By Sarah Weaver

As the new JSS calendar editor I would like to say a big thank you to the 40 members who,
between them, entered 187 photographs for the 2020 Calendar Photo Competition, and also to
thank Lesley Pope, the outgoing editor, and Clive Richardson for easing me into the role.
Congratulations to the 13 people whose photos have won a place in the 2021 calendar. I hope
that each of you has received, and will enjoy your free calendar.

Selecting the final 13 photographs for the calendar was a fascinating journey by the end of which
I felt I had travelled to beautiful parts of the country. I had also made contact with some far-flung
members and had had to make an effort to come to grips with Welsh spelling!

Alas. with so many photos to choose from, comes disappointment for those whose photos were
not selected. The reasons for this were varied and the following tips might be helpful for next

• It is important to send high quality images. In most case photos emailed directly from modern mobile phones or computer files are of good quality, but transferring them to and/or from other sites (eg WhatsApp, Instagram etc) often causes the quality to drop. Fortunately, the calendar programme indicates the quality of each photo as I load it.

• Except for the front cover which suits a portrait orientation photo, a landscape orientation photo will usually fit the monthly page format better, although some instances I have the ability to make small adjustments in order to fit a photo.

• Some photos were too dark. It is worth remembering that screens display images by directly emitting light but that a printed image reflects the ambient light that falls on its surface. This means that a photo which looks good on a screen may not translate onto paper.

• In some cases the angle of the shot or the composition of the picture let the photo down. There were a number of photos which showed distorted sheep. While this might be the intention of the photographer, more often it results from being too close to the sheep and/or taking the photo from above sheep-level. When taking a close-up try crouching or kneeling down.

For the future, what will catch my eye? Importantly and obviously, the subject should have a connection with Jacob sheep but there are many aspects of the breed that will make inspiring photographs and you will see that I have included a couple of photos of woollen creations. For the cooks among you, a photo of beautifully presented lamb cuisine could equally be acceptable.

Good photos are not only about composition, lighting and having a focal point. They should inspire and evoke an emotional response in the viewer. Has the photo got an element of surprise?
Does it show an unusual view or a unique perspective, or focus on an interesting detail? Or maybe it tells a story, or is “simply stunning”?

On a final note, you will notice that the calendar are available earlier this year. Hopefully this will be useful to members who send calendars to friends overseas.

The 2021 Jacob Sheep Society Calendar is now available

Orders taken via the Society online webshop

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