Week 3 - Red, White & Blue

Judges’ Comments

Before I start, I want to thank everybody who entered a photograph into this week’s competition as everyone has thought about the brief (Colours of Britain) and has delivered concepts that were both excepted and unexpected. I enjoyed judging these images so much as I was able to apricate everyone’s unique photography style. Well done everyone! Images that scored 18 or more will receive a free print of their image for doing well this week.

Bearing up to Life’s Challenges – 18 (Third Place Equal)

Nice photograph with a dynamic background and something that is a well thought out idea. Loved that you used the red, white and blue in your background as well as the teddy bear. However, the execution is where I have some issue as the edges of the flag can be seen in the background which, takes away from the image and the bottom half of the medal has blown out highlights that is very distracting. Just to mention those two black eyes on the teddy bear will haunt my dreams!! Well done.

Waiting on the next Tide – 18 (Third Place Equal)

Would make a good jigsaw, love the how you’ve used the reflections of the boats to create leading lines that take you into the subject of the photograph. The red, white and blue colours in the boats really standout and grab your attention. However, the dark space between the boats could have been brightened out a little as it catches your attention although it does work in relation to where it is, which is the subject of image. The chunk of the harbour to the right takes away from the scene, which I might suggest you could step to the left to correct this but I think you would’ve gotten very wet if you had done it. The sky is very dull; however, I think I balances the photograph out as the bottom two thirds of the image is heavily filled.

Robin Redbreast – 16 (Commended)

Very good that you’ve filled the frame and that the subject is in focus. Your eye goes straight towards the Robin’s blue eye, which is craziest Robin I think I’ve seen and the crosses on its eyes makes me believe that this Robin is dead. Still the background of the photograph is very distracting it is not sharp, which is good but it’s not out of focus and therefore is take my eye away from the subject. The dark patch in the background in the top right third of the photograph is another element that takes my eye away from the subject. Perhaps using a tree as a background would of worked better. Love the idea of having the Robin perched on a shovel or spade, as it makes for an interesting subject for a photograph. 

Britain in Bloom – 15

Interesting use of colours, however usage of Photoshop or some other digital editing software had made these colours appear unnatural in the photograph and in relation to the background. I wish that the base of the vase would have remained its original colour as there is some details in the vase, that I would’ve have loved to have seen. I like how you’ve incorporated the two British flags into the image which is a nice touch and the colours really stand out and catch your attention. The colours of the flowers however have destroyed the details of them, and the white flowers have become overexposed and you have burned out the highlight leaving no details. Nice idea for a photograph would attempt this again and would use flowers that are of the colours red, white and blue when they become available.

Tesco’s Finest! – 19 (Second Place Equal)

Very clever interpretation of the brief and the inclusion of the red, white and blue colours. The Tesco’s van is sharp and the you’ve kept control of the highlights and shadows in the photograph, which shows skill due to the fact that the all the buildings in the background are all white brick and none of them are blown out, well done. I am unsure of the house behind the van as the chimney appears to stick out the top of the van, which is about the only thing I can that wrong with the photograph. The inclusion of the man and the fact that he is carrying products in his arms really bring home the message that your communicating through this image. Usually I don’t like that fact that he is posed to look at the camera but, in this case, it works, however I do wish that the face could have been sharper. The sky has wisps of clouds which fills the space perfectly and keeps it interesting. 

Community Spirit – 18 (Third Place Equal)

Good title to image as it does represent the community spirit indicated by the sing on the right saying, ‘Please help yourself’. Overall the image has a very rustic feel to it which I love as it gives us a glimpse into wartime Britain, through the usage of the red telephone box, which is a classic British symbol, while staying very current to the situation we are all facing. The image retains the detail in the shadows especially in the black at the back of the phone box which demonstrates skill. Love how the items inside the phone box are compositionally sound as there are boxes positioned on the bottom and on shelves, giving the image depth, even though the items all placed on the right side of the phone box, making the image feel one-sided and therefore leaving negative space. The scene through the window are a bit distracting and take you out of the scene and so does the sliver of pavement in the bottom left corner. Perhaps changing the angle of taking the image straight may have worked better.

Tea Time – 16 (Commended)

The photograph meets the brief well as it has red, white and blue so well done for that. I enjoy how the image includes very British elements such as strawberries, scones and tea. However, the shadow on the background of the glass basket, I assume, is very distracting and so does the line where the background and foreground meet and the fact, that they are two different materials. If I could see the rim of tea in the teacup it would tell me that is something inside it and it’s little detail’s like that that’ll take your image to the next level. What I think would be a better angle for your image would be to take it from directly above, therefore you would be able to see all the fruit in the basket as well as the scone and it would eliminate your tea problem and also you’re background issue. Brilliant idea would love to see it done again.

Settlers from Overseas – 16 (Commended)

 Nice idea for an image and good inclusion of the colours red, white and blue. The flowers are sharp and contain a good amount of detail and they stand pretty well against the white background which again shows skill. I also like the angle of taking the image from directly above which isn’t something I would of thought of. However, I like use of the border as I don’t understand why the border is a yellow cream colour as it doesn’t work with the subject in the image. I would take away the border which may leave too much white in the image which could be rectified by placing something like a newspaper onto the background to add some detail but it’s entirely up to you. I am also missing a British connection in the image.

Tea with the Queen – 17 (Highly Commended)

The photograph feels very British which the usage of the cup of tea and the shortbread tin with the Queen on it, I love shortbread! The background also fits the brief very well by incorporating the colours of red, white and blue. However, the background feels very out of place in the image and the white is completely blown out and is extremely distracting and the colours appear to be oversaturated to me. The tin and the cup of tea however are lit very well in the image and go together very well as a pair. I can’t help thinking that two subjects could have been swapped would have looked better in the image.

Red, White & Blue Moon – 17 (Highly Commended)

Interesting idea to use a composite image for this brief so props to the photographer for thinking outside the box and doing something that I don’t think anybody would have thought of. Good way to take advantage of the supermoon which keeps the image current. Well done for keeping the all three images of the moon sharp, keeping the highlights under control and for choosing the correct exposure, which is not an easy thing to do. However, I think there is too much negative space in the image and the sides could have been cropped in to make the photograph more of a square format. Also, the photograph doesn’t much of a British theme whatsoever. Love how you’ve used this to create the red, white and blue colour combination.

Time for Tea – 16 (Commended)

The photograph captures British culture as there’s nothing more British than tea. Love the use of the Union Jack as the cover for the tea party especially when it’s reflected back in the tea pot. Very good use of the colour red, white and blue so the image fits the brief perfectly. However, the teacup isn’t in focus which is distracting since it largely fills the foreground, and the biscuit where it reads ‘HOVIS’ is also not in focus. This is because a wide aperture was used so perhaps using F8 instead would have worked better. I am indifferent to the background as it doesn’t distract your eye and enhance the teapot however, I just don’t like the background as it is not my personal preference.

Britain’s Favourite Lady – 15 

This is a very fun image and I would never think of a ladybug when I it came to the brief I had set. Too much is going on the picture as the ladybug is the focus of the image as it contains the colours red, white and blue which is the brief. The ladybug gets lost in the bird house, the light bulb and the cherry blossoms and the fact that the ladybug is sequestered in the very top of the image hides it from me. This all makes for a messy image. I do like that the ladybug incorporates the three colours needed for this brief. The ladybug is sharp which is good, and I like the reflections of the tree seen in its body. However, I am missing the British theme in this photograph

Cream Tea – 16 (Commended)

I love the Union Jack teapot, brilliant thing to have and is very British and fits the red, white and blue brief. Again, I feel like too much is going on in this image as the space is very crowded. The position of the teacup and saucer blocks your view of what’s behind it and takes up a lot of space in the foreground. I like how the photographer has chosen to shoot this image in the garden which enhances the British theme. I would have liked the final image to have better quality as it appears to be very grainy on my screen.


Don’t reign on my Parade – 16 (Commended)

Brilliant title fits very well with the image. The photograph demonstrates that the photographer has put a lot of thought into the image with the good use of the red, white and blue through the flag and it fits the British theme perfectly. However, the flag is completely out of focus which is a shame as it takes up two thirds of the photograph. Probably not the best portrait of the Queen, she looks a bit rough around the edges. Good composition and idea but unfortunately, it’s let down in the execution.

British Standard – 18 (Third Place Equal)

The title works very well in the image which I can describe as being simplistic but clever. The background fits very well into the British theme with the colours red, white and blue and so does the stamp on the eggs, which is focus of the photograph. I love that the Union Jack is actually the right way up as that would have annoyed me profusely. I find the spots of light on the eggs a bit distracting but I’m just being picky at this point, however the creases seen in the flag is particularly annoying as they can be ironed out depending on the material. Good use on acting upon the rule of threes.

Capital Living – 16 (Commended)

Nice use of colour pop to grab your attention in the image. The underground sign fits the British theme well however, I only get red and blue in the image which is confusing. The overall grey image feels flat so I would encourage an increase of contrast in the image and as a whole it contains a bluish tint to it. I wonder if this was taken during the time period given for this competition as in the background to bottom left there are crowds of people on the street and I also wonder how someone would be able to take photographs of an London underground sign whilst in Lockdown. Could someone provide an explanation to clear this up would be great.

Museum Case – 20 (First Place WINNER)

Brilliant collection of British memorabilia and a great demonstration of red, white and blue, this photograph fits the brief to a T. Amazing blast to the past from what I think is an old lamp on the bottom left to the hurricane and yes even the rusty old can of Heinz’s tomato soup. The arranging of the objects has clearly been well thought out and been carefully considered by the photographer, which has resulted in clear strong dominant horizontal lines from left to right thought the photograph. This is a fun image to look at and to find objects to remember and enjoy. The background is well chosen as a neutral colour and doesn’t take away from the objects. The only negative I have, and I really had to look is that I can see the photographer’s face reflecting in the glass of the lamp. This image is well done and is a deserving winner of this competition as I cannot find any major faults in the photograph and it fits the brief the best.

Spitfire Abstract – 17 (Highly Commended)

Nice idea that the photographer has attempted to make. The photograph includes the colours red, white and blue, which is good, and the spitfire is a fantastic representation of British culture. But there is too much black to the right of the image and surrounding the wing of the Spitfire, which makes the image look weird. In the space between the wing and the body of the Spitfire to the left of the photograph looks strange compared to the black in the rest of the image so this feels out of place. I don’t think that this idea has worked in this instance, but I would love to see this done again with it brightened up and perhaps using a different angle or even a different object.

Enjoying Quarantine – 19 (Second Place Equal)

This image has a lot of thought behind it from the placement of the teddy bear to the angle at which the photograph was taken. The image displays the colours red, white and blue and Paddington Bear is an iconic figure in British culture. The angle of the photograph makes it appear like Paddington is looking out of the window of a train  which fits with the story of Paddington while also staying relevant to our current situation as people put teddy bears in their windows for children to point out during their daily form of exercise. I would had liked the image more if the photographer would have stood back to include more of the teddy bear and give more room for the label. I don’t mind the background at all as the bear is looking at the view. There is a smudge on the window in the top centre of the image and the tree next to Paddington is a bit annoying so please go and CHOP it down!!!

Earl Grey & a Biscuit – 16 (Commended)

Looking at the angle that the photograph was taken to be honest it is making me feel a bit seasick. I like how the photograph includes the colours red, white and blue. The image is sharp where it needs to be, and I love that you’ve captured the detail in the crazing of the teacup which is a nice touch to the photograph. However, I would of like to have seen some indication that there is actually tea inside the teacup either by having some spilling out or a string attached to the teabag hanging over the teacup. The photograph is a bit dark around the saucer and could do with being brightened up. The teacup could do with having more room in the image as it feels like it’ll bump its head if it moves too quickly and get a headache.

Afternoon Tea – 19 (Second Place Equal)

The photograph perfectly depicts British culture through afternoon tea, so the photograph is aptly named. The photographs include multiple shades of red, white and blue throughout the image which I loved looking for and finding from the flowers to the cakes, sandwiches and teacup. The objects are placed with precision and little details such as turning the scones to face the camera shows how much thought the photographer has put into the image. The photograph makes good use of natural light and the highlights are well controlled apart from the sides of the sandwiches, which is where I have the only problem with the light. I like the reflections cast onto the background only because it’s grey and it works. The big issue I have with this photograph is that the teacup is empty, if only it had tea, then this image would have been perfect. Well done! If I could of chosen two winners then this would have been the other one and it took me a long time decide between them.

Red, White & Blue – 15

This is the most creative title I’ve ever seen, Genius! This image includes the colours red, white, blue and the image includes a bottle of Barr’s Lemonade which is extremely popular in Scotland and therefore part of the British culture, so the image fits the brief, just. There is not a lot I can say about this image expect the background is too dark and the reflections in the bottle are very distracting. I wish that a bit more thought had gone into this image. I always find it important to look at my images before finishing a photoshoot and asking myself what else can I add to the image or what can I take away to make this look better.

Social Distancing – 17 (Highly Commended)

This is good representation of the current situation of modern Britain and the photographer has used the objects on the table as a clever way of introducing the red, white and blue elements into the photograph. It’s very nice to see an outside shot for a change and the photographer has handed the light very well. The image is sharp where it needs to be and the background is well detailed, which is important as it gives context to the image. However, I don’t like the inclusion of the chair as I find the pink floral back seen in the left side distracting. I don’t know if I like the vignette around the edge as it doesn’t affect the subject at all and it isn’t too noticeable, I just don’t think that it’s needed in an image like this. By the way are those eggs or golf balls behind the table and next to the mug? It’s driving me insane!!!

Polly put the Kettle On – 17 (Highly Commended)

The photograph combines two elements of British culture, tea and gardening, together in a way that wouldn’t have thought would work as a photograph, but it does. I love how the photographer has hidden the teapot in the flowers and its enjoyable to find when my eye travels down the image. I wish that the teapot wasn’t as close to the bottom of the image giving it more room to breathe in the photograph. I also would have liked the shadows in the flowers to have been brightened up a little. I love the usage of red, white blue colours into the photograph; however, I would have liked to have seen more blue somewhere in the image. The whites in the flowers have been well controlled allowing details to remain in them and the photograph is sharp where it needs to be.