Beginners Images & judges comments
BC Solstice

Dawn Breaking Winter Solstice by Bridget Codrington - awarded 1st place
I really enjoyed this image. It is dramatic with very clear silhouettes of all the observers. I did like the symmetry here. Obviously you didn’t place the rocks but you positioned yourself to get this composition. A wow sort of sky with colours ranging from pale yellow to navy blue. The tree on RHS adds to the scene.   

DE Bird Box
Bird Box No. 7 by Dave Eagle - awarded 2nd place
What an inventive title. A lot of us would probably have called it Misty Woodland. I soon spotted the bird box. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the woodland, the mistiness. The image was nice and sharp. This image brought back happy memories for me as we had friends who owned a wood in Herefordshire where they had erected many bird boxes. When we visited them we would help to survey all the boxes and this record was returned to the RSPB or a similar body. I noted that box no 7 was quite high. This would have entailed the use of a ladder and the men would have to deal with that one.

HC stairwell
Stairwell by Helena Chambers - awarded 3rd place
A very sharp image and the viewpoint chosen has given us some interesting angles. It works well in monochrome and the square format suits the image. It is good to see a much simpler form of staircase than we usually see in competitions. They are mostly curved, coloured and ornate. Here we have something different and I like the clean lines with the monochrome.

TL carmine bee eater
Southern Carmine Bee Eater by Tony Leach - awarded HC
It is good to see a natural history image in the set. I like the way the bird is at an angle within the frame. What a beautiful creature this is. The head and beak here are pin sharp and we have a catch light in the eye. It stands out well against the cloudless blue sky. There are one or two areas which are a little soft, the lower edge of the wing and the tail. However you have done well to capture this bird in flight.

 BC Slaters Bridge
Slaters Bridge by Bridget Codrington
This is a very unusual bridge and I think most of us would be reaching for our cameras to capture it. I like the unusual rock formation on the RHS in the foreground and we have an interesting sky. I feel that the viewpoint isn’t quite right as the bridge is blending into the hillside behind. I think it would have worked better if you could have found an angle with a clearer view of the bridge. Of course, it is easy for judges to say this. It may have involved wading knee deep in cold water, risking ones camera gear in the process, just to get the effect the judge wants.

BC Wilton Water
First Frost, Wilton Water by Bridget Codrington
You have captured the mist in the water well and this certainly adds atmosphere to the scene. I like the inclusion of the foliage in the foreground and this is pin sharp so a good depth of field has been used .My only criticism of the image is that I would have liked to see the top of the tall tree on LHS. I feel it is an important part of the image and my eyes keep going to it and it bothers me that it looks chopped off.

 DE Fallen
 Fallen by Dave Eagle
I wonder if this is a different area of the woodland we saw earlier as we have another clever title. Once again we have a lovely atmospheric mist. The composition works well with the fallen tree framed by the standing ones. It makes me think we need to proceed with care when walking in woodland. I feel this branch could have caused injury if it had fallen as we passed under it.

DE Staying in Touch
Staying in Touch by Dave Eagle
Yet another clever title, as the branch straddles the path and reaches the trees on the other side. I like the lighting on the leaves on RHS. I couldn’t help thinking that it wouldn’t be very comfortable walking through here with all those twiggy bits in the way. I must ask our daughter for the proper term as she has a Phd in forestry. I think it may be called brash.The image is nice and sharp but it didn’t excite me as some of the others have done.

HC love lavenderLove Lavender by Helena Chambers
I have photographed fields of lavender but I hadn’t thought of including people in the shot. I think this adds interest but on closer inspection it didn’t ring true. Lavender doesn’t really grow all that tall but here it is up to the woman’s waist. It appears that the figure was dropped in, yet the title says T and not C. I wondered at first if the woman could have been kneeling down. No, we can’t see her legs behind. Perhaps the photographer dug a hole! We have an interesting sky and the lavender is sharp and a good colour.

HC work in progress
Work in Progress by Helena Chambers
It isn’t often we see the bare bones of a building but here we see it well. The jagged edges where we assume windows will be make this quite a complicated building. All around we have vehicles and the paraphernalia used for construction. Because of all this going on we have a very busy image and I am not sure where to look. You have done well with exposure and it is pin sharp. I think it would work better if you concentrate on one small area, for instance, the top floor where there is a variety of colour. Having said that, the opportunity has probably now passed, and the building is finished. It is however a good idea to bear in mind that simple images often work better. Sometimes less is more.

TL Kimmeridge sunset
 Kimmeridge Sunset by Tony Leach
A very dramatic sky and an excellent composition for this image using the curve of the rocks to take our eyes out to sea. The shutter speed used has given an attractive misty feel to the water around the rocks. My one small problem with this image is that it has a blue cast which doesn’t look natural. I think this could easily be corrected in Photoshop, Lightroom, or whatever you have to hand. I suggest you have a word with your more experienced members who I am sure can put you right. Then you will have the perfect image to beat others hands down!

TL Salon poster
Salon Poster after Shower by Tony Leach
Something a bit different and it is always good to see someone having a go. It is the only way we can increase our knowledge if we branch out. As this is a poster it could be regarded as someone else’s art. This is OK as long as you add something of your own to the image. Here it may have actually rained anyway, or you could have used a spray. That in itself isn’t really much of an input and may be regarded by your club as insufficient. It is nice and sharp and I like the colours. A lot of people who do street photography with posters as backgrounds try and get something in the foreground to add humour. For instance someone walking past with similar clothing to the model in the poster.