Clothing was the subject for the September round of the online competition and for some reason we were well down on entries. I thought this might make it easier for this month’s judge Steve Womack, our East Coast representative, but he felt differently. However he has judged, straight after returning from his holidays so thanks for the very prompt work in the circumstances (I thought people went to the east coast on holiday not somewhere else to get away from it!). And now for his words of wisdom.
Well a big hello to all members of WCC from your East Coast representative. It was a surprise when I was asked to do the honours in judging this round of the On-Line monthly Competition for you. However, the low numbers of entries for this round does not make for easy work and I would suggest it is more difficult than if there had been a large entry. I have put the ‘Clothes’ through the wringer and have got a result. Taking the images in the order as presented here are my comments;
Shoes – The author has given thought to the symmetry of this image. I particularly like the stepping effect of the levels which enables your eyes to move through the scene from bottom LH to top RH side. The pastel colouring gives more tones than that which a harder contrast image might. A good start to the set.
Ponchos for Sale – Here the author has selected to get in closer to the subject which has in my opinion left out the shape details of the Ponchos. If the author has an additional image taken further back which gives more space and detail to the Ponchos that would give more impact and emphasis to the topic. That aside the image is engaging with a good range of tones throughout and shows well the colours of the region.
Never Ending Story – Having just returned from holiday this is a current scene in our house. A well composed image making good use of the red t-shirt centre stage with further subject matter in LH foreground to add to the story and attention grabbing. Good depth of field and handling of the window highlights make for a pleasing presentation.
Balloon Man – A very busy image with lots of elements to distract the eye. First impressions are that there is something missing from the image? The image supports the theme of ‘Clothing’ but the subject seems to be engaging with somebody out of shot, a child maybe? The inclusion of that person would have, in my opinion, helped the image tell a fuller story. The subjects clothing is certainly eye-catching and well captured but the background bustle might do better if made further out of focus to concentrate on the central figure?
Sock Thief – Delightful image of an engaging pet in full retrieve mode. Sharpness in the eyes essential with this type of image and that is met well. The sock maintains the link with the topic so the author has ticked the boxes.
Make do and Mend – A close up, monochrome image of great simplicity. The image title tells you all you need to know about the image and the image conveys all that to the viewer. Without the title and with just the topic it still conveys strongly to the viewer.
Where did you get that Hat – Well, indeed, where did she get that hat? Pleasant portrait of a lady wearing her finest for some function. The author has captured the detail well but the overall exposure could well do with lifting to improve the tonality of the skin as it is underexposed, in my opinion, as it stands.
Well that gets through to the end of the members entries and a varied selection they were. As I mentioned at the start it is, I believe, harder to make judgement on a small selection than on a larger one, but I have considered all the above and arrived at the following result. All the members entering should be commended for taking the time to select and put forward their images. So ….
Highly Commended goes to – Sock Thief, an engaging portrait of a rascal and a sock.
3rd Place – Never Ending Story – A detailed and well composed image.
2nd Place – Shoes – The muted tones and symmetry made for a well-balanced presentation.
1st Place – Make do and Mend – An outstandingly simple image which conveys everything in the topic. Less is more in this case. Very well done on your composition.
To the other authors, a little bit more work to do on your images could have changed the expectations.
Well those are my conclusions for this round of the Online Competition.
Steve Womack LRPS CPAGB
Thanks for those words Steve and I’ll let you get back to sorting your holiday clothing out. Now Steve and everyone will want to know the authors of the top picks so here they are. Highly Commended was Paul Watt for “Sock Thief” and in third place was Angela Crutchley-Rhodes with “Never Ending Story” – a very appropriate title! In second place was Tim Jonas with “Shoes” and this weeks winner is ….. yours truly Steve Wright with “Make Do and Mend” (and I had to make a solemn promise not to reveal the identity of the hands). Have a look at them all if you haven’t already and if it leaves you thinking “I could have done that” or “I’ve got an image like that already”, why didn’t you put it in? My winning shot took about 15 minutes to set up and take once I had the idea, and about another 15 minutes playing with it in Photoshop. Most of us can find half an hour and it will be even easier this coming month as the subject for October is “Mobile Phone Images” so there is literally no excuse not to put an image in. We carry phones around all the time and the topic allows you enormous scope. All that is required is that it is taken on your mobile phone. Now that’s not too hard is it? Have a go. I’ll look out for your entry.