Judge: Harry Matthews
Prints allowed as normal

Portrait photography or portraiture in photography is a photograph of a person or group of people that captures the personality of the subject/mood by using effective lighting, backdrops, natural light and poses.  Can be artistic, or it might be clinical, or even selfies.  Can also be animals, pets, birds etc.  


Set Subject

Digital image of the month is  “anzac remembrance”.      Print image of the month is  “tuis chatting away”.

A Set subject

1 step 2 step 3 ducks.  
Charming group of ducks; the middle and far right images seem to be the same shot with one flipped horizontally. this is not explicitly ruled out for a triptych, but it seems contrived here and inconsistent with the image title. The left-hand image is soft, and the duck is larger than the other ones. I like the idea, but it needs more work. 
Not accepted

Alpine flowers of NZ. 
The concept of a central single flower surrounded by multi-flower images is good. Unfortunately, none of the images is sharp and they could have been exposed a little longer. The left-hand image is muddy and lacking in contrast.  Not accepted

Awatere Valley Triptych. 
The center image is lovely and well supported by the end images. I found the bright-red sky distracting and suggest cropping about half of it off. Unfortunately, much of the left-hand image is out of focus. This is very distracting, especially as it is much larger than the in-focus foliage on the right. Cropping half the left-hand image would help. An excellent idea badly let down by poor technique.  Accepted

Birds of the storm. 
An attractive entry. I’m not entirely comfortable with the somewhat-blurred flying birds but perhaps that’s the point. I wonder why the birds are flying out of the light into the dark, but I suppose that is their business.  Accepted

Ferris wheel study. The center image is excellent. It is reasonably well supported by the end panels.

This an intriguing entry. Is it Iceland architecture? The center image is by far the strongest. It is supported by the other images but the whole is not very coherent.   

The righthand image is good and anchors that side of the triptych well but the other two images are weak. The relationships between the images are weak. The boulder dominates the center, but it is of limited interest and isn’t supported by the side panels.  Not accepted

A classic triptych. The bottom left corner may be a little too bright, and so distracting, a trifle more detail in the darkest parts of the faces would help. Overall, very effective. Merit

Mushroom Trip.
 A challenging image: somewhat charming but I think one would soon get tired of it. Probably would be more appreciated by someone who is a fan of trips.  Over-saturated works with the “trip” concept as, I suppose, does the out of focus detail.  Accepted

Pretty in pink. 
I like the necklace running across the image. The out-of-focus background supports the necklace. How does the split into three help the image? Accepted

Are these three images of a dancer?  There is some continuity in the motion blur and the outer two images somewhat anchor the centre one. The colours are a bit monotonous and I don’t find the images particularly attractive. It doesn’t hold my attention for very long.   Not accepted

Space odyssey. 
Quite an attractive group of images although the far right one struggles to stand on its own. The left-hand images look like one image cut into two and breaking them up seems rather contrived and doesn't add to the ensemble. Accepted

Tapu Bay. 
 There is very little contrast between the three images and no major point of interest to anchor the viewer’s eye. The bottom left is a bit out of focus. I don’t see this as an A grade image. Not Accepted

The immortal rose. 
Popular subject for a tryptic. It could do with some sharpening, especially in the left-hand panel. Are all three images to the same scale? The larger size of the left-hand image pulls the viewer’s eye which is a pity because its softness makes it the least successful of the three images. Not Accepted

The rat catcher. 
Good story for a tryptic; three separate images that work together and tell a tale. Lovely sharp whiskers throughout; a pity both eyes are hidden in the right-hand image. Merit

The rise and fall of a manita. 
Meets the basic criteria for a tryptic. Are the stalks actually yellow or is there a colour cast? The left-hand image, in particular, appears not quite sharp and I don’t understand why it is smaller than the others. A promising tryptic that could be improved. Accepted

Triple tri.
 A pretty image but I’m not sure how long it would hold my attention. The bottom right is a bit too bright and pulls my eye away from the image as a whole. Accepted

A window to the eerie home. 
The far-right image looks like a flipped copy of the far-left image which is a bit boring. The “eeriness” is dramatic but feels quite contrived. The simplicity and similarities between the three panels limit their interest. The addition of the outer panels adds very little to the overall impact. Not accepted

B grade set subject

Evening gold. 
This is a lovely landscape although it lacks a focal point. I’m trying to figure out if the tryptic format helps. Maybe it does help a bit. Especially in the sky where the tryptic pattern emphases the structure in the sky.   Merit

If seen please notify authorities. 
The lighting on the center image adds an air of mystery but is just a bit lacking in detail in the darks; the outer images don’t add much to the total. I would have flipped the outer images so that they looked inwards, making a more coherent composition. However, it is a good attempt which I found interesting. Accepted

An excellent example of a triptych. It could be slightly improved by removing the far-right green blob. These shots might have been improved by using a polarizing filter to control bright whites. In B grade this is an Honours. Honours

How cute can you get, especially with a lovely chin strap to anchor the far right? I do wonder if the chick is a bit overdoing it; the triptych might be more coherent without the chick. I love the progression of the left penguin hastening eagerly forwards out of the snow and the chin-strap shot is outstanding. The snow is well-captured. Honours

C grade open

Autumn in lockdown. 
Beautiful! I love the implication that being in lockdown helps us appreciate what is outside our homes. Exposure is excellent with a full range of lights and darks. There is no classic center of interest, but the combination of the overhanging leaves and the seat works just as well. The relatively open woodland pulls the eye in and then the tree brings us back to the seat. I would consider a light vignette to perfect the composition. Outstanding. Honours

Balloon man takes a break. 
Unfortunately, balloon man is out of focus, generally unacceptable for the main topic. The balloons occupy too much of the frame and should probably be cropped off to slightly beyond balloon man’s knee. The snack on the table is part of the story but perhaps a bit too dominant. The background is in focus while the subject is not. This is a serious no-no. The concept is good and the bright colours are lovely.  Not accepted.

Do I have to come out of my bubble now? 
Remove the distractions at the top by cropping. This gives a better-balanced image. It would be nice to have more of the dog, but this may not have been possible. The brightness at the top right of the bear should be reduced by pulling down highlights in post processing. This would also improve the balance between the bear and the dog. See if an overall increase in sharpening helps the image.  Merit

C grade set subject

Another vineyard. 
This is a lovely vineyard photograph making the most of the autumn colours. Including the road does anchor the image and provide contrast but overall, I think the road distracts from the main subject. There is real promise in this image, especially if the road and the white barn are removed. Merit

Anzac remembrance. 
Three independent images make a dramatic triptych! The black on brown works well. The red side panels hold everything together. The small brown triangles in each image are unobtrusive but marginally distracting. This would be an A grade honours.Honours

Another excellent tryptic. I found the bleeding of the white parts of the images into the white background a bit distracting. Would thin unobtrusive borders be better? The center image grabs me and pulls me in. The outer images stand on their own but extend and support the center image. The whites are well controlled in general but where they bleed into the background is a bit over-the-top. Merit

Evans Bay Sunrise. 
Is this a single image broken into three components? There is much to like image. The soft glow in the clouds is superb and the red sky is very well captured. The red rims of some of the clouds are dramatic. There is no obvious centre of interest and breaking the image into 3 doesn’t really help. Merit

Kekerengu surfing.
A lovely shot of surfer and wave. The sharp spray from the wave, the pose of the water-skier, and the beautiful patch of white where the wave is breaking are all very attractive and well photographed. It does break into three components well.  Honours

Light after harvest. 
Another attractive subject unfortunately, this time, spoilt by lack of sharpness. The lighting is lovely, and the image is well exposed. It breaks into three components quite happily, but I don't think the tryptic treatment makes much difference in this case. The lack of sharpness makes a potentially excellent image into very borderline acceptance. Accepted

Starfish in the dunes.  
The original shot is creative and fun with good patterns in the sand. The sand is the primary component although the focal point is the person.  I’m not enthusiastic about breaking it into a triptych although that does help focus attention onto the subject. Overall, I find the overall colours and character pleasing. Merit

The three amigos. 
I particularly like the colours and the gentle waves. There is probably more sky than you need because the lower 2/3 of the image has all the structure. Lovely lighting on the sea. Each of the component images is excellent and, as a tryptych, each image stands on its own as well as contributing to the overall triptych. This triptych is more than the sum of its parts. Honours

Walking down the line. 
The outer images create a tryptic and/or provide borders for the centre one, but not much else. The role of the outer images is minor because a central lone person will always draw the viewer’s eye anyway. The image is generally well-exposed, but the green trees are over-saturated and some of the sky is burnt out; be careful not to overdo post-processing.  My suggestion for the future is to trust your insight into composition and use post-processing carefully. This image is attractive and peaceful but spoilt by the over-saturated greens. Merit

Windows of bears during lockdown. Lovely! The large teddy at the bottom anchors the left-hand side. The medley of beautifully exposed colours makes the image. The brick surround is interesting and holds the images together. Charming!  Honours

A grade prints

A moody image that I’m finding hard to figure out. It is a terrestrial scene, being a photograph, and the central orb is either the sun or the moon filtered by a red sky presumably due to a distant forest fire. The light on the cabin roof is attractive but the texture is not that of a normal roof. If this is desolation, where does the light on the centre left come from? The foreground grass is poorly defined and may be out of focus. The birds tend to distract from the idea of desolation. Even if I put aside common sense and look at this as an abstract image, I find myself increasingly dissatisfied because of the apparent contradictions. There is certainly an air of mystery in this image, rather than desolation. A photograph may have been the inspiration for this image, but the image is no longer a photograph.  Not accepted

Face up. 
Is anything in focus? Should this be regarded as an abstract? The orange flower does catch the eye but when I get there it is quite disappointing. The object at the bottom left is certainly mysterious but rather ugly. Again, a photograph may have been the inspiration, but the result is not a photograph. Not accepted

A lovely splotch of colour and an intriguing collection of subjects. The out-of-focus flower provides an attractive background to the jewel in the foreground. “Gerberra” is a curious title for such an out-of-focus component but I don’t judge titles. Accepted

A grade prints set subject

Approaching storm. 
This is quite attractive especially if you remove the telegraph poles in the distance. I don’t think the tryptic treatment adds to this image which stands well on its own. The sky is lovely and well-exposed; it provides a centre of interest that keeps the viewer coming back from the cornfields. Merit

C grade open prints

Tuis chatting away. This qualifies as a tryptic but is listed as open. The three images illustrate different characteristics of these charming birds. The birds are sharp and well-exposed, and the background is just the right amount out of focus. Congratulations on an image that would merit honours in any grade. Honours