FOR many years photography at Wagin Woolorama has been divided into two sections with classes for individuals and an interclub teams section supported by photography clubs located across the southern half of the State.
Woolorama is on this Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6.
Both sections are well supported, carrying prestige and generous prize money for the winners.
The stewards in charge of each section look forward to the weeks before the big event when parcels and packages arrive containing hundreds of new photos for the competition.
As Glenys Ball and Coral Davies unwrap layers of packing material they note down how each consignment is packed and ensure they are repacked and returned the same way in the days after the big event.
The individual section is made up of six classes for amateur enthusiasts with feature class in the 2021 schedule carrying the theme of 'nature - bees, blooms, beasties and birds', open to both amateur and semi-professional photographers.
The section has always been restricted to amateur photographers but this year Ms Ball said she opened up the class because nature was very difficult thing to photograph.
"When an amateur photographs a bug, bee or a bird it is from a distance, they usually don't have the camera to get a good shot or they don't print it properly, so for this class only I will allow semi-professionals so we can have some really good photographs and, who knows, an amateur might win it," Ms Ball said.
The class carries $100 first prize money, with only the Woolorama portrait and landscape prizes offering a bigger purse.
Both carry $300 for the winner.
Usually Ms Ball receives about 250-300 entries and the interclub section attracts a further 150 entries.
Ms Davies, a Wagin Camera Club representative who runs the Wagin Woolorama interclub competition, said the teams event was open to any camera WA club affiliated with the WA Photographic Federation.
"We have had some clubs that have supported us year-after-year since we started it in 1999 and last year we had to limit the number of entries because we couldn't fit them all in," Ms Davies said.
"I like to hang all entries if possible because photographers go to a lot of trouble to print and mount their photos and I don't like to see them sit in a suitcase in the storage room."
Last year she reduced the number from 15 to 12 photos per club with a maximum of two entries from any one member.
Entries for the interclub section closed in January and she received 142 images from 12 clubs and again she doubts she will find space for them all.
"It is dependent on size and camera people are used to mounting them on large mounts but I encourage them to recycle their smaller mounts so size is restricted to less than 50 centimetres x 40cm," she said.
This year the 12 clubs are from Esperance, Albany, Geographe, Busselton, Bunbury, Mandurah, Northam, Wagin and four are from Perth.
Some of these clubs drive their entries long distances to Wagin, treating the trip as a photographic excursion.
Because photographers don't get many opportunities to have their work exhibited, they also return to see the Woolorama exhibition and once through the gate there are many great photographic opportunities on the showground.
The interclub subject differs annually and started with the theme 'wool' in 1999.
The Woolorama committee supports the competition with a perpetual trophy for the winning club and best individual awards presented to first, second and third.
The subject for this year is 'isolated' which Ms Davies defined as "separated from everyone and everything, solitary, remote, secluded or alone".
"The subject was chosen as a word synonymous for 2020, however, the image subjects didn't need to be depressingly COVID-related and clubs were encouraged to choose positive rather than depressing images to create an exhibition that was uplifting,'' she said.
"The work is both varied and beautiful and the presentation always is superb - there are some really talented photographers among this group."
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