1st place, On the Beach by Keith Sharples.
The blues and oranges really do work in this image. Here the photographer has seen what others have probably walked past time and time again. A picture in the sand just waiting for a person thinking outside the box to come by and see its beauty. It is a beautiful image and it tells a story. It has deep contrasts which almost gives it a 3D quality and so well balanced. What a find! Wish it had been mine.
2nd place, Porth Beach by Adrian Butcher.
The lighting in this image is just wonderful and again those blues and oranges in the sky and sand just working together so well. The sun is hitting the sand and the cliffs giving a lovely golden colour which brings the image alive. The figure is well placed and, as an added bonus, the reflection caught in the wet sand. Again, this image has a 3D feel to it – the sand in the foreground, the figure next, then the sea edge and the cliffs funnelling the sea to a narrow end. And then that lovely ominous blue grey sky. You are led through this image. Would I have cropped a tad off the bottom – um maybe, just maybe.
3rd place, The Beach Castle by John Crowland.
The lighting in this image is again, wonderful, from what looks to be a stunning sunset (or sunrise?) The details in the cliffs, the foliage and the castle are brought out bringing the image alive. There are lots of contrasts both in lights and darks, and in the colours. The sky is muted and soft which works against the fine details brought out in the rest of the image – and look, there are those blues and oranges again! The photographer timed the taking of this image well. Another great image.
Highly Commended, Carswell Beach by Janet Cox.
I liked this shot, especially the aspect, looking down along the beach, catching figures as far as the eye can see. Its backlit and most of the figures are silhouetted against the backdrop, each casting a long shadow and this works. The gradation along the right hand side on is good and the light throughout has been handled well. I think if anything, the foreground to the right hand side could have done with a touch of lightening up – maybe an angled grad filter in post processing? And is the horizon straight?
Highly Commended, Cogden Beach Adrian Butcher.
Lovely shot, great low level, leading the eye all the way through the image to the far end of the shoreline. Great use of a slow shutter speed giving this smooth effect on the water and waves – adds colour and light to the image. Love the punchy sky and the two ‘guys’ on the rock! Fortuitous or what? The colours stand out in this image – blue and orange tones are opposites on the colour wheel and they work really well together.
Highly Commended, The Beach Sunset by John Crowland.
Isn’t it stunning! Well seen and well caught. And dare I say it – blues and oranges/golds. The gradation in the colours from the top, from a dark blue down through the colour spectrum to oranges and reds is well caught. And then these colours are reflected in the water pools of the shore. The clouds adding depth to the sky. A silhouette image obviously but not too dark that you can’t make out what’s happening with the people on the shoreline and the boats in the bay. For me though, this image is crying out for a crop. There isn’t much in the bottom third of the image that adds anything to it. I would crop to just under where the shoreline begins as this would give a lovely lead into the image.
Commended, Early Morning Swim by Peter Farrar.
Thinking outside the box! Well done. Sometimes the shot isn’t there, but we can ‘make’ it. A placed shot and it works, it tells the story. Foot prints leading you in are just the right number and the portrait aspect works well with this image as all the information is in this small section. Very tidy person though! I’d have just dropped everything in a heap as I ran head long into the freezing water (not!) Again, good colours here working in harmony, blues and oranges and the light/shadow detail is good. However, I do wonder where this person went after leaving their things so neatly? A footprint in the sand the other side would have finished your story.
Commended, Good Beach Weather by Lyn Sharples.
Typical British seaside caught really well in this shot and tells an all too familiar story for us all. Again, great leading line taking you through the picture and you can see that these two are really struggling against the relentless weather. Letter box style really suits this image. Although a very ‘grey’ scene this wouldn’t have worked in black and white because the colours of the coats give you good focal point in the image. You do wonder what they could be taking about or even if they could hear each other above the din of the crashing waves.
Well done to all who entered. The other images with judge's comments, (in no particular order):
Huts Reflected by Chris Morris.
Well seen and a good capture. This is a good example, of ‘making’ not ‘taking’ a photo. You’ve seen that by moving to a certain place you get that reflection in the beach puddle, so well done. The huts are a lovely contrast next to the dark green of the foliage behind. I feel it’s a little flat, so some adjustments to contrasts in various areas would have made it a little more punchy, especially along the line of the huts, bringing more colour out in these. Look at cropping this though in the bottom third – lots of empty space with nothing of interest - crop to possible just under the puddle, bringing more emphasis into what the picture is – huts reflected.
Chapel on the Beach by Christopher Jones.
What caught my eye was the movement of the water tumbling over the rocks about a third of the way in. It's alive with movement. This is backlit again and everything is more or less in very dark shadow, there is also a dark vignette which leaves very little detail anywhere in the image and perhaps that was your intention. As the title is Chapel on the Beach, the Chapel needs to be a bit more prominent in the image, maybe taking back the shadows/blacks a little would have helped, but also, this is another image that would have benefitted I feel by a crop in the bottom third. This would have brought more prominence to the chapel.
Land Ahoy by Chris Morris.
Again love the aspect/angle of this shot - wonder where you were stood? Its also an image where you’ve been thinking outside the box. As there isn’t a lot of colour in the image and it’s a dull, grey day, I do wonder if this had been better in black and white. Those ‘nothing in the sky days’ just work when given to a black and white treatment. Try it and see, with a bit of contrast boost. You’ve added a gradient filter to the top half to bring something out in the skies and this works. However, be careful, you need to take out the gradient that affects parts it shouldn’t – masts etc in this image.
Lone Surfer by Iain McCallum.
Again this image tells us the story and its an image which works well in black and white. There is a lot of ‘empty’ space in the image and there needs to be to show the immensity of it all. I do think though, that a slight crop off the bottom would have worked, perhaps to where you can see his footprint start. The different greys in the beach, sea and sky are managed well, with a good tonal range from white through to black. On my monitor there seemed to be a lot of grain in the sky?
Monknash by Jackie Poulter.
The interesting rock formation in the front leads us into this picture, which again has great colours in the blue and orange ranges (must be something about beach scenes). And the foreground contrasts well with the sky. It is however, all a bit flat – there are no real whites or blacks in the image, so it is without contrasts. Try adding a gradient filter to the sky to darken it and lighten up the foreground a tad. Also, lighten up the area along the length of the waves are crashing over, all across to the left hand side of the image.
Not Very Beachlike by Brian Challis.
Not very beach like – no, it isn’t is it? So not sure that this fits the theme. But again just look at those blues and oranges, they just work don’t they? Okay, so let’s just say I pretend the theme was Rugged Coastlines – This would certainly fall into that category. So many different angles and levels in this image – but they just ‘melt’ into one flat image. The cliff edge disappears once it passes the sea, as it melts into the rest of the rock formations. Again, very little in the way of contrasts in this image – no total blacks, no total whites. Darkening some parts and lightening others would have brought this image alive. I know what you were aiming for, but it does need a bit of work.
Pebble in the Sand by Christopher Jones.
The square format works well with this minimalistic image and the rock is in just the right place. Sometimes, less is more and this works here. Again, contrasts have been worked well here with shadows and highlights, giving the image depth. The light hitting the rock is our focal point which has interrupted the pattern that nature had intended. Leading lines take us out of the picture, to what lies beyond. The photographer has done their job – they have ‘made’ an image not just ‘taken’ an image.
Sand in my Shoe by Brian Challis.
And this so tells the story doesn’t it. Three figures off to the right works well, all caught in different stances, doing different things. Even the ubiquitous mobile phone making an appearance. Sadly, I think the image has been taken with too slow a shutter speed and everything is a bit blurred, even the rocks in the foreground which don’t move. The slow shutter speed has also meant that it is a very light image, especially at the top where there would have been more light anyway from the white of the waves.
Three Cliffs Bay by Janet Cox.
A much photographed area of the Gower area. There’s a lovely lead in line through the picture given by the rivulet of water running down to the sea. You have the blues and oranges again (okay, okay) and the figures in the image give a sense of scale to what is quite awesome. However, I think you have missed an opportunity to bring something other than the ‘norm’ for this iconic place. A few steps higher and you would have had a very different view. It would have given separation to the cliffs from the land in the background and also this would have meant more of the cliffs and less of the foreground which doesn’t hold much interest. Again overall the image is a little flat lacking contrast and vibrance. Sorry!
Tripod by Jackie Poulter.
I could say, yes its a Tripod but I’m not too sure why the photographer would take a photo of a tripod interrupting such a stunning vista! Ah well ours is not to reason why. Beautiful light and angle of light when taking the image. Great sky and great foreground interest which would take you through the image had the tripod not been in the way…. Lovely colours (you know the rest) and lots of contrast, lights and darks, good vibrance in the colours. If the tripod hadn’t been in the way, I would have said perhaps a crop to the bottom third.