Competition – “Diversity” – 31 May 2021 Judge: Barney Douglas. hello@hi-studio,co,uk Introduction: Here we go again with a subject line that has produced a slightly smaller entry than usual, “Diversity”, and on this occasion, we are limited to entries in the Intermediate and Advanced classes only. This is not an easy subject, and translating the subject name into photographic images has tested a few of you, but in terms of photographic quality, this is a well exposed and pretty well photographed set of images. Because the subject matter has given you all the need to perhaps “think outside the box” a little, there are some interesting interpretations of what is required.
Intermediate: As a portrait this works well, and exposure is again pretty well spot on. As a competition subject it’s not quite there. And I wonder if a crop would have helped it. We all hear the term “rule of thirds” and this is an image which as it stands does not have that Judges Edit, My quick crop removes some of the sky, much of the left hand side, and just clips off the wristband on the left arm Friends for Life. Lu Dunne
A well-exposed record shot that certainly hits the competition subject title spot on. Is this a selfie held by the lady in green? I think the answer is possibly yes. It’s a shame that the camera isn’t further back from the subjects as I would have liked to see more of the two ladies left and right, and less of the upper part of the shrub in the background by producing a more letter-box shape. I can’t add any more of the human subjects but this where I would have cropped the background. That apart, well-exposed image: Judges Edit, Cropped My babies 2015. Gwynn
I’m sure there will be some who will look at this image and think, “It’s not quite straight”, and they’d be right. But actually I think that helps the overall image. Shot on a Samsung Galaxy Edge the slight lack of control over the exposure is evidenced by the largely in-focus background which does detract a little. A good bokeh would have made a big difference. But I can’t fault the exposure of the main subject matter. Renewable Energy. Rita Garvey
There is a lot to like in the concept of this image, and it’s a shame that the execution hasn’t quite worked. Shot on a Moto G7 Power smartphone at 1/100 sec f2, but the ISO setting of 50 has created problems, and I wish the ISO had been pushed up to about 400 giving much more flexibility in the shutter speed and aperture settings, say 1/400 sec f2.8 or 1/200 sec f4 … and that is a huge shame because I can see exactly what the photographer was trying to achieve. In the title, I think the photographer was saying that the greenery in the foreground is “renewable”, the power station in the background is producing the “energy” and the train in the middle is using it. Very good concept but the image is too soft apart from the power station and the clouds. Shall We. Gwynn
I’m not sure this actually meets the competition subject matter, but it is a difficult image with a
range of highlights and shadows where the exposure is pretty well spot on. A fast shutter speed of 1/750 sec has stopped the movement in the waves to a crisp focus. The Hounds. Keith Dawson
Taken on a Sony Cybershot, the world’s first pocket zoom with 30x optical zoom lens. Nothing to fault in composition, bearing in mind that not all of us have Pudsey as a dog. I have so many images like this where a dog’s tail has just been chopped off, but the photographer here resisted the temptation and the letter box crop works well. I would definitely have done one adjustment in the computer and added some brightness to the shadows. In addition White Balance is on the blue end of the scale. Try use manual white balance if you can and shift it up to at least 5600. Judges Edit. My first edit uses Paint Shop Pro’s fill-flash function set at 40 to lift the image a little, Judges Edit. and the second raises the Kelvin value: Xmas Tree. Keith Dawson
Sometimes you see a photo and say, “Yes, that’s different.” And this is one of them. A well captured record shot of a local fisherman’s festive celebration. I do rather like this image. Life _ Death. Rita Garvey 3rd Place
This is an image you need to think about and ask yourself, “Why … both life and death?” I’m not sure the photographer thought of it in two different ways … but I did. For me there’s life in the blooming flowers on the tree, and also in the hand gesture in the statuette holding the crucifix. Well conceived idea, very nicely exposed Juliem. Julie Lawrence 2nd Place
Absolutely spot on the subject matter, exposure very good and the only distraction is the reflection hot-spot in the background. Otherwise I can’t fault it. Brothers in Music. Keith Dawson 1st Place
What a great start! Composition and exposure are pretty well spot on, shot on a Nikon, 1/250 sec at f10 at ISO 2500. The background panel could have been a distraction both to the photographer and the camera sensor, but it isn’t and despite the fairly small aperture the slight bokeh effect works very well indeed. Slight movement in the right hand guitarist’s hand is not of concern, and frankly, given the subject matter, is not unexpected. If anything it adds to the image rather than detracting. The chemistry between the musicians is right on the money. The fairly high ISO isn’t a problem at all. Great shot! NB: Brothers in Music would have been a contender in the Experienced group. Experienced: A reminder here that I am looking for more than just the photo. I am once again looking for creativity and there are some good images here. But because it is the Experienced group, I will tend to be more picky. Time to think outside the box. A Taste of Diversity. Ken Johnson
Please could someone tell me where this is. I want to be a customer. Definitely gets the message over in composition, colour balance and viewer interest. Very nicely shot record image. Would a wider angle and a letter box crop have helped? Possibly. Bedouin Girl. Keith Vincent
Almost a very nicely composed shot, spoiled only by a tiny bit of the “food point of interest” being clipped off the left hand edge of the image. The young woman is perfectly exposed against the sombre background, but I wanted the extra bit still in shot. Colour and Diversity. Alan Hillman
Brighton Pride unless I am very much mistaken. A lower viewpoint and one pace left for the photographer would have lifted this image into contention. You do also need to lift the main subject with that fill flash setting I mentioned in the intermediate section. Colour Diversity. Alan Hillman
Two Pride characters clipped against a white background. I can’t fault the colour and exposure, but I have to ask why the background was clipped out. In one way it works, and in another it doesn’t.
If you are going to clip an image you need to be thorough. One pixel off the image right and bottom should have been done because there’s a line of darker pixels there, and check round the subject edges. There are numerous little spots where the background hasn’t quite been removed. Dancer. Alan Sheridan
Another good shot, with the background well blurred and the overall image well cropped. I’m going to be horribly picky here and ask if you set the shutter at single shot or continuous. Dancers move, and unless you are 100% familiar with the specific technique using single shot might cause you to miss a better image. There’s no EXIF data on this image.
So the question is, where was the dancer’s right thumb a quarter of a second earlier and a quarter of a second later? Dead or Alive. John Verlander
Good question! This is certainly an image with a difference. Technically difficult to shoot, the exposure and focus are about as good as they can be. Good image. Divers Boats. Helen
Now, the first thing that came to my mind was the subtlety of the title … with or without the “e”? Exposure – pretty good. The haze would have been difficult to avoid. Shutter release probably one second too late, and that has affected the composition slightly. For all that I like the idea, and I like the image. Dolphins. Alan Sheridan
Again composition, colour, exposure, framing and parallax spot on, and my only criticism is a very slight lack of a central point of interest. Even so a very good image. It would have been so easy to slip up and crop off a little bit of one of these creatures, but you didn’t. Well done. Friends. Carol Sheridan
I really like this. The fact that one of the tortoises has climbed on top of the food bowl reminds me very much of my bird table at home. There’s always one who takes centre stage. The added interest of the oryx (?) really takes this from a record shot to an interesting “wildlife in captivity” shot. Exposure and framing spot on. Great shot. Less Pepper. John Verlander
I love these beautifully composed still life images. This is good but not quite as good as some I have seen in these competitions. The mobile phone in the foreground really should not be there, not least because it cuts into the reflection on the counter. Without it, and with a slight crop off the bottom edge this would have been right up there in the mix. This time it just slipped up a fraction. Mother. Carol Sheridan
Great exposure, well composed opportunistic shot. Probably the correct angle of view, but a lower viewpoint and a wider aperture would have thrown the wall well out of focus and I feel that might have made it even better. As it stands, good image. Pillar of the Community. John Verlander
Funnily enough I am doing a lot of travel photography and writing at the moment for an Australian travel website and this subject matter, (though not this particular plaque), comes up in it. I’m not sure where the “diversity” comes in here, but as a record image it’s very well exposed and framed. Could the framing have been better? My crop places the centre of the plaque on the upper left third in both the vertical and horizontal planes. However I still like it. Springtime Diversity. Ken Johnson
We humans occupying this third rock from the sun have the benefit that evolution invented flowers (surprisingly recently). Almost all animal forms had developed before them. A well observed colourful split and a very nice image has resulted. Very Arresting. Alan Hillman
We’re back at Brighton Pride and for a moment I wondered if I know the girl who is the centre of attention. While everybody else has their minds on other things the guy in the t-shirt on the left just fractionally distracts my eye and I would have removed him along with a bit of the sky. That crop would also have moved the main subject towards the vertical third line. That apart good image. Cow Girl. Keith Vincent Commended
Colour, exposure and composition pretty well spot on. The modern clothes and the metalled road in an image that could otherwise have been a traditional setting add to the overall effect. Very nice. Divers Houses. Helen Commended
… or should it be Divers’ Houses? It’s a different camera from the previous image and a different style of image. For exposure, contrast, colour and overall impact I can hardly find anything to criticise except perhaps the need of a hint of parallax adjustment in the computer. The cloudscape is superb. EXIF and image name suggest this not HDR, and I have to ask whether, had it been, would it have been even better. Definite contender. Racing Girl. Keith Vincent Highly Commended
Cracking good panning shot of a motorcycle at speed. Say no more! Watchers. Alan Sheridan Highly Commended
The muted tones really make this image. It doesn’t “pop” but it does hold your interest. Great composition. Little if anything to criticise. Diversity in the Clip Box. Helen Joint 3rd Place
Absolutely nothing to criticise in this image. Composition, colour, exposure, framing as good as they come. Excellent. Great to Meet You. Duncan Gray Joint 3rd Place
Captures the spirit of the subject matter perfectly. Great exposure, perfectly framed and the odd distraction of the hand lower left and the antler pattern on the sweater behind add to the image rather than take anything away. Very good. Orange. Carol Sheridan 2nd Place
Oh yes … another great image! Exposure, aperture (and consequential depth of focus) and framing as good as they come. .Cross Country. Duncan Gray 1st Place
Very good indeed. Framing and exposure pretty well spot on. Aperture and shutter speed pretty well faultless, the splash of water beneath the right hand runner’s feet is a superb highlight which does not detract from the overall result … indeed it enhances it. Great work!
Results: Just like last time eight images made my final cut. 22 February 2015 Callendar Park, Falkirk. Scottish Cross Country Championships. Again my top two are neck and neck, third is a tough call, but all eight are worthy of this selection. Commended: Cow Girl, Divers Houses Divers Houses would have been HC if the parallax had been spot on. Highly Commended: Racing Girl, Watchers Now I have a problem – there are two so close for third place …. So in the end, they have to share that position … Joint Third: Diversity in the Clip Box … and Great to Meet You Two very different subjects, both meeting the competition subject title, and both worthy of this position in the battle. Second: Orange Brilliant image. Great concept and perfectly exposed. First: Cross Country Absolutely faultless. It gets first place on the basis of the split-second timing.