Open Judge: Don Kelly
Dawn Robin Hood Bay – This is a lovely landscape and I like your positioning off centre of the point of interest – the tree. Nice exposure leaving a small amount of detail showing in the hills. My suggestion to give it more impact is to crop most of the mown grass in the foreground as in my opinion, this doesn’t add anything to the image. Acc.
Fantail Noir – This uses depth of field very well with nothing left to distract the viewer. The making of a great image is to simplify, simplify, simplify, and you have done it very well here. Congratulations. Merit
Feeding the birds – A good record which will provide a nice lasting family memory. I have just said how the secret of a great image is to simplify. To me, this image suffers from being too ‘busy’- too much going on, so distracting the viewer. I wonder whether a stronger image could have been created by zooming in closer and concentrating on the boy’s face and reducing the number of birds? Acc.
Little Welsh girl – Beautifully done and perfectly suited to Black and White. Your exposure is ideal here and the way the girl’s eyes capture the viewer is good. I also like the way you have used the bonnet to frame her head because without it her hair would have blended into the background too much for me. I would have loved her eyes to be looking straight down the lens, but that is getting ‘picky’. Merit
Storm at sea – Using B/W has enhanced the mood of the storm here. Well done. I like the way you have left the whitecaps at the bottom because to me they tend to balance the snow covered mountains above. As an exercise, try cropping the whitecaps off – to me, the image then loses some of its impact. Acc
Sunrise at the beach – I admit to a liking for abstract images but a good one still should retain an element of detail the viewer can identify, allowing their mind to fill in the rest. Unfortunately, to me this image has none of that. Simply using camera movement is not enough and it can be that from dozens of images captured this way only very few will work. Please keep trying though. N/A
A ripple in the space-time continuum – A smart title although I admit to consulting Collins to find the meaning. You have given this a lot of thought and the compositional lines, especially the bottom half sky lines complement the shape of the hills culminating in the meeting at the moon directly above the trig on the hills. Another approach could be to crop off the top 25% making a panoramic image. To me, that could be stronger. Acc
Deliverance – A lot of thought and planning has gone into this, and it has paid off. The lighting, the toning, the dress, the expressions, the location – all these tell me a story and I love it. Maybe the story I get is a different one from another viewer but that doesn’t matter. Brilliant. Honours
Horseback – I love what you have attempted here. It is a simple, but effective composition. Unfortunately, to me the shallow depth of field has let it down, but it is certainly worth another attempt. Acc
Magnolia – A lovely composition and your handling of the exposure is great. It would be very easy to overexpose the flower, but not done here. I like your abstracting of the buds and background – well done. Merit
Myself and I – I like the way you have created this and at the same time generated many questions in the viewers mind. Your use of tones, the blending of two images, the question of what happened, what has resulted, all ensure that the viewer lingers over it and that means it has been successful. Honours.
Newlyweds – A nice catching of this important moment. As a suggestion, it is possible to position the hands so that the viewer can see the bride’s ring too. I like the way you have softened the background. Merit
Pansy posy – I like the way you have handled this. The background doesn’t distract, and I like the way you have left the dropped petals, because to me they add to the story. I think the square format is perfect for this image too. Honours
Rarangi colours – Familiar territory. Another abstract which still allows the viewer to add their own interpretation of what they are looking at. I like it. Acc
Summer ski field – A nice record of what was there but I want more. The gravel mound provides some foreground interest but I think walking a few metres and featuring a power [or is it a ski lift ?] pole could make more of the foreground. Also – watch the verticals. It seems to me all the poles are leaning to the left. N/A
Veiled sunset – This image is an example of what I said earlier. By including a touch of visual reality, an abstract image can become much more. With the hint of distant hills, and foreshore, and the lovely pastel tones throughout I like it. Well done. Merit