Nature has been Judged

A large entry this month so not an easy task for our judge, Harry Wentworth.

There is not a bad image in all the 19 entered which included 11 bird images, 6 of which are sea birds so probably taken on the club’s Farne Island trip.

The results are:

  • 1st – Hickory Dickory Dock – Michelle Howell – A very appealing image, perfectly sharp with a good unobtrusive background and a clever title, faultless, an obvious winner.
  • 2nd – Gannets – Paul Wagstaff – Lovely image of a pair of gannets, I like the interaction between them. Very sharp on the main subjects and a nice bright exposure, would have been better without the 3rd gannets head bottom right but fairly unobtrusive.
  • 3rd – Kestrel – Patrick Maloney – A great sharp image of a kestrel in flight, not easy to do and get right.I find the tree stump a bit close to the subject but overall a very competent image.
    Highly commended – Kingfisher – John Maynard – Beautiful colours on the bird which is nice and sharp with a good unobtrusive background. A little static and not doing anything to give interest.
  • Highly Commended – Puffin – Robert Bilton – The best of the 4 puffin images as the lighting is good and has the added interest of the bird holding sand eels in its beak.
  • Highly Commended – Harvest Mice – Peter Wells – A charming image nice and sharp with a good background. I feel the thistle is a little dominant compared the the mice.
  • Highly Commended –  Common Darter – Neil Clarke – Beautifully captured with quite a good background, nice and sharp in most areas but just going soft towards the end of its body. The bright flowers cropped in half at the bottom of the image are a little distracting.

Comments on the other images.

  • Spiderlings – An interesting and unusual subject but a little small in the frame the colour of the potentilla flowers is very pleasing and the background is good.
  • Bird in the Hand – The bird is sharp around the eye area but not very sharp elsewhere. A good background. I find the hand very bright and distracting.
  • Tansy Beetle – A good, almost monochrome image, it’s a shame that one of the antenna is out of focus but I realise it is not easy at this level of magnification.
  • In the Summertime – Sharp where it needs to be, the very bright green background too distracting taking the attention away from the subject.
  • Cast Beach, Tenby – The author has done well to capture the rainbow, not easy as they don’t hang around for long and exposure can be tricky. The image feels to be running down to the right but the horizon is horizontal so it’s just the beach naturally sloping into the sea. The waves are well captured and the hazy cliffs in the far distance are very attractive.
  • Puffin – A competent image but there is a lot of ‘puffin competition’ this month. The white of the bird feels a little dull compared to the other 3 puffin images.
  • Puffin’s Dinner – The sand eels provide good added interest but the light is on the back of the bird and it’s face is in shadow. Bright highlights in the background are distracting.
  • Goldfinch at St Aidans – A good unobtrusive background and added interest from the colourful gorse bush but unfortunately the bird is too small in the frame.
  • Harlequin Rasbora – An attractive, unusual and colourful image but there seems to be a halo around the fishes or lack of sharpness, the plants are very bright and therefore distracting.
  • Farne Island Puffin with Sand Eels – A good image with added interest from the sand eels, I would rather see a side view of the bird’s head and eye as the whites of the head are a in shadow, background is distracting.
  • Jay – A competent image but no life in the bird’s eye and the artificial poppy doesn’t help in the nature category.
  • Fish Lunch – I like the interest from the dead fish and the water droplets have been caught well, unfortunately the light is on the bird’s back and the beak is blurred.

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