Intermediate Images and judges notes
CP Steeple
Steeple in the Mist by Craig Purvis - awarded 1st place
There is a lovely atmosphere to this image. The mist gives the lower part an air of mystery and at the top we have reality with a lovely coloured sky and trees silhouetted on the hill. The composition works  well as we have interest from top to bottom and across the width of the image. I think it is important when we have mist that we can still see the scene. It doesn’t work if the mist is too dense. Here it is just right and gives an ethereal quality.

SH Morning Calm on Coniston
Morning Calm, Coniston by Steve Hardman -awarded 2nd place
I enjoyed this image . We have the jetty leading us into the image across the lake. The frost on the jetty and on the top of the posts enhances the scene. Had there been a lot of ripples in the water this wouldn’t have worked so well. As it is, due to the calm water we have a lovely clear reflection. The sky is adding interest and we have some lovely mist on the hills on the  LHS and I like the splash of orange in the top RH corner.

DW Fox on the alert
Fox on the Alert by David Wilkinson awarded 3rd place
A charming image of the fox which looks very alert with its ears up. There is a glint in its eye and lovely fur detail. The pose works well as the fox stands out against the diffused background of a sympathetic colour. I like the foliage in the foreground. I think it contrasts well with the background.

CP Treecloud
Tree Cloud by Craig Purvis - HC
A dramatic image, well printed. We have the full range from white to black. The shape of the cloud works well. It appears to wrap itself around the tree. The trees are all pin sharp. It is possible to make out all the individual branches in the large tree. I like the composition. Everything is contained within the cloud.

MS trees
Angry Sunset by Martin Stokes - HC
The sky here is really dramatic with so many colours from blue to grey to yellow. Then we have a magnificent tree covering a large area. At first it bothered me that we were missing the top of the tree. I do get hung up about things going out of pictures. However, when I looked again, I decided that in this instance it was really fine. To have got back farther to include the whole tree would have upset the composition. It is such a great tree it deserves its commanding space in the image.

CP Follow Me
Follow Me - I'll Follow You  by Craig Purvis
An amusing title for this image. The front bird is really sharp around the head and we can see the fish in the following bird’s beak. The background works well but due to the angle at which the birds are in flight, they are overlapping one another and the bird in the rear isn’t very sharp. With all this going on it has resulted in a busy image. Good try, pity it didn’t quite come off.

DW Sparrowhawk at rest
Sparrowhawk at Rest by David Wilkinson
Lovely feather detail here and I like the way the bird is looking forward so that we can see both of its eyes. That often doesn’t happen with images of this type of bird. We can clearly see the claws gripping the branch and the background is reasonably well diffused. There are a few highlights here that I think would benefit from being toned down a little, but on the whole a successful image.

DW Yellowhammer with Bug
Yellowhammer with Bug by David Wilkinson
You have done well to capture this bird with the insect. The insect and the bird are really sharp and we have good feather detail. There is also a catch light in the eye which enhances it. So that area of the image is a delight. I just feel that we have too much of the shrub overall. I like the area behind the bird as it is slightly diffused and isn’t competing. However I would like to see a lot of the shrub cropped off so that we can concentrate on the star of the piece, the yellowhammer. Had I been showing this I could have indicated the crop I think it needs. Try and use your imagination to read my mind.

GFP Canals
Costumes, Canals and Carnivale by Gill Ford Pier
The photographer has combined one of the costumed figures with a typical Venice scene. We are told that it is creative.  It has been well done as we can’t see the join and we can imagine this figure viewing the canal. However it still looks like an image of two halves. I admire the skill that has gone into making this image but I don’t feel the parts fit together well.

GFP Stormy seas
Wild Seas by Gill Ford Pier
This seems a popular spot for this type of image as we have another one coming later. I also came across this location in a competition I judged recently. Here you have captured an exciting moment where the wave curves so well in the centre of the image. I like the inclusion of the rocks in the foreground as I think they give a good base to the image. The lighthouse is giving us a focal point on the LHS and I think we can see the light shining out. We also have an interesting sky. I was thinking we may well take a trip to Porthcawl in the present crisis, keep ourselves away from people, and have a go at photographing this. I think the situation has now changed and we shall be staying at home.

MS mighty oak
Mighty Oak by Martin Stokes
I like the way the moss is highlighting the trunk and the branches of the tree. We have mist in the background giving us atmosphere. I like the lighting on the leaves of the saplings. I have said a lot about busy pictures and I feel this comes into that category, mainly because of the twigs in the foreground. Not the photographers fault, the woodland hasn’t been well managed, but you need to find a different angle.

MS vauxall
Splash by Martin Stokes
You have certainly caught the action well here with mud spraying all over the car and beyond. We have a good background which doesn’t distract. I like the fact that we have an area of grass in the foreground which gives a good base to the image. My only disappointment is that we can barely see the driver. I wouldn’t expect a perfect portrait but I would have liked to see a bit more definition in this area. Otherwise, nice and sharp where it needs to be and the colours look good.

SH Lilian at Rest
Lilian at Rest by Steve Hardman
A good title for this image with the old boat moored up with a view of Lindisfarne in the background, nicely framed by the structure of the boat. I like the fact that the boat doesn’t look pristine. We have some rust and wearing timbers. My only small problem with this image is that I feel we need more space beneath the boat. We are actually missing a bit of the keel and I think it needs that and a bit more space too. I once photographed a boat named Mavis on a visit to a seaside resort. I made it into a birthday card for an old friend named (you guessed it) Mavis. She was delighted. I wonder if the photographer has any friends named Lilian that he or she can please in a similar way.

SH Sunset at Talisker
Sunset Talisker by Steve Hardman
A lovely mackerel sky enhanced by the red glow which is reflected in the sea. Some interesting rocks in the foreground which glisten as they are wet. I like the inclusion of the rocks in the sea on LHS. I think it helps to balance the image. As does the rocky outcrop on the RHS. I just had a slight feeling of unease about the colour. Particularly the rocks in the foreground. It seems a bit unreal.