Week 1 Judge's Comments
Purple Light – (15)
An intriguing image. I really like the reflected lights and colours in the crystal and by having it in this orientation it almost looks like a miniature hot air balloon floating up through the air. Though out of focus, I found the straight lines in the background drew my attention away from the crystal, as did the yellow in the top left-hand corner.
Treequila in a Glass– 3rd Equal (18)
This is a very fine image showing a lot of prior thought and skill. The tilt of the glass leads you straight to the reflection of the tree in the liquid (great title by the way) and the light colours of the sky behind the tree contrast well with the lovely colours in the background. Talking of the background, it is very nicely out of focus, so an appropriately wide aperture must have been chosen. I found the three bright areas at the top of the image and the highlight on the stem of the glass a little distracting and thought that cropping a little on the right-hand side would have helped concentrate attention on the glass.
Looking down but up – Commended (16)
Sometimes we come across an image unlike anything we’ve seen before and so it’s hard to get your bearings when considering it. I probably spent more time looking at and thinking about this image than any other and yet I still find it a bit of an enigma. Whether it’s a combination of two images or a single shot I don’t know, but ultimately this doesn’t matter. Firstly, I love the blue colours in the water and the way they almost spilt the puddle in half. The smooth unruffled surface of the water contrasts with gritty texture of the sand, the beige colour of which also works against the blues. Perhaps some small pebbles on the sand would have added a little bit of additional texture and colour in this respect. Then there’s the bird. Initially I thought this was maybe a duck swimming in a pool in a sand quarry (the image having been taken by a drone). But on further inspection, it’s a reflection of a bird in the sky in what must be a hollow in a beach or sand pit. For me it adds a good deal to the picture.
I’m sure this will be a “marmite” image for most, but I commend the author for going “off the beaten track”.
Nith Reflection – Commended (16)
A fabulous sunset over Dumfries with the water above the Caul absolutely still. I particularly love the colours and shapes in the water which are almost like something out of a Monet painting. The colours in the sky are also super and the way that detail in the buildings is lost as you move into the background works well. I feel however that the water on the left-hand side makes the image feel unbalanced. It’s almost as if the river itself was draining down into the bottom left hand corner. I wonder how the image would have looked if the camera had been parallel to the line of the Caul. The straight line of the vapour trail is also perhaps a little distracting.
REFLECTIONS – 15
The strong architectural shapes of the trees to the left of this image are really well captured in their reflection in the water. This is enhanced by the conversion to black and white and there is a good range of tones. The slight angle of the banking leads the eye from left to right and this in turn is helped by the decrease in the height of the trees and their reflection. However, there is no point of focus at the end of this progression and so my eye kept wandering off to the left and out the picture. Consequently, I wasn’t quite sure what I was to focus on.
Reflecting of Window to the World – 15
It’s one of the mantras of some judges that they don’t like images of other people’s art. I don’t subscribe to this and this image demonstrates why. The backlight allows the form of the statue to be apparent almost as a silhouette, though there is a little definition in the upper body and the rim light on the “skirt” is a definite bonus. I also like the pastoral background which along with the sky makes the figure almost lifelike. However, other than the title, it’s hard to know that this is in fact a reflection. In addition, the streak through the sky is a distraction as to a lesser extent, is the bright straight line in the bottom right hand corner.
Orchid Reflections – 1st Place (20)
A simply stunning image. Very well lit and with wonderful colours, the composition is outstanding. The angle from which the image’s been taken means that although there is a balance between the flowers and their reflection, it is no simple mirror image. The lead in from the stem in the top left round the flowers then across the gaps to the reflection and back out the picture I think works extremely well. The black, undifferentiated background ensures that there are no other distractions and is perfect for showing off the structure and colour of the flowers.
Amazing – 15
This looks like the same mirror in another of the images, and it does have some lovely textures, clearly shown here. There are also some very interesting reflections in this image in both the mirror and the spheres. However, for me, there’s quite a lot going on here, much of it unrelated. Other than the reflective surfaces we’ve two different colours and textures in the walls, the top of a post, a bright area in the stones, a tuft of grass and a very bright highlight in one of the spheres. As a result, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was I should be looking at.
It’s a beautiful world up there – 3rd equal (18)
Given this week’s theme, it’s hardly surprising that mirrors feature in many of the images, and this to my mind is one of the best. The stones give a strong textured background which contrasts very well with the smoother feel of the reflection. The tree is superbly positioned in the mirror and the imperfections in the mirror, I feel add to the over feel of the image. The rusted mirror frame also has a fantastic feel to it. The only real drawback is the digital artefact at the bottom below the frame, which once spotted is difficult to avoid. Perhaps the fence in the reflection could also have been cloned out, but that’s really just a matter of personal preference. All in all, a very fine image.
Reflection of a Generation – 2nd Place (19)
Another, in my opinion quite exceptional image. The light on the child’s face is superb, giving it real definition and perfectly lighting up his expression. No matter where you look in this image, your attention always comes back to that face. The older man with his back to the camera gives the image another story element. I really like the mask over the mirror in which I am guessing the image was taken and the line separating the child from the man is perfectly positioned. For me the background does not distract in any way. It was an almost impossible choice to choose between this image and “Orchid Reflections” for first place, however the light patch in the bottom left-hand corner was just a little distracting and hence the final placings.
Tree Reflections – Commended (16)
A lack of leaves on the trees at the moment allows their basic structures to show through. Though this is not particularly clear in the upper half of this image, it is very apparent in the attractive reflection that the author has captured in the pond. This, plus the presence of the reeds adds a great deal of interest to the lower half of the image. Indeed, it might be interesting to see what it looked like if the image was maybe inverted and cropped a little to concentrate on the superb reflection.
Mirror Pic – 15
This was an image which with a little bit more preparation would have scored very, very highly as I really like the creative idea behind the image. It has more than a hint of a surrealist painting and the choice of red and green fruit is perfect. The brown tabletop tonally links with the background of the reflection, which by being graphically simple helps enhance the shape of the apple. However, there are three main problems. Firstly, the right-hand side of the green apple is quite uneven, showing that it’s been cut and pasted in. This is a pity as tonally it looks good. Secondly, giving the mirror a polish would have removed the distracting marks on its surface. Finally, by turning the left-hand edge of the mirror slightly towards the camera would have allowed for the unnecessary bit of wood and blue wall to be easily cropped out. Having said all that, I got a great deal from looking at this image.
Lockdown a time to reflect – Highly Commended (17)
As we all spend more time within the walls of our own homes, finding ways to pass that time is important. This simple, yet very effective image sums this up brilliantly. The coloured pieces on the left-hand side are all in disarray whilst the monochrome side is complete. For me this is an image all about how life at present feels and for me, is an excellent piece of work.
Desktop Reflections PC – 15
Another strong graphic image which again sums up what life is like at the minute. A single person, partially reflected in their computer monitor, looking at a reflection of a cityscape (New York?) which it might be some time before they get the chance to travel to. Though I like this image, I’m not sure if the three key elements hold together. A little more detail in the face (which perhaps could have been placed higher in the right-hand frame) might have strengthened the impact.
Looking back in time– Commended (16)
Technically this is one of the strongest images submitted. A fine range of tones, some superb reflections and a clear point of interest. It also works very well in black and white. It is however quite an austere image and therefore maybe lacks a bit of emotional impact. It might also have been interesting to see a bit more detail in the watch face
Reflecting on last year’s holiday – Commended (16)
I increasingly appreciate images which document people’s lives and how they are feeling, and this image delivers on both these counts. A mirror image of someone’s holiday pictures from July 2019, the other reflected objects help to give a feel for what the author is currently surrounded by. The calendar (the correct way up) at the front, for me just emphasises the element of reflecting on things past. Technically the author has done very well to stay out of the image, though I’d like to have seen just a little more of the calendar.
Reflecting Back to First Self Portrait – 15
This is a really good idea for an image. I particularly like the positioning of the author (I assume as they are today) on the left-hand-side with their head in the top corner and it looks like their smile hasn’t changed much over the years! They’ve also done well to take the image at an angle such that neither they nor their equipment are in the mirror. The fact that the mirror frame is out of focus when the rest of the picture is so sharp is a minor issue for me, but it is the black and white image in the mirror which, for me, doesn’t quite work. I suspect it would be more successful if this element were slightly larger and the entire image was black and white.
Dalswinton Reflections – Commended
Lovely light on the loch at Dalswinton, coupled with perfectly still water has resulted in these lovely reflections. It’s been carefully framed to make sure that the tops of both the main tree and its reflection are in the image, and by having them placed almost on the third means that they draw your attention. The light on the far bank is also very attractive. I find the banking in the bottom left-hand corner a bit distracting and feel that it imbalances the picture. I’m not sure if getting nearer the water or shooting from a lower angle would have minimised its intrusion into what is nonetheless a very pleasing image.
No Need to Panic Buy – Commended
If only more shoppers had taken this message to heart! This is a cleverly constructed image using presumably a mirror on the inside of the medicine cabinet and another in the room. I like the way that the author has framed the image such that it appears that it’s the same cabinet repeatedly. There’s no sign of the photographer or their equipment and the exposure has been well handled. I did find the variety of colours a bit distracting and wondered if it would have looked better in black and white.
Water reflection -15
It’s probably me, but I had difficulty working out this image. There’s a person in the upper right-hand side whose face I can’t quite make out, a bit of a hand and a foot in the bottom right-hand corner and other than that I’m struggling.
Reflection of a Generation
Erin Glynn Guest
Treequila in a glass
It’s a Beautiful World Up There
17 (Highly Commended)
Lockdown a time to Reflect
17 (Highly Commended)
Looking back in time
Looking down but up
No Need to Panic Buy
Reflecting on last year’s holiday
Reflecting of Window to the World
Reflecting back to First Self Portrait
Zahra & Paige