Amateur Photographer Forum competition results for the March 2014 round – In the Dirt

I recently went to meet a friend at King’s Cross St Pancras. While I was waiting I whipped out my camera and started trying to find some interesting shots. Nothing seemed to come together. My friend arrived and I told him of my frustration. He pointed out that I needed to be more creative and get down low; to see things from another perspective. I told him to shut his face. He plays the accordion for a living and as such has no idea what he’s talking about. He was right though, and with that in mind we find ourselves at the end of another forum competition.

This time I asked you to get down in the dirt, a worm’s-eye-view if you will. As always, it’s pleasing to see that you all interpreted the brief in your own individual ways. It’s also pleasing to see that I found one of my favourite forum competition images so far…

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.

3rd Place
Branco Stoysin – His Majesty the Duck
I remember an interview with the filmmaker David Lynch a few years ago. He mentioned that every one of his films has an ‘eye of the duck’ shot. It’s that one shot in a film where all of the elements perfectly align – composition, light, movement and mood. Why ‘eye of the duck’? Because a duck’s eye is perfectly placed on its head. Anywhere else and it would be lost. Just look at that beady eye! I really like this shot a lot. The detail is pretty mesmerising. It would have been too easy for Branco to take a few steps back and show more of the environment but I’m very glad that what we have here is a portrait image. Plus kudos to Branco for getting that close to the duck. Ducks are vicious little things at times. I hate ducks.


2nd Place
Ready to Snap – Sitting Alone
It’s difficult to say what it is exactly that attracts me to this image. I think perhaps it’s the absolute simplicity of what we’re seeing. It’s a found still life. RtS has found this object and has allowed it to speak for itself. There is true beauty to be found in the quotidian. So many things go overlooked and sometimes it takes a photographer to guide our hand and show us the aesthetic virtues of the things we trample underfoot.

1st Place
Catriona – Misty Road

This is definitely one of my favourites from the forum competition so far. Catriona, as I’m sure you all know, is a regular within the forum competition. With this image she’s truly presented us with an image of absolute beauty and atmosphere. There’s so much to say about it. Let’s start with the way she’s used the tree on the left-hand-side to frame one edge of her image. It curves beautifully into the path below, which in turn sweeps us into the subject – the person with the umbrella. Is our subject a child or is the perspective an illusion? I’m not sure. If it’s a child we see then shooting from a low angle has given us a glimpse of the world from a child’s perspective. Add to that the wonderful fairy-tale quality of the toning – as well as that gorgeous mist – and we have an image that is a real winner. I even like the obscured forms in the background. Where is this person going? What’s waiting for them out there within the mist? This is a seriously good image. Good job!

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