Here are the top ten images uploaded to Photocrowd from APOY 2022 Round Ten, Action, with comments by the AP team and our guest judge.
Action is one of the trickier rounds in APOY to judge, perhaps because it has the potential to encompass so many different subjects. In many ways it’s almost an open round in terms of genre, where anything goes – within reason. Everything from sports to wildlife to street photography can make a great action shot, but imbuing the image with imagination and creativity is where the challenge lies.
We want to see more than just great panning technique coupled with an ultra-fast shutter speed. As with every round in APOY, we want something memorable that fuses technical skill and originality – be that shooting from an unusual angle, a treatment of a subject that we may not have seen very often, or glorious light that lifts a shot out of the ordinary.
Narrowing down the images to create our final top ten of this year’s APOY was no mean feat, but we hope you enjoy the images as much as we enjoyed judging them. Look out for the launch of next year’s competition early in 2023!
APOY 2022, Round 10, Action, Top Ten
1. Tommaso Carrara, UK 100pts
Fujifilm X-Pro3, 16-55mm at 22mm, 1/640sec at f/3.2, ISO 1600
This superb image marks Tommaso’s fourth category win in this year’s APOY – and also ensures his place as the overall winner of the competition.
The composition is absolutely superb, with every straight edge lined up perfectly, while shooting from above gives the viewer a whole new perspective on a familiar scene.
The way the orange ball echoes the orange hoop is very pleasing, and the swish of the woman’s hair and angle of her arms denote effort and movement. It’s imaginative, clever and memorable –all of which combines to make it a very worthy winner indeed. Congratulations, Tommaso!
2. Ashok Manjanath, India, 90pts
Olympus E-M1X, 300mm, 1/2500sec at f/4, ISO 1250
A wonderfully dynamic shot from Ashok, depicting a buffalo race – or Kambala – in Karnataka, India. Ashok placed himself head-on to the action, and even with a 300mm lens, it must have felt pretty intimidating to see such creatures bearing down on him.
The expression on the man’s face says it all, while the muddy water being kicked up tells us everything we need to know about the effort and power behind the movement. Shooting with a long lens wide open has ensured the background gives context to the scene without detracting from it. An excellent split-second capture.
3. Sabrina Garofoli, Italy, 80pts
Canon EOS 5DS R, 100-400mm at 560mm, 1/3200sec at f/8, ISO 800
Our guest judge Will Cheung says: ‘I love this wonderful image on so many levels. Technically, it is excellent, beautifully exposed and tack sharp. A fast shutter speed has ‘frozen’ the water drops and the bird is beautifully caught with awesome wing detail. Aperture choice is spot on, with a wide aperture throwing the foreground and background really nicely out of focus concentrating attention on the subject. Focus is beyond reproach, too, with everything sharp that should be sharp.
Pictorially, it is a brilliantly composed image. The shape of the bird, its head and wings position and its placement in the frame is spot on, plus the repeating water splashes combine to make for a compelling composition. Even that patch of still water giving a partial reflection of the subject helps the image’s overall impact. Add great side lighting and the result is a stunning photograph.
Finally, I wish I had taken it. Extremely well done to the photographer.’
4. Ashok Manjanath, India, 0pts
Olympus E-M1X, 300mm, 1/4000sec at f/4, ISO 3200
Ashok has absolutely nailed this photograph of two blue-tailed green bee eaters caught up in their courtship ritual. The way he has captured the moment where their two beaks meet shows great skill, and this is complemented by the line of the birds’ wings going from bottom left to top right. His focusing is immaculate and the background is beautifully blurred, so the viewers’ attention goes straight where it’s supposed to. A lovely shot.
5. Trude Johansen, UK, 60pts
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 70-200mm at 200mm, 1/640sec at f/5, ISO 100
We can almost hear the thundering of these zebras’ hooves as they gallop by, which is a sign of a good image – it should appeal to more than just our visual sense. It also leaves the viewer wanting to learn more. What caused the zebras to take off, and where are they heading? We love that the one on the right has all four hooves in the air, and the dust being kicked up gives a good idea of the speed at which they are moving – as well as a sense of depth.
6. Christer Björkman, Sweden, 50pts
Leica M10-D, 1/1000sec at f/3.4, ISO 1250
Normally, we’d expect to see a shot like this capturing the child in mid-air, so to see them at the moment of landing is different and eye-catching. The action is depicted by the flying hair and the expression of concentration on the young person’s face. The footprint stickers going in the opposite direction are a nice incidental element.
7. Jayne Bond, UK, 45pts
Canon EOS R5, 500mm, 1/500sec at f/4, ISO 400
Goldfinches are tiny, fast-moving and erratic birds, so to capture them in action and manage such pin-sharp focus on their eyes is no mean feat. The blur of the upper bird’s wings adds to our understanding of just how quick they are and we can tell from the movement and body language that a split second later this scene would have changed entirely.
8. Jade Collier, UK, 40pts
Canon EOS 6D Mark II, 135mm, 1/3200sec at f/1.8, ISO 100
We get a huge number of dog pictures in this round, which we always enjoy enormously, but this one took a clear lead over the others, for obvious reasons – the whippet’s crazy expression above all else. It’s full of unbounded joy, but is technically excellent too, with the focusing and timing spot on. A memorable shot indeed.
9. Nguyen Tan Tuan, Vietnam, 35pts
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm at 28mm, 1/350sec at f/8, ISO 400
Similarly to Trude’s shot of the zebras, you can hear the thunderous splashing of the water in this scene. The image is beautifully balanced, with the horses moving from left to right, and the reflection of the tree-covered mountain in the lake. And then, of course, there’s the glorious light, which lifts the scene even further.
10. Ian Bramham, UK, 30pts
Nikon D800, 70-300mm at 195mm, 1/640sec at f/11, ISO 100
With Ian’s shot, he has shown that action doesn’t need to be depicted in close-up, or even with particularly fast movement. Here, of course, it’s denoted by the pleasing curve the person’s skis have left behind in the snow. He has waited until just the right moment to take the picture, with the skier nicely placed on the bottom third.
The looming rock at the top of the frame and the smaller ones at the bottom contain the tracks well and give the overall image a sense of scale. Converting to black & white enhances the image’s graphic qualities and strips it back to shape and tone.
Young APOY 2022, Round 10, Action winner
Nassiba Bouteraa, Saudi Arabia, 100pts
This is a graceful and beautifully executed shot from Nassiba. The curved shape the dancer is creating is echoed by the curve of the floating net skirt, while all the details are lovely too – such as the perfect profile of her face and the softness of the arm reaching behind her.
Small things such as the negative space between her right arm and the skirt are important, too, as it creates separation. The shot has been extremely well lit, with the shadows falling in exactly the right places. Finally, the black & white processing is excellent. All in all, a very worthy winner of this category.
See the Young APOY top ten and shortlist here
Camera Club award
Nigel Watson, UK, 10pts
Canon EOS 7D, 10-22mm at 22mm, 1/60sec at f/5, ISO 3200
There’s only one photographic society we could possibly feature in this section, and of course it has to be Launceston Camera Club, who have once again pulled together to run away with the lead. They went to the head of the leaderboard in round one, and have stayed there ever since.
Nigel Watson has been regularly shortlisted, and this action shot is another great example of the club’s work. The stillness of the supervisor is an excellent counterpoint to the colour and movement of the chariots. Congratulations to everyone who got involved.
The 2022 Leaderboard
Winning kit from MPB
Taking first place is Tommaso Carrara, who shot his winning image using a Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR, which is equivalent to 24-84mm in full-frame terms. This model features 17 elements in 12 groups, including three aspherical elements to control pincushion and barrel distortion. The constant f/2.8 aperture allows shooting in low light, while the nine rounded diaphragm blades give pleasing bokeh. This lens received five stars when reviewed in AP, and can be found at MPB for between £679 and £814.
In eighth place, Jade Collier captured the leaping whippet using a Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM | Art. When reviewed in AP its image quality was described as ‘nothing short of stunning, with the 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM delivering pin-sharp results in the centre of the frame at all apertures’. Build quality is excellent, with the exterior finished in a mixture of metal and high-quality plastic. MPB has stock of this lens in Nikon, Canon and Sony fit, starting at £609.
Taking tenth spot, Ian Bramham took his black & white ski scene with the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. It’s lightweight and is weather resistant, so ideal for shooting in poor conditions, and features Nikon’s Stepping Motor for silent, ultra-fast autofocus. Its Vibration Reduction permits shooting at 4.5 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. Find this lens in like-new condition at MPB for £504.
To browse the extensive range of stock at MPB, visit www.mpb.com
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