The Final Results of 2016 – Online!

Each month we hold an online competition and these are judged internally and the top 3 selected. In December we have a best of the best competition. The top 3 from each month are brought together for one final showdown. For each month there is a theme, but obviously for December there can be no theme and all the images are sorted so that it’s not clear which month’s theme they relate to (in any case some entrants have interpreted the themes so imaginatively you wouldn’t be able to even guess!). All these then go to an external judge so it remains completely impartial. This year the judge was Richard Walton FRPS EFIAP MPAGB BPE3*. 

Well Richard has deliberated, pondered, scratched his head and finally decided so here are his words of wisdom.

Here we go. Firstly, let me say how delighted I was to be invited to judge this competition.  In advance of receiving the images I really thought it would be an easy hour or so, but when the images arrived it was plain to see that this was going to be a serious task.  The quality of image presented, both in terms of pictorial quality and technical excellence, was quite superb making the task of choosing the top three extremely challenging.  As with all competition, there will be those who think I’m the best judge since the invention of photography and others that think I should have been put down at birth.  The trick is to get the balance tipping towards the former!  With that thought bringing, I’m sure, a few wry smiles, I give you my selection.

First Place. – ‘Nothing left to Drink’ – Very much a picture out of nothing that works for two reasons.  Firstly it’s an image that relies on pictorial implication for its success  We have a photographer with advanced visionary skills that is able to transfer simple ideas into big statements.  Secondly, in order to achieve an image that is instantly memorable, he or she is fully aware that the successful photographer must combine pictorial excellence with superior technical presentation.  A fine image and worthy winner.

Second Place – ‘U Bahn’ – A fisheye lens is hard to master even by the most skilled photographer, yet once in a while a busy judge will come across an image with a concept that is regularly seen but, because of the technique employed. rises above the norm.  That is the case with ‘U Bahn’.  Most of us, me included, would have reached for a wide angle, a 17mm in my case, without realising the opportunity for a spectacularly different interpretation that was just a lens away.  This is the best use of a fisheye lens that I’ve seen for a very long time.  Another example of a picture out of nothing that ticks all the boxes.

Third Place – ‘A Different Personal Service’ – This was the most difficult selection to make.  I spent more time trying to separate two candidates.  One was beautifully presented, showed great skills at both the taking stage and post processing.  The other, my winner, relies on excellent seeing, anticipation and speed of reaction, the classic attributes that are essential for the skilled street photographer.  Street is not easy.  If anything, the skills needed to get it absolutely right makes it one of the most difficult genres to work with.  ‘A Different Personal Service’ combines all the skills that the great street workers of the past taught us but also adds an element of humour that can’t fail to raise a chuckle.  I love it!

There you have it.  My congratulations not only to the top three, but to all who reached this final stage of the competition, an achievement in itself.  Every image I’ve had the pleasure of assessing has been superb and deserves to do well in future events.  Another judge will have a different view to mine of course, so bathe in the glory milk it for all it’s worth.
Thank you for the privilege.

Best regards

Thank you very much Richard for your work and words and I hope you have a very good Christmas. OK now you all want to know who the authors were. In third place with his “in your face” shot was John Upson with his take on “A Different Personal Service”. Second place going from underground to almost the top was Nigel Hazell with his “U-Bahn”. However taking pride of place at the end of the year was a nothing of a shot by (this is embarrassing) yours truly, Steve Wright, with “Nothing Left To Drink”. As usual I will say well done to everybody but especially so on this occasion as every entrant came 1st, 2nd, or 3rd during the year. All the images are in the gallery below.
Remember a new year is starting with the January online subject which is “Street Furniture” so start taking those shots, but don’t get run down in the road.
Happy Christmas everybody.

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