Here’s the last of our judges shortlist selections for the photography competition from Steve.
I love this image by Bruno. His perfect alignment and framing is absolutely essential for creating this successful shot. The architectural form is beautifully symmetrical; not just right and left but top and bottom. He has judged the exposure perfectly, the low-key tones accentuates the golden light on the middle arches and those small areas of blue are just enough to break the rhythm of the predominately yellow tones.
It is a quiet, still image which is in perfect harmony with the location. But probably my favourite element of the image is the depth created by the long, receding arches in the centre.
I have spent much of my life shooting b&w pictorial landscapes, but never in a landscape like this!
This is an amazing location and Samuel has done a great job of creating the appearance of an almost lunar landscape. The light and shadow is just perfect; punctuating the hills and valleys and creating a dramatic sense of depth. And the ambiguous scale and the meandering forms, are all components of this striking panorama. The drama is also magnified by the well judged contrast range.
This image of receding arches, by Mark Coggins, is a lovely example of tone control. The soft mid-tones are predominant with only a few areas of pure white highlights or pure black shadows, this creates an aesthetically pleasing transition throughout the photo and a very subtle delineation between each area of light, finishing with the lantern that punctuates the centre of the frame. I could stare into this corridor for ages and I would love to see this in print!
I have only tried wildlife photography a few times and I must admit that I found it much more difficult than I expected! To produce a well balanced composition, and capture a sharp, perfectly frozen image requires a great deal of skill!
This great image, of a vulture, by Rob Blanken ticked all the boxes for me. The cropping, with the bird in the top third of the frame, is well considered, and the strong monochrome form of the vulture, against the pure white background, is so graphic that it adds to the impression that the bird is swooping overhead with a real sense of malice; it’s eyes are firmly fixed on the photographer!
This is a very interesting image. I have always personally worked within a realist / documentary genre and I have never been too keen on over-manipulation. However, digital technology is a new medium and it makes sense that it should be occasionally used experimentally and creatively. This is a problem if the results are too sentimental, tawdry or detract from the subject matter. However, I really like the overall effect created by Mark in this image of a church tower.
The photograph doesn’t pretend to be a factual recording of a church but rather a montage/overlay of various elements which successfully creates a slightly surreal photograph without depth and neither day or night. I feel this works well and portrays a soft, painterly, dream-like image which I think is a very effective technique when applied to this subject matter.
I see many semi-abstract images of architectural interiors, and this b&w shot from Emma, is a very fine example.
I still enjoy photographs that avoid shooting at eye level, and when done well, it can emphasise and strengthen the formal elements within the frame.
This image is all about framing, and the frame successfully accentuates the repeated curves and tonality of the stairway. I love the ambiguous form in the lower, left-hand corner and the two twisted black lines running through the centre. However, it is the almost organic design of the architecture (in the land of Gaudi!) which makes Emma’s technique very effective and pleasing to the eye!
Do leave a comment below and tell us which are your favourites and why!
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Steve Ellaway is an old college friend of Alan’s at the University of Derby where they studied together. He worked as principal photographer at English Heritage North and later became a lecturer in photography at Swansea Metropolitan University and Filton Collge Bristol, where he taught for 20 years. He has had work published in the British Journal of Photography, Phototech Magazine and the German leading on line Magazine: Kwerfeldein. He was recently voted as the British Landscape Photographer of the year by the ‘Outdoor Photographer’ Magazine. He is also a member of Getty Images.
View Steve’s website.