A BIG result for small subjects!

The subject for the July online competition was “Macro” and entrants “went large” on trying to photograph small subjects. Most went for various species of insects. Steve Ininns, winner of many club  competitions,  was the judge for this round and he has finished his deliberations. His words of wisdom are below.

So here goes …. my first online judging, of a subject which I’m very close to. MACRO photography! ! This form of photography is an extremely addictive activity, it is very exciting to be able to produce great prints of detail that is normally difficult to see with the naked eye. 

The best macro images, regardless of what camera you use, require the use of the smallest lens aperture to give as much depth of field as possible, as in this style of photography, due to the closeness to your subject, Depth of Field can sometimes be down to millimetres. Lighting is also important, because of the small aperture used, if good lighting is not available, slow shutter speeds will occur, and in many cases where your subject is a live creature, it will have moved before you can capture the shot! However the subject matter in macro is not restricted to animals and insects, it has such a broad range of subjects. almost anything can be used. 

Looking at the images submitted , there is a great diversity in the subjects photographed, so having taken into account the Image, subject, lighting, depth of field and the framing of the image … here are my results :- 

1st place – Tortoiseshell Butterfly – a nice capture of this beautiful butterfly. The image is sharp throughout the whole butterfly and the flower head that it is sitting on showing good technical ability to control the depth of field.  The background is beautifully out of focus bringing the viewers attention to the main subject of the photograph, (if I was to be super critical then I would possibly give it a slightly closer crop to show off the fine detail of the butterfly … but I can live without it ).

2nd Place Abstract in Glass  – A very close run contest with first place.  I looked long and hard, and deliberated for quite some time between these two shots. This image has great detail and lighting, glass being quite a tricky subject to photograph well,  particularly being able to avoid reflections and bright highlights. What swayed it for me was the winner was subject to weather conditions whereas the glass can be shot in a more controlled environment.  But apart from that a great image. 

3rd Place – Glasswing Butterfly – A good capture of the butterfly, showing the glass type wings and beautiful colours. I believe that the image would have been a stronger composition if the butterfly was at a slight angle and the flower that it is on was coming out of the bottom of the frame instead of the corner.  The whole flower could then have been in focus but all in all a good attempt. 

Thank you for the privilege of judging these images. It was a great experience, and thank you for everyone  who took the time and made the effort in entering this monthly competition – there are some good images.  Unfortunately not everyone can win, and I hope that all involved will continue to support the monthly competitions and good luck with in next month’s subject of OLD.

Thanks Steve for all those fine comments and I would also like to thank all those who scrambled around in the garden and elsewhere to get the shots.  The gallery of all the images is below and here. Remember next month the subject is OLD – interpret that as you want. Why not have a go.

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