December 2012 forum competition results - u2018Whereu2019s the Colour Gone?u2019

Forum competition results – December

2012 – Where’s the Colour Gone?


this month’s round we asked you a rather cryptic question: ‘Where’s the Colour

Gone?’ We wanted entrants to explore, not just the wonderful world of

monochrome, but also to see where you can find natural occurrences of

washed-out and muted colour. It’s perhaps not an easy theme to grasp but

judging by the results we received, a lot of you gave it a pretty good go.

Samsung has kindly provided a 32GB Micro SD card, with SD adapter for the winner, and 8GB cards and adapters for the second and third places. Second and third places also get an Amateur Photographer Loves My Pictures mug.


most important thing to consider was the subject. What does a lack of colour

communicate to the viewer about what we’re seeing? This is particularly

important when choosing to either shoot in black & white or making the

decision to convert the shot to monochrome post capture. Colour, or a lack of

it, can of course be an aesthetic consideration but it must also have a reason

for being. One entrant who understood this was AndrewBeasley whose shot of a

sheep walking along the edge of a great wall was full of atmosphere.


particular favourite was caledonia84’s – “Somewhere I Shouldn’t Be”. It was the

title of this shot that got my attention. There’s nothing more exciting than

being somewhere forbidden, knowing that you’re breaking the rules all in the

name of adventure. We all did it as kids. In fact, some of us never grow out of

it. I recently found myself in a position where I was able to sneak into the

main boardroom of the BBC and sit at the head of perhaps the most expensive

table I’ve ever seen. That was pretty exciting, I can tell you. The use of monochrome

in caledona84’s image is great. This is a location where the light barely

penetrates the enclosure. I don’t know where it is, but I know it’s somewhere

I’d love to visit. Remember, it’s in the nature of the photographer to explore.


the entrants who shot in colour, a particular stand-out was plasticflower with

his shot ‘Winterized’. It’s a gentle and beautiful image and came very close to

being in the top three. Other entrants of particular note were lisadb, johndow

(this one struck a particular chord with some of you) and daft_biker.

The ‘Where’s the Colour

Gone?’ round was a great one to judge (my first one in fact) and I can’t wait to see what

you all come up with in the next 12 months. Thanks to everyone for taking part.




– “Holga in Berlin”


third-place winner is perhaps going to be controversial, but it raises an

interesting point. Take a look at Adam Irving’s Backchat letter published in

the Jan 26 issue and you’ll get an idea of the potential bone of contention.


is not going anywhere any time soon. Nor should it. The imperfections of the

images produced by these cameras are not to everyone’s taste but to those

people who accept the unpredictability of the results the pictures they achieve

are a constant source of excitement.


should go without saying that architectural photography must do more than

simply record a space – it should draw out the character. This image was taken

inside the Daniel Libeskin designed Jewish Museum in Berlin. The building

itself can be overwhelming in its angular irregularities and various corridors

and Devon_Eric has given us a sense of this by producing a double-exposure shot

(presumably using 120 film judging by the shape of the frame). Crucially we can

see that the use of monochrome has emphasised the graphic shapes of the

building. Our attention is drawn to the lines and blocks and held there. We’re

not distracted by the intrusion of colour. The grain too is important in that

it adds texture.


argument could be made that Devon_Eric didn’t need to use a Holga camera to

produce this shot, but the fact is he did and this is what he got. Much in the

same way that an artist has a range of choices at his disposal – oils,

watercolour, pastels, charcoal – so too does the photographer: 35mm, medium

format, smartphones and toy cameras and so on – each is equally capable of

achieving captivating results. I think Devon_Eric’s Holga image is really quite





– “Long ago and far away”


going to be honest with you here – this shot didn’t particularly grab me when I

first saw it. I don’t know why but somehow it just got overlooked. It was only

after sitting down and staring at it that the power of the image really hit me.

A great piece of work is one that takes time to digest. It has to sit and

percolate in the subconscious for a while.


is a genuinely beautiful image and a really original interpretation of the

brief. Maybe I’m reading too much into this but the lack of colour seems to be

communicating the years passing by and feelings of personal loss. The photo,

the ring and necklace suggest to us that the photographer has lost someone

close to them. Without them the colour has drained from their lives. The

withering flowers suggest impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. It would be easy

to read this in melancholy terms. I don’t. I think it’s very beautiful.




JaySteel – Winter Swan”


seem to be a recurring theme in the art of the Western world. It began all the

way in the 1500s when Leonardo da Vinci produced his now lost painting of the

story of Leda and the Swan. Ever since then the brilliant white bird has popped

up time and again making it a enduring symbol and subject. They’re undoubtedly

a popular theme in photography too. Take a look at the wildlife photography of

Alex Saberi for a good example.


have to say this image leapt out at me right from the start. I’m a sucker for

fairy tales. As a child I wasted many an evening devouring the stories of the

Brothers Grimm, Angela Carter and Hans Christian Anderson. It’s difficult not

to look at this image and feel like a child again. The image is saturated in

atmosphere. It almost seems to be from another world entirely. I just love the

mist, the swan, the hazy sun and the trees that look like twisted hands. It’s

only when you notice the park bench in the background that you realise the kind

of location this was taken in.


my money this is great interpretation of the brief. When faced with the title

‘Where’s the Colour Gone?’ the obvious choice would be to produce a monochrome

image. But here we see that JaySteel (and a few of our other submissions) chose

to take a different approach. The autumn and winter months seem to drain the

colour from the environment and leave behind washed-out, murky tones. The mist

creeps into the landscape and obscures the horizon, rendering the objects there

as barely in-focus silhouettes. Look to the sky and you can see the sun

fighting a losing battle against a ground level ocean of grey.


compositional balance of the image is subtle but effective. It’s the

reflections of the trees and the hook of the swans neck and head that hold

everything in place. Perhaps there could have been a little more space between

the edge of the frame and the swan’s reflection but that’s a minor quibble. The

fact is, it works.


in all this is a shot that I’m very fond of and is, in my opinion, a more than

worthy taker of the number one spot of this particular round. Congratulations

to JaySteel.

Enter our January 2013 competition here

See all the entries for this round

See the comments for this round

Leave your comments for the winning pictures here

AP Forum competition results – sponsored by Samsung