Amateur Photographer forum competition ? June 2011
Theme ? Hey look, we match
The mirror image of the mountain and its white puffy clouds in the crystal-clear flat surface of the fresh water lake is an essential in any self respecting photographer?s portfolio, so I knew that this round would go down well. It?s not an easy picture to take, and so often not worth the effort as we?ve all seen these scenes so many times before. The old ones though are sometimes the best, and the public seem to have no end of ?ooohhs? and ?aahhhs? for the dramatic landscape. I?m glad though that we haven?t just stuck to the expected for this month?s competition, and that the submitted pictures cover a really range of subject matter ? from portraits, to street work, to still life and wildlife.
This year’s competition is being supported by Samsung, and this month’s first prize is the Samsung PL150 compact camera with dual LCD screens – one on the front as well as the back, and 12 million pixels. The second and third placed winners will receive a wonderful Amateur Photographer Loves My Pictures mug.
There are some great photos amoung the entries, and the shortlist for June runs to a respectable 23 pictures. Those that stand out from these include DeeJay, Hazem, Skiddawman and weefraz ? excellent efforts all of you.
mike_morley – me watching me
Mike is becoming a regular on the winner?s podium in these competitions, and its pictures like this that get him there. Sure, it?s a cute baby picture, but Mike?s shot really captures the curiosity that children have for their own reflections. Despite the title I?m sure the picture does not depict Mike, but it does suggest the baby knows the reflection is its own ? I wonder if it does. Perhaps it thinks it is another child, or even something it has seen on TV.
Photographically Mike has managed to find a nice bright room to take the shot, and the well reflected backlighting makes for a three dimensional baby with clearly formed features.
It?s a great picture and one that can be appreciated even if you?re not the baby?s mother.
LeeJ ? Anna
There is nearly always something to like about LeeJ?s pictures, but this one has a little extra for me. As usual the lighting is directed and revealing, and draws attention to where we are supposed to be looking. I love the soft transition from face to neck, and the streak that picks up the texture of the hair, but really what appeals to me most is the way the curve from chin to ear to forehead echoes the curved edge of the mirror, and the curve of the hair that is falling over the girl?s face. It is a constructed shot, but none the worse for it, as it has been done with care and with sensitivity.
Jasenz1 – Two Shadows
We?ve seen are really excellent street photography over the year in this competition, and this extraordinary picture from new-comer Jazenz1 is right up there with the best. The composition contains that wonderful combination of skill and luck ? or luck skilfully made the most of ? as we see lines come to points creating triangles and rectangles all over the place. Those lighting cables work astonishingly well as they cut their way into the shadows of the top of the frame. I love that they meet at the bottom left, and that the shadow of the cable perfectly meets the crack in the paving in the middle of the scene. The cut triangle of the upper right pushes the players onto the stage, and they neatly mirror each other in step as their right-angled shadows display their form.
The whole thing is set off in a seventies tonality of middle greys and moderate contrast masquerading as harsh black and white.
Damn fine effort, Jasenz1, and well worthy of the prize.
A great selection of pictures once again, and a great pleasure to be judging them. I think the winners demonstrate that both the more and the less obvious ideas can be successful, and that it is about the connection an image makes that governs how well it works. In a tie though it is the original, the different, the unusual that will win out.
Thanks again to all those who took the time to enter. An excellent round once more.