Our judge Justin Cliffe writes:
A nice selection of images to look through and enjoy this month - and from both near and far - the wonder of travel photography!
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, one can get a good understanding as to either the location, or the environment, where they were taken.
Lesa working in Japan, March 2023 by David Cummings
Very simple, helped by the monochrome treatment and the soft tones used by the photographer. Lesa’s central position in the frame, on the edge of the shoreline / sandspit (which neatly provide leading lines into the image), and her head being framed by the shrine works really well - the two of them nicely separated from the background by the mist or haze.
Simple, restful and effective with a great sense of place - well done to both Lesa and the photographer of this image.
Heat Is Survival, Long, Nagaland, India by David Huggett
A seemingly delightful photograph of these four young girls, however the title tells us that this is more than a cosy picture of them around the cooking stove - it’s them keeping warm. The usual advice is that odd numbers of people in a photograph work best however I don’t think that’s the case here.
What does work well is the girl on the right, in the dominant pink jacket, looking straight at the photographer whilst the other three look to be distracted elsewhere. The out of focus background completes the picture, giving some indication of where they are all living but without being a distraction.
Forest Duel, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland by Thomas Andy Branson
A wonderful, and unusual, top-down view of a forest in Scotland which, without the title, requires a closer look to ascertain what we’re seeing here. The interplay between the two colours works well - with the dividing line between the two types of trees nearly, but not quite, down the centre of the frame (it just needed just a little off the left edge of the frame).
A different sort of travel image but a good one nevertheless.
Start of the Race, Oman by Sanjoy Sengupta
Even without the title, there’s no question as to where we are here, the start of a camel race somewhere in the Middle East - I can sense the noise and excitement building!
What makes the image for me are the two men in the bottom left, goading the camel on. Lighting is good, presumably taken fairly on in the day - and the image is well exposed, not easy with the white thobes being worn by everyone. One suggestion would be to use a wider aperture, which would help throw the background, and the crowd of onlookers, out of focus and create more depth to the image