Forum competition results for the November 2013 round - Wild World/Animals and Insects

Forum competition results for the November 2013 round – Wild World/Animals and Insects

I have a confession: I’m really not all that fond of wildlife

photography. It’s not a genre that ever truly appealed to me. It’s a matter of

taste, I suppose. For example, I love the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

and I know for a fact that a lot of you really, really, really, really hate it.

So there you go.

That was one of the reasons I decided to include a wildlife/pet round

this year. I’m always looking for an image to be the exception to my sweeping,

ill-informed, ignorant rule. Luckily, a few of you succeeded, otherwise this

would be the first round where I didn’t give out any cups or bags. Phew!

There are some seriously good shots here. In fact (and let me know if

you agree), this round seemed to draw out the most confidence in your abilities.

I was particularly taken with Nig’s ‘Welsh Black’. The most obvious virtue is

the use of the horns to hold the image in compositional balance. It’s a nice

find. Saorsa’s ‘Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk’ is also an excellent shot. I

think most people would have been tempted to crop the image down and remove

some of that empty space. That would have been a huge mistake. It’s the space

that makes it. Lastly, look at the eyes on Rammgeist’s ‘Enid’! It’s an

absolutely adorable shot. So let’s take a look at the top three.

The

winner of the Forum monthly photo competition will receive a National

Geographic Earth Explorer NG2346 Midi Messenger Bag. It’s an everyday,

functional shoulder bag that holds all your personal gear along with a

tablet, camera or camcorder and associated accessories worth £79.95

provided by Manfrotto. Runners-up will each receive an ‘Amateur Photographer Loves My Pictures’ mug.

3rd Place
Helander – Baaaaaaaaaaaa!

Most of you know Helander by now. This is a typically great shot from

him. The choice of black & white is obviously a clear one. Colour would add

nothing to the image and in fact would risk subtracting substantially. I love

the depth of field here. It centres the image on one subject while allowing the

surrounding sheep to act as context, if that makes sense. This is a lovely

image.

2nd Place
Ephemeral ­- Mad-eyed

At the opposite end of the scale we have ‘Mad-eyed’ from Ephemeral.

The colours are strikingly vivid and fit perfectly with the kind of saturated

coastal imagery we’d see from the kind of project created by Martin Parr. It’s

an amusing shot too. The manic eyes and gaping mouth say so much about gulls.

The little pink tongue is a great little detail. It’s almost that one little

element that makes the shot.

1st Place
JaySteel – Toad in the road

We’ve come full circle here. It’s JaySteel once again with

his rather magnificent shot ‘Toad In The Road’. The thing that really stands

out for me is that it’s an image that follows two of the most fundamental

necessities of a wildlife image – narrative and context. The narrative is the journey.

The toad must cross the road. It could end well. Chances are, it may not. The

context is in the surrounding environment. There’s nothing wrong with tight,

close-up shots of wildlife, but I always find it so much more exciting having

some environmental context. It’s kind of like a stage for the animal character

to engage with. Here we have a road and the light streaks of a passing car.

It’s an unnerving image, but thoroughly beautiful.

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AP Forum competition results – sponsored by Manfrotto