December 2021 Competition ‘Games’
Hi, thank you for choosing me to judge this month’s competition. It was a little disappointing that we didn’t have any beginner entries. The standard in the experienced section, however, creeps ever higher. As there were so few entries in the intermediate section I have only awarded a single “Judges Favourite” as I feel to have a first-place among such as small field would not feel like a win for the photographer concerned.
As the subject of “Games” is open to much interpretation my judgment weighted the following key elements; Creativity, emotion, and focal point. In the experienced section, I also gave a little extra weight to technical quality. So here are the results and please remember this is my opinion based on my photographic experience and personal preferences. Another judge on a different day may see these images differently.
Carol Sheridan. Intermediate: Pier Diving: Keith Dawson
Nicely frozen action. Focal point in shadow. Could be improved by getting closer. Carter: Keith Dawson
Nice action . Crop seems tight. Would liked to have seen more of the racket and better use of depth of field. On The Ball: Fiona Pring
Good attempt to capture the moment, composition could be improved. Heads? Double Dive: Keith Dawson Judges Favourite
Fast shutter speed froze the action but use of auto exposure has left faces in shadow. Time to try manual?
Judges favourite is “Double dive” as with use of manual, semi auto settings or post editing to lift the shadows, this image showed the most potential in my opinion. Experienced: Before The Battle: Helen
Nice idea, crop seems severe, especially when it would be easy to show the whole board. Building The Place: Helen
Creative use of props and of light but this image is very dark and details are lost in the shadows. Chess Piece: Lee Mullins
Interesting juxtaposition. Seems to lack a focal point, perhaps due to the depth of field used. Christmas 2021:Alan Hillman
Creative but busy. Reflected light from the cards does give some focus once the eyes settle. Covid Tennis: Richard Holmes
Good idea with an amusing under theme but where is the interest and where is the ball? Cuban Tombola: Lee Mullins
Has a story to tell and the story is told by the eyes but it feels like a better portrait could have been had. Defence Runner: Lee Mullins
Humorous title. Distracting fence. Gambling Joint: John Verlander
Almost too clever for it’s own good. Image feels unbalanced as dark area is overpowering. Gaming: Paul Armitage
Effective use of light and dark creating an emotive scene. Pointing finger adds context. Guess The Game: Helen
Not immediately obvious but creative and humorous. Pawn Takes Bishop: Richard Holmes
Eyes are left searching between out of focus black pawn and in focus white pawn and bishop. Pick And Choose: John Verlander
Creative title, amusing angle, lacks key focal point. Rock, Paper, Scissors: Duncan Gray
Yes! Game themed, but doesn’t shout game. Composition could be better. Why the ruler? Rubik’s Cube Challenge: Paul Armitage
Good idea, but I feel this shot under delivered and more could have been made of the facial expressions. Setting Up A Game Of Jenga: Richard Holmes
Well composed and creative but we are seeing a few of this type of shot now and they no longer stand out from the crowd. Softball: Duncan Gray
Nice composition, conveys action. Would prefer to see greater emphasis on the girl’s face. Wrestlers: Duncan Gray
Amusing and creative composition but among this field it didn’t stand out. Poker Face: Alan Hillman. Highly Commended. A lovely simple portrait which maintained the theme
Crop seems a little tight but good use of depth of field. Nice human interest. Would be interesting to see how this looks in black and white. Victory Hug: John Verlander. Special Mention. Unembellished, focused and on topic.
Nice to see such an interesting and creative macro shot among these entries. Shows it’s not always about the camera either. Beach Ball: Alan Hillman. 3rd Place Winner. Unusual tones and use of shadows made this shot stand out.
Good use of shadow and light. Nice action shot. Pleasing composition. Beach Flipping: Ian Gray. 2nd Place Winner.Isolating the main subject so well gave this shot the edge.
Well captured. Use of wide aperture and crisp focus has helped the main subject stand out. Checkmate: Paul Armitage. 1st Place Winner. A simple, well focused shot that conveys the tension. Well done! Focus on the eyes and the context setting make this a great emotive shot. Highly commended – Poker face;. Special mention – Victory hug; Third place – Beach ball; Second place – Beach flipping; First place – Checkmate; Carol Sheridan