Forum competition results for the January 2014 round - Time for a Story

Amateur Photographer Forum competition results for the January 2014 round -Time for a Story

So here we are in a brand new year. Who knows what

it will bring? As with previous years, my excitement is reserved for the news

of which nation will be the next to fire a monkey into space. But for now we

must all rely on the fact that we’ve had another excellent round of Amateur

Photographer’s forum competition. This time around our theme was Tell Us a

Story. Quietly pushing aside the controversy over captions, people submitting

more than one entry, a general dislike of the gallery and my own inability to

keep track of days, what a resounding success! Let’s take a quick look at the

shortlist.

Car629 first with The Vestiges of a Past Life.

There’s an economy at work here that I really appreciate – we see a room with

two chairs. That’s all. But what else do you need? I think it’s their position

that makes it so appealing. Both chairs are sat by the fire and both are angled

in such a way as to be in each other’s line of sight. We can imagine an elderly

couple sat there seeing out their winter years together.


Contents not included
Prize applies to UK & EU residents only

Our first prize winner receives a Manfrotto

Active Backpack I. The bag is a structurally sound, high-capacity yet

compact rucksack that can also be used as a standard daypack. With its

capacity to hold a DSLR system with 2 standard lenses, 15″ laptop as

well as personal items and accessories. The bag has four zippered

compartments with the top part designed for personal items and the

bottom for photo gear.

Next we have Mestala’s Life Ain’t so Easy. Again,

it’s a simple shot: a farmer ploughs his field led by his donkey. It’s an image

that speaks of days gone by and rusticism. The toning of the image goes to some

way to emphasising this mood.

On a graphic level I really like lm1’s Different

Worlds. The repetition on strong squares and rectangles throughout the image

really caught my eye, particularly in the large block of light that highlights

the busker. The similarity in body language between the busker and mannequin is

also of particular note. It may not necessarily communicate a clear story but

its strong visual nature was enough for me to give it a mention here.

Now, on to the top three.

3rd Place
sk8amazing – Skin for Money

Strong, simple and morbidly beautiful, Skin for

Money was a clear top three entry for me. Compositionally it’s a success. Break

it down and you have a triangle (the fox) within a square (the frame). It’s

really couldn’t be more simple. Subject wise it’s a grim tale – foxes killed

for their fur and tale. I have a deep fascination and love of foxes. Living in

London they’re a common sight and the sense of awe I feel every time I see one

never abates. It’s a strange contradiction to say that the subject is

heartbreaking but the image is beautiful. Or perhaps it’s not. If you want to

highlight an issue then you must create a beautiful image in order to grab the

viewer’s attention. It’s an issue that war photographer’s face throughout their

career.

2nd Place
Ffolrord – The Kiss

On the other end of the scale we have The Kiss from

Ffolrord. This is fantastic shot. We can all remember the uneasiness and

embarrassment of seeing our parents kiss. In fact, some of us never grow out of

it. It’s a beautifully captured moment, presented in gorgeous monochrome. The

contrast in body language between the subjects is great. What else is there to

say? It’s wonderful.

1st place
Geren – Say Goodbye

Our first place picture succeeds in both creating a visually arresting

image and telling a strong story through the simplest means. A woman clasps her

dog as they both watch a train speed away. That it. But what do we take from

that? The sight of a woman watching a train speed away brings to mind a variety

of cinematic scenes, perhaps most notably from David Lean’s Brief Encounter.

Train stations can be a place of both love and heartache. Then can bring lovers

together or they can separate them entirely. Geren’s choice to shoot/convert

the image into black & white further emphasises this notion of a scene

tinged with loss. Like the train station, monochrome is a thing of

contradiction – it can be seen as romantic or a medium of loss and emptiness.

Geren’s shot is beautiful, poignant and dreamy. And that’s why it’s January’s

winner.

See how to enter the 2014 competition

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