Our panel of judges has pronounced and offered some useful thoughts and future techniques to our enthusiastic snappers.
The panel were conclusive in their judgement regarding the 'Fieldfare', which they collectively pronounced as our 'November' winner. This was judged to be a good composition with excellent exposure. It was felt that the sharp focus drew the viewer to the subject matter which, in fact, is the berry. Note the expression of concentration on the face of the bird! For those of you in the know, defocus was used to good effect both in the foreground and the background, serving to further highlight the primary subject. A £20 voucher (courtesy of Thom Morton) will be winging its way to the winner very shortly.
The 'Fly Agaric Fungus' too was commended with excellent use of exposure on the primary subject which was well framed. Both this photograph and that of the 'Fieldfare' required being in the right place at the right time. The photograph, however, might have benefitted from a slightly different angle to avoid the tree in the background which is too centrally placed.
Our War Horse 'George' on the Millfield is always a difficult sculpture to photograph. There was good exposure on a day with little in the way of exciting light. Whilst there was good balance with the colourful regalia, both judges felt that the 'post' in the scene (immediately beneath the head of 'George') was a distraction and there was concern that the front hooves of our War Horse had been trimmed just short. It was suggested that had the image been taken from a slightly different angle then this would have created an improved outcome.
The two images of the 'Canal Bridge' and the 'Canal Scene' presented a good use of light with excellent reflections on the water surface. This photographer was commended in taking both images against the light which provided good contrast. Both judges agreed that the tree silhouetted against the sun was the more impressive of the two submissions, albeit that there was a suggestion that there could have been even greater impact had the right hand side of the photograph been cropped, thereby reducing the amount of frost covered grass.
The image of the 'Memorial' itself displayed a range of colours but it was felt that the lovely colours of the hedge were insufficient to 'sell' the entire photograph. Again, it was felt that this photograph could have been improved had it been taken from a different angle giving greater focus to the Memorial itself.
The 'Supermoon' was well composed, topical, atmospheric and captured the moment over Church Bank. The overall impression was good but, regrettably, there was a degree of graining. The other 'Night Sky' image, whilst interesting in terms of light pollution, was insufficiently sharp and it was felt that there was insufficient detail.
Which leaves the image of the 'Apples', regarded to be a lovely surprise but one in which the photographer had failed to create a clear focal point which would have provided the 'wow' factor. The 'Sunrise' photograph presented the normal difficulties with either sunrises or sunsets i.e. the camera has been' blinded' because there has been focus on the very sunny areas which does not then allow the viewer to fully appreciate the subject matter.
Our thanks to the photographic team for their comments – please don't shoot the messenger. Our congratulations to the November winner.
So, this brings our competition to its close and it is the responsibility of the judges to now declare the top three winners. We will be featuring all 10 top photographs in the coming days – watch this space as we announce the overall winners.