Amateur Photographer Forum competition results for February 2013 round – The City Up Close

April 3, 2013

Forum competition results for February 2013 round – The City Up Close

For February’s round we asked you to adjust the way you look at the
urban environment. Take a wander around the city. What’s the first thing
that strikes you? No doubt it’s the bustling streets and walkways, the
architecture – both classical and modernist – and the smells and noises
that fill the air. But get closer and something else reveals itself. The
colours, textures and intricate graphic shapes that make up a city are
as fascinating as anything you’ll find in the forests and woodland. It
can be too easy to overlook these everyday elements, but surely that’s
the role of photography – to show us the things we can so often
overlook, or to at least present things in a way we had not previously

Samsung has kindly provided a 32GB SDHC for the winner, and 16GB SDHC cards for the
second and third places. First and second places also get an ‘Amateur
Photographer Loves My Pictures’ mug.

Entering this round was an unenviable task. Close-up photography is an
addictive pursuit, particularly in a city or town environment. With so
many things to shoot, where do you begin? Brickwork, litter, dirt,
reflections, graffiti, the manmade contrasted with the natural ­- all of
these themes figured heavily in this round.
There were a number
of stand-out images in February’s round. First of all we have Peterf
with his close-up image of a builder’s hording. There is so much to like
about this image. The colours, textures and light have all worked
perfectly together. It’s a painterly, abstract image that really does
require repeated viewing to fully appreciate. I like this image a lot.
Next we have Meredith and a very clever image of a headless red man from
a traffic light. Similarly, Andrew Beasley’s image of a grubby litter
sign is notable for exploiting the textures and subtle shades of the
subject. One image that I have to mention is ‘Cutting it a Bit Close’ by
Ephemeral. This is a beautifully graphic shot. We often see images of
natural objects juxtaposed the manmade – it’s a popular subject. This
shot exploits the contrast between the jagged branches and the
symmetrical lines of the brickwork. It’s one of those images I really
wish I could have found myself.

3rd Place
Geren – ‘The Holocaust Memorial the Divided Opinion’
This image by
Geren is a great example of how photography can, in quite subtle ways,
communicate big ideas. This is a close-up shot of Berlin’s Memorial to
the Murdered Jews of Europe and it was, as the name of this picture
states, an installation that divided opinion. The memorial consists of
2,711 concrete slabs. It was a controversial project and one that was at
once described insufficient and unnecessary. On the other hand some
found the memorial a beautifully abstract representation of a subject
that almost defies lucid explanation. The crack we are seeing in this
image was not a deliberate aesthetic decision by the architects – it is
the result of weathering that began just five years after the memorial’s
installation. But in this image the crack could be said to represent
the aforementioned discord of opinion. This is a strong picture and more
than worthy third place.

2nd place
Clive – ‘Methadone’
a lot of photography, be it tableaux or documentary, we can see the
remnants of a larger story. Discarded objects – the kinds of things we
see littering the streets – can either lead us to create our own stories
or hint at something real but largely unseen. This is a simple image
but one that communicates a serious social issue. It needs little
explanation but I will say that I’m particularly fond of the floral
patterns on the ground. It’s an unusual juxtaposition but one that works
perfectly. There’s a sense of crawling decay, of something beautiful
being spoiled by the presence of something destructive.

1st place
Yebisu – ‘Grand Place Puddle’
is a beautiful image. Positioning himself in just the right position,
in the right light and with the right depth-of-field, Yebisu has created
an image of great depth. It’s a magical shot and one that plays with
the kind of in-camera trickery that can’t help but charm you. The first
thing that came to mind when I saw this shot was the film work of the
director Jean Cocteau. His beautiful monochrome films made use of clever
framing, weird perspectives and in-camera special effects. There’s a
whole other world in that puddle. It’s like looking through a portal
into a grand opulent landscape. I want to jump in there and explore this
unfamiliar place.
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AP Forum competition results – sponsored by Samsung