Digital Portfoilo Competition 2015

11th March 2015
Judge Gary Langley came from Nottingham to comment on the submissions in groups of five images from each photographer. There was a wide range of images from striking landscapes to portraits, natural history to abstracts, jets to a Lancaster and still life to industrial landscapes. There were also some more unusual subjects including spiders and and a Cayman. The author of this image was congratulated on being there to get this image at all.

Gary was particularly looking for detail in the images and commented on how the photographers had handled the exposure. He liked skies full of detail and those entries taken in inclement weather took his eye as they added drama and interest. He echoed a comment by a judge earlier in the season in suggesting that night time shots are best taken when there is enough light in the sky to give a blue background with some detail.

Some judges like to see an image which is largely untouched, but Gary was very much at the other end of the scale, remarking that for him what mattered was what he saw in front of him, not how it got there. He was happy to see elements such as a well placed bird added to enhance an image and frequently suggested that the background could have been darkened or blurred, the saturation boosted or parts of the image cloned in or out. He pointed out the potential for light coloured clothing to reflect flash, for hands to detract from portraits and the impact of the choice of crop. In common with other judges we have seen this season, the message seems to be that a tighter crop generally worked better and focussed the eye on the principal subject.

At the end of the evening Gary had held back three sets of images, each of which ably demonstrated the photographer's versatility and skill in different subject areas. When the scores were announced Geoff Stoddart was declared the winner with 20 points, Mike Vickers came second with 19 and Dick Lewis third with 18.