Here are the top ten images uploaded to Photocrowd from APOY 2022 Round Two, Black & White, with comments by the AP team and our guest judge
Black & white is always seen as the ‘classic’ genre – a medium that makes images timeless and imbues them with a hint of romance. But contemporary black & white photography can be just as powerful as its colour counterpart, particularly when the vision of the photographer is strong and clear. A successful monochrome image will never simply have been desaturated – it will have been visualised in shades of grey before the photographer even thinks of releasing the shutter. Such an approach is evident in each of the top ten images from this round of APOY. Would any of them have worked better in colour? The simple answer is no. Take a look at the Black & White winners and top ten below.
Round Two, Black & White Top Ten
1. Sabrina Garofoli, Italy 100pts
Canon EOS 5DS R, 24-105mm at 24mm, 1/250sec at f/4.5, ISO 400
Guest judge Steve Gosling says: ‘Immediately when I saw the shortlisted images, this one jumped out at me. It’s an amusing idea, and something a bit different. ‘I love the graphic composition – the white line of the road leading directly out from the corresponding line on the dog’s head. Other elements too have been well thought through and implemented – the “owner” straddling the white line; the sense of depth, created by the recession of the road and trees, is emphasised by the shallow depth of field, focusing us on that wonderful dog.
‘As a dog owner I recognise the “owner’s” stance – hands on hips, legs apart – one born out of frustration. It’s a relatively small element of the image but to make a good photo great it’s the little details that count. But the icing on the cake is the dog’s expression – the eyes are full of mischief. This is a photo I would love to have on my wall.’
2. Ian Bramham, UK 90pts
Nikon D40, 70mm, 1/400sec at f/11, ISO 200
We see a lot of images of the now-decommissioned Cottam Power Station in Nottinghamshire (and its siblings), but normally it is shot from a distance, showing its context in the landscape. By going in much closer and cropping tightly to the edges of the frame, Ian has created an image with more graphical qualities, and a sense of tension. Allowing the steam to fill two-thirds of the image is a bold stroke, but it works extremely well, and highlights the tones and textures of the clouds. A subtle shot whose impact increases the more it’s viewed.
3. Pedro Landers, UK 80pts
Canon EOS R5, 600mm, 1/640sec at f/11, ISO 400
Pedro says he processed this striking image to imitate the style of a Japanese pen-and-ink drawing, and he has succeeded. The pure white background ensures the cormorants stand out beautifully, and the fact that they are facing away from each other, out of either side of the frame, gives it dynamism. The composition is excellent, with the drooping branches softening the scene, and the white space is as important as everything else in the shot. Pedro has also received the highest camera club score.
4. Ales Krivec, Slovenia 70pts
Nikon D810A, 150-600mm at 600mm, 1/800sec at f/8, ISO 200
Mist is like catnip to the outdoor photographer, but it works particularly well in black & white. The diminutive church and its protective trees appear to float, like a scene from a fairytale, on a pillow of mist. The subtle folds and textures of the vapour have been well captured, and the dark area at the top of the frame helps anchor everything, as well as adding a rather sinister element to the overall photograph. Had the mist been any thicker, it would have obscured too much of the church and lacked detail, so Ales has done well to show restraint.
5. Ian Bramham, UK 60pts
Nikon D800, 240mm, 1/500sec at f/8, ISO 360
As with his second-placed image, Ian has demonstrated great confidence here. To include so much sky in the frame is a bold move, but it was the right way to go. The rainfall and watery sunlight give this area just enough interest, and the faint outline of the distant island takes a bit of seeking out, but helps to keep the viewer interested. Of course, none of this would have worked without the passing flock of geese, and this is where timing is everything, as Ian has captured them at a point where none of them overlap. Excellent work.
6. Neil Johansson, UK 50pts
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 38mm, 1/644sec at f/1.8, ISO 32
A cracking shot that rewards the viewer the more they spend time looking at it. There are almost endless layers, from the reflections of the ceiling of the interior from where the shot was taken, to the view through the bus shelter glass, to the buildings beyond. There’s just enough detail in the waiting figure, too. It’s a hugely atmospheric shot that manages to be detailed without confusing, which shows huge skill on Neil’s part. Oh, and it was shot with an iPhone, too!
7. Simon Jordan, UK 45pts
Leica Q2 Mono, 28mm, 1/500sec at f/8, ISO 6400
Street photography is a very particular skill, but street photography that has an element of humour is even trickier to execute. With superb timing, Simon has captured an image that is uncomplicated but memorable. The huge poster cries out to be the background of a photograph, but it’s not a case where any old foreground would do. The dapper passer-by complements the model in the poster perfectly, the timing is spot on, and there’s a confidence to the capture, too, given that the gentleman has clearly spotted he’s being photographed, and it’s tricky to tell whether or not he’s happy about it!
8. Alex Cao, Vietnam 40pts
Sony A7 III, 85mm, 1/1600sec at f/1.4, ISO 250
Alex has captured a very compelling portrait of this young child. The expression on his face leaves the viewer wondering what his story is and what might have just happened to make him apparently tearful. Using an aperture of f/1.4 shows Alex is confident in his technique, and rightly so, as the pin-sharp focus on the child’s right eye draws the viewer’s attention to exactly the right point in the frame. If he’d been even a couple of millimetres out, the image wouldn’t even have made the shortlist. A lovely portrait.
9. Steve Cheetham, UK 35pts
Canon EOS 5DS R, 16-35mm at 16mm, 20sec at f/11, ISO 100
Everything about this image is simply gorgeous. From the balanced, perfectly symmetrical composition, to the long exposure that smooths out the sky – but isn’t so long that it eliminates all detail – it’s just an incredibly pleasing capture. The tones have been stunningly rendered and fill almost the entire zone from 0 to 10. This is an image that should be printed large, framed and hung in pride of place in Steve’s home. He should be extremely proud of it.
10. Ian Mountford, UK 30pts
Ian has captured an epic, futuristic-looking image that really keeps the viewer guessing. At first, we’re not entirely sure what we’re looking at, but could be forgiven for thinking that the two unfortunate figures are about to be sucked into a portal that will take them to a different universe. The sense of scale is superb, and the processing is effective but not overpowering. The contrast was obviously a challenge, but Ian has handled it very well indeed.
See the APOY 2022 shortlist here.
Young APOY Round Two, Black & White winner
Mohammed Bahith Kamal, India 100pts
This image shows great confidence on Basim’s part. First, to have spotted the potential of the chequered pattern of light and shadow. Then, to have placed the child in just the right spot for the lines to follow the curves of their face. We liked the strong profile, too. All of this is even more impressive when you learn that Basim is only ten years old! Very well done.
See the Young APOY top ten and shortlist here.
Camera Club competition
Charles Ashton, UK 10pts
Floyd Jarrett, whose mother Cynthia died during a police raid on her home in the Broadwater Farm Estate, speaks outside Tottenham Police Station. This is an extremely powerful portrait, and demonstrates that the impact of the 1985 riots still ripples through our society now. Charles Ashton, of Kempsey Camera Club, took this emotive image, and earned ten points for his club, which now lies in second place in our leaderboard. You can earn points for your club by choosing it from the dropdown menu when uploading your entries. The club with the most points at the end of APOY 2022 wins a voucher for £500 to spend at MPB.
The 2022 leaderboards
It’s still early days in the competition, and we can expect to see plenty of movement in the leaderboard over the coming months. Tommaso Carrara retains first place, but everyone else in the top ten is hot on his heels. Things are equally tight in Young APOY, with only 40 points separating first and equal eighth place. While it might appear that Launceston Camera Club is romping away in the camera club competition, a concerted effort from any other society could easily see the gap reduce. Why not gather your club members together and see whether you can catch them up?
Winning kit from MPB
The gear our winners used can be found at MPB Taking first place with her imaginative dog portrait, Sabrina Garofoli shot using a Canon EOS 5DS R. At the time of its launch in 2015, it was the highest-resolution full-frame camera yet made, with a 50.6MP CMOS sensor. It was described as having extraordinary image quality, an extremely accurate autofocus system and professional-level construction. This model is available at MPB for between £1,469 and £1,679.
At the other end of the scale, Ian Bramham’s atmospheric shot of Cottam power station was shot using a Nikon D40. Now 16 years old, this camera was launched as an affordable DSLR that was still sophisticated for its time. It features a 6MP DX-format sensor, sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 1600 and 2.5fps continuous shooting. You can still purchase this camera, which can be found at MPB for the bargain price of £53 to £58.
A versatile zoom lens is a must for any photographer, and Ales Krivec photographed the mist-engulfed St Thomas Church with his Tamron SP AF 150-600mm F5-6.3 VC USD. This lens has a huge zoom range and comes in Canon, Nikon and Sony A fits. It is constructed with 20 elements in 13 groups, has nine aperture blades, takes 95mm-diameter filters, and also features Vibration Compensation, to reduce shake. This useful lens is available at MPB in Nikon and Canon fit, from £539 to £629.
To browse the extensive range of stock at MPB, visit www.mpb.com
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