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.
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.
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
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.
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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