Our judge this month, Justin Cliffe, writes:
A nice selection of images to review and from which to select my favourite one - which is
Chechen Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal by Yasser Alaa Mubarak
A nicely seen environmental portrait of a monk, sitting on a step or ledge, partly in the sun, partly in the shade of the tree, the trunk of which we see to the left of the frame, holding it in. I get the impression that he knows that he’s being photographed however it’s a relaxed pose, as he looks across the scene. I like the mug beside him, gives us some more context. Lovely, soft colours, the red, yellow and blue working well together. All in all a very pleasing image.
I also have three Highly Commended images which are, in no particular order:
Cafe Life, Mainz, Germany by Sue Lambert
There’s an element of simplicity about this photograph, partly due to the soft, pastel, colours being used and the nice juxtaposition of the umbrellas, two at the top and four down below (forming a nice triangle of ‘brightness’), leading our eyes to the centre of the image.
The letterbox-ish shape works well here, with the tree on the left and the dark building on the right, holding the image together.
Observation, Glasgow by Andrew Flannigan
My eye was instantly drawn to the man on the street - and then the photograph of the woman in the shop window, looking in the opposite direction, creating some tension. It was only upon closer inspection that I saw the third person in this image - the woman at the top of the frame looking down upon this scene. She really makes this photograph for me - an excellent example of street photography. I should add that ‘Observation’ is an apt and well chosen title.
Crossing the road in Saigon at Christmas by David Portwain
This one amused me - with the two people riding the scooter dwarfed by a huge number of brightly coloured balloons. It’s a wonder that the bike didn’t just take off! What helps here is all the other scooters around this particular one - giving context to the photograph.
One final observation that I would make is that, in a number of images this month, the people who are the subject of the photos are generally looking downwards and one cannot see their faces. It does make a difference if the eyes can be seen - easily said but not necessarily easily achieved!