The first round of our new digital photography competition has been a massive success. We’ve seen more than double the number of entries than the best month from last year’s competition, tempted no doubt by the excellent prizes on offer, including an Olympus E-420 digital SLR, and Olympus mju 850 SW waterproof and shockproof compact camera, and top quality SanDisk memory cards and USB card readers.
The competition theme for August was “Wood, Stone & Water”, which I had hoped was sufficiently open to interpretation that it would fire people’s imaginations. I wasn’t disappointed, and the overall standard of the entries was fantastic. A number of regular entrants from last year joined in, along with many talented newcomers. Narrowing the entries down to the top twenty that you can see here was hard enough, and picking the three prize winners required a vote among the whole TrustedReviews team. The entries were so diverse that everybody had their own favourites, but in the end we were all able to agree on the winners.
If you’d like to enter our September photo competition, please click here for the details. Do make sure to read carefully the rules on how to enter. The theme for September is “Flash Photography”, and the closing date is September 30th.
So anyway, let’s take a look at the results from August. As always seems to happen in our photo competition certain sub-themes emerged, and one of the most popular was the simple but extremely effective technique of shooting running water using a slow shutter speed. There were some stunning examples of the technique, such as this one from Stephen Emerson of Lisburn, Northern Ireland. This was one of my personal favourites; I love the wide angle view, the rich colours and the way the branches of the tree and the flow of the water are mirrored in the composition. Stephen has used a Canon EOS 400D with a 10-22mm ultra-wide angle zoom lens, with a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds at f/8.
Another great example of the same technique was this beautiful atmospheric shot of Bond Falls, in Michigan, taken by Markos Berndt of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. About his photo, Markos says: “A crisp fall morning in Upper Michigan in the United States. Mist from the warmer water meets with the cold air and creates a scene that makes the water melt into the background. A 0.7 second exposure at ISO50 was used to smooth out the very fast moving water.”
Another example of the slow shutter technique is this closer range shot by Hugh Thomson of Balmullo, Fife, in Scotland. I love the balanced composition in this shot, and the contrasting areas of calm and movement.
A more unusual take on the same technique is this simple but effective shot from Jon Speed, of Beeston, Nottingham, UK, who was a regular photo competition entrant last year. Jon has used a 30-second exposure at f/16 to smooth out the action of the waves on the sea, resulting in a strange misty appearance. According to the EXIF data it was taken at around 5.30am, which means Jon either stayed up all night to take it, or got up at five in the morning. Now that’s dedication!