RPS Landscape Group Monthly Competition, Overall Winner of 2022
The Landscape Group are very privileged to have Alex Hare to judge the overall winner from all the monthly winners of our Landscape Group monthly competitions.
Thank you for asking me to judge your 12 finalists from 2022. I’m honoured to judge for you and review your work.
There are 12 excellent images for each month of the year and the supporting statement from each photographer was incredibility useful and insightful.
My role as a judge is something I hope can offer a fair, balanced and constructive means for understanding how I look at your photos and assess their merits. Accordingly, I have set out below the criteria I use to guide me so that I can be transparent with you about how I judge a photo and so you can see what I am looking for in my assessment:
Art & Creativity
1. Originality; what’s new here?
2. wow factor
3. Feeling and emotion
1. camera craft; correct settings, control of lighting (natural or flash)
2. Technique, timing, lighting
For the winning image I have chosen:
Moored by Steven Baldwin LRPS
Working in a landscape away from the popular locations is a double edged sword; there is original subject matter and stories to tell but it’s not always easy to capture these in the most beguiling light or weather. However, Steven has managed both and in any art form, originality is the ultimate currency, in my view.
The composition is very well crafted and doesn’t rely on any obvious ‘rules’ although they are present in a very subtle way in terms of thirds and lead lines through the position of the post, rope, dinghy and vessel against the sky. This subtlety is very much in the image’s favour because it works more subliminally on the viewer and allows us to enjoy the portrayal of the subject whilst in the background, these compositional tools take effect on how we are guided through the photo by the photographer.
I also particularly enjoyed the colour balance/theory in the image. The colour wheel places red and green opposite each other and this is always a compelling combination when used without contrivance, which Steven has achieved. Accordingly, the red hull and green marsh are a powerful colour set and make the image really ‘sing’ for the viewer. Add in the beautiful, Turner-esque sky, which always compliments a maritime scene on the East coast where Turner worked so often, and the elements within the scene are all there for something very special, which Steven has tuned into and distilled brilliantly into his photograph.
Steven’s camera technique is clearly very good. His use of aperture and shutter speed is obviously very accomplished and I really liked the portrait format as this captured the vertical nature of the scene, including the soaring mast, very well and avoided any excess space left or right which a landscape format alternative might have suffered from.
A wonderful photograph and, as I often find when asked to assume the role of a photo judge, one I wish I’d had an opportunity to take myself! Well done Steven, excellent landscape photography and a deserved winner.
I have chosen the following image as a runner up:
Waters Edge by Lindsay Southgate.
Although the location is not new to anyone, Lindsay’s portrayal of this scenery and her choice of subject and angle of view certainly is and I thoroughly enjoyed the blend of monochromatic and colour elements that seamlessly blend together in this photo.
The highlights and shadows combine beautifully for a really compelling visual feast and the image encouraged me to linger on it for quite some time as I journeyed around all the parts captured in it. There is a calm feeling it embodies which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Lindsay’s camera craft is excellent, her technical skills are well used for sharpness throughout and she has controlled exposure perfectly; the smoothness in the still water is reflected in the softness in the clouds against which we enjoy the sharpness of the grasses and hills. I also appreciated her use of the compressed oblong format to suit the subject matter in her composition.
In terms of the composition, I felt the choice of the subject was brave and brilliantly distilled into a thoroughly coherent and well crafted image with beautifully soft lighting that is in one sense cool and yet retains a warm glow; another juxtaposition that serves the image well.
Well done Lindsay, an outstanding landscape photo.
A big thank you to Alex Hare for agreeing to judge the winner from all the monthly winners of our Landscape Group competition. I am sure you will agree Alex has chosen a very worthy winner and a bonus runner up. Many of you will be familiar with Alex from his talks and workshops that he has done for the group. You can see Alex’s work at www.alexharephotography.com
RPS Landscape Members are invited enter their landscape images into 2023's monthly competitions. Full instructions can be found on the RPS Landscape Group website.
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