only worthy of 3 marks say so, I won't die or become ill.

Well said Graham, one league and proper marks in line with what the image deserves, but I just wish we could get away from the false 20's, a perfect score should be only for a perfect image and if people keep having their ego massaged with inflated scores how will progress ever be determined by the individual.

Submitted by andy-smith on Mon 7 May 2018 3:56pm

An opportunity was given to the whole membership to make proposals to bring to the AGM, none were received about the scoring system.
If this is discussed at the AGM, can we all consider the following points :

• The present system of critique and scoring that we use, asks the judge to choose his favourite 1 23 and Commended and Highly Commended’s. The judges are not asked to mark out of 20, we simply convert those placings into numbers for the leagues, giving a competitive aspect to the competitions, with 10 or 12 Photographers in each league competing for the top spot.

If we abandon the present system:

  • We would have a preview of say 50 images with no break.

• The present scoring on the website has a default lowest score of 15, would you want to go below 15?
• If you do, how would those scores be recorded and displayed? Our current website system cannot do this. It would mean a manually recorded spreadsheet.
• We would not then be able to view the results with scores and, the resulting, placed images in the same way as at present.
• Would newer photographers achieve a top spot and trophy? Or will some languish at the bottom.