1st place, Beware of Trains by John Crowland.
This picture tells a great story about the danger of trains to people even though they are not actually visible. Could it be adjusted to make the rail come from the bottom corner?
2nd place, Night Watch by John Crowland.
The background gives the impression of mystery and foreboding. The light from the torch makes the picture really work. Good composition leaving space to the left of the figure for him (it is a man as he has a moustache) to look into. Be careful of white line artifacts on both sides of the figure.
3rd place, Trapped in Slate by Janet Cox.
An atmosheric picture, a great use of noise. Composition is very good with bench arm leading in from the bottom corner and shadows from the left leading to the main interest, the leaf shadows on the slate looking almost as if they are fossils. The top bar of the bench is a bit too light and slightly distracting.
Highly Commended, Sandy Shadow by Janet Cox.
The patterns in the sand make a textured backdrop for the shadows to fall on creating extra interest. It evokes the feeling of warmth by giving the impression of being an exotic location. The joining of the shadow of the tree and person create the feeling of togetherness. A little extra clarity would help to darken the shadows a little and exagerate the sand textures.
Highly Commended, Wavy Chair by Peter Farrar.
The idea of creating a very interesting pattern between the chair and its shadow works really well. Use of shadows to darken the backgound is good but needs to be a bit darker to get rid of distractions (pot plant and other chair?) This could have been in the top 3 but the chair needs moving so that the seat does not have grass behind it and is clear of the pot plant shadow.
Commended, Angel of the North by Catherine Jones.
A great idea. Nicely exposed, creating the dark edges and lightest part of the image in just the right place. Scale is given by adding the 2 figures.
Commended, Montevideo a capital skyline by Mike Roberts.
The composition and letterbox crop work, the three elements of tree, girl and city make for an interesting set of contrasts all in silhouette. It is almost black and white, try making it fully monotoned.
Well done to all who entered. The other images with judge's comments, (in no particular order):
Blackbird by Anne Richards.
This is a nice picture that fits the theme very well. There is a nice contrast between the flow of the trees down and right and the bird facing left. The picture gives the impression of a serene evening punctuated with the song of a blackbird. Consider removing the tree on the right side.
Branchline by Brian Challis.
An interesting shape of branches, nicely framed making an interesting shape for a silhouette. Unfortunately it’s spoiled by the intrusive branch from the left side. This could have been in the winners of this competion with a little work.
Hedgerow at Dusk by Jackie Poulter.
A fabulous sky and nicely cropped as a letterbox to capture as much as possible of the beautiful colours.
Kettle at Night by Jackie Poulter.
With the sun going down it must be time for cocoa before slipping into a sleeping bag. A great idea but would have benefitted from the kettle being slightly smaller in the frame to allow more of the lovely sunlit cloud to come through.
Meadow Brown by Christopher Jones.
The light highlighting the butterfly's wings and eyes has been captured very well. The composition works despite breaking the rules of thirds. The leaf on the left side echos the shape of the butterfly wing. As a silhouette picture the butterfly is too light.
Saluting the Sun by Catherine Jones.
An interesting idea, figures are nicely positioned in the frame. Having the 2 figures (almost) at the same height gives them equal weighting but it’s easy to tell who the king of the castle is! The picture would benefit from a lower exposure as the sea is a little burnt out. That would in turn deepen the shadows and increase the impact of the image.
Seed Heads by Anne Richards.
A good attempt at creating silhouettes making very interesting shapes. The background is nicely out of focus. Concentrating on one of the groups would have made a more powerful image.
Shutter Latch by Peter Farrar.
An interesting picture with the shadow and wall texture captured nicely. It would have created more mystery if the image is cropped and rotated so that just the shadow is shown. This almost made it into the top 7.
Sunrise Buxton by Christopher Jones.
Nice capture of the sunrise with good exposure in the sky in the bottom right hand corner. Very nice silhouette of the trees. Try cropping off some of the sky as the top left hand corner is rather too dark and does not add any interest.
The Alfaro Monument in Ecuador by Mike Roberts.
A really interesting shape against a sky with lots of texture. The letterbox crop suits the subject. It would benefit from cropping off most of the car park and changing to black and white.
Washday Blues by Brian Challis.
An interesting picture, a great idea for the theme of the competition. The object creating the large shadow in the bottom right needs to be moved and the basket moving down so that the whole washing shadow is visible.