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Northern Lights RPS Travel

Our judge this month, Justin Cliffe, writes:

A good selection of images to look through and enjoy this month - and nice to see a few more entries as well.After some considerable thought, I have come up with a shortlist, each image providing a really nice sense of place - by which I mean that, in looking at them, I can get a good understanding as to either the location, or the environment, where they were taken.In the end, I have picked, as my winner of the May Image of the Month:Tavira, Portugal by Andrew Flannigan

I was immediately drawn to this photograph - there is an air of mystery about the figure and yet this is a typical scene to be found in small towns around Portugal.Our eyes are led up the stairs to the figure at the top, nicely placed right in the middle of the frame. The black and white treatment works well here, giving it a real timelessness to it - in that it could have been taken last week - or 50 years ago. My one recommendation would be either to crop out the light at the top of the image, or include it in its entirety - probably the former as it does draw the eye away from the point of interest - the figure at the top of the stairway.I also have some Highly Commended images as well, these are, in no particular order:Sadhu, Varanasi, India by David Huggett

This image stands out with the sadhu’s vivid orange attire very much drawing one’s eye to him - as does his splendid white beard. The fact that he is gazing out into the distance helps here, far better than looking directly at the camera, making this a very reflective, peaceful scene.The yellow poster (?) behind him complements the sadhu's clothing and, with the nicely contrasting blue woodwork - possibly an old door - behind him give this a nice feel.The Hemp Weaver, Sung Muoi Cultural Village, Vietnam by Jane Tearle

There are a number of images of people in workshops this month but this one stands out, for me, because of the woman’s expression as she, seemingly, battles with her loom. Lovely, pastel colours, all of which work well together - added to which we can see some of her environment - indeed, a nice sense of place.Looking more closely at the photograph, I was amused, or interested, to see that she has replaced the sandal on her right foot with a trainer - presumably so that she can operate her machine more easily, a nice detail.

Anyone for tennis? Mumbai, India by Saurabh Bhattacharya 

Very difficult to ignore this photograph - I like the fact that the photographer has got down low, to the subject level, to take this image. The monochrome, almost sepia, treatment works well - otherwise the red-bricked building in the background would have been competing for our attention. The image also asks questions - a man wielding a tennis racket in the middle of what appears to be a street, albeit an unexpectedly empty one, in Mumbai?