Forum competition results for the July 2013 round – Square Format

I must apologise for such a delay in judging this round. It’s been a hectic few weeks here at AP towers. But it was worth the wait. I have to say, this round was probably the most difficult to judge so far. You all really took to this theme of Square Format.

I’m a big fan of the square format, most likely due to my own education in 120 film. Composing for a square frame takes you head into a different space than a standard 35mm format. It’s great to see you all did such a great job, although how you managed to do it using your DSLRs is beyond me. So, onto some of the best shortlisted images.

Tonycro’s ‘S&M’ amused me no end. Insect images are a popular subject for AP, but I don’t think I’ve seen one done quite like this. It’s an image that benefits strongly from the square format and also the monochrome. It would be a largely colourless image anyway so Tonycro has made the wise decision to go all the way.

Also of note is Chriseshketh’s ‘√ Root Calculation’. It’s a very clever image that is simple but somehow utterly captivating. The subject, composition and shadows are fantastic.

I also rather like David_gu1’s architecture image. Much like our third placed winner, David has taken an everyday scene and turned it into something unique.

‘Shell Game’ by Molendinar is a beautiful little shot. The natural colours really pop out and demonstrate that the most intriguing scenes can be found out in natural surroundings. Not that I suggesting those shells arranged themselves.

The winner of the Forum monthly photo competition will receive a National Geographic Earth Explorer NG2346 Midi Messenger Bag. It’s an everyday, functional shoulder bag that holds all your personal gear along with a tablet, camera or camcorder and associated accessories worth £79.95 provided by Manfrotto. Runners-up will each receive an ‘Amateur Photographer Loves My Pictures’ mug.

3rd Place
Skiddawman – ‘The Square World of Powerlines’

I’m sure you’ll all agree that Skiddawman has consistently created some of the most interesting images in our forum competition. This is no different. One of the strengths of photography is its ability to show us familiar things in unfamiliar ways.

In this photograph, he shows us a pylon, but from a very unique perspective. He’s a braver man than me. Something about these complex manmade structures gives me the fear. They very much remind me of the Martian war machines from the old vinyl copy of War of the World’s my father used to keep on constant rotation. This is a subject that is perfectly suited to the theme of square format due to the geometric arrangement of the lines. Wonderful.

2nd Place
Devon_Eric – ‘Garden Box’

It’s always nice to see that our Photo Insights can inspire our readers. This is a lovely and perfectly arranged shot. Where to begin? The light and resulting tonal range, the
composition, the clever use of the box as a square frame; there’s just
so much to admire.

It may seem silly but the drooping flower id what
really makes it for me. It’s that one element that holds the piece
together and makes the image a success. Without it, I think the whole
would fall apart.

1st Place
Ephermeral – ‘In the Land of Grey and Pink’

Sometimes someone enters a shot into our forum competition that really stops me in my tracks and transports me to another place entirely. I’m a big fan of Southern Gothic literature and this image by Ephemeral fits perfectly into that genre. I imagine it’s no coincidence that Ephemeral username icon is Grant Wood’s famous painting American Gothic.

This photograph really made my day. The pinkish tone of the shot takes you a frame of mind that is somehow even more mysterious than twilight. The location and way Ephemeral has framed it is a real winner for me. His use of the broken twisted trees to lead the viewer’s eye from the foreground to the background is excellently executed. Again, the shape of those gnarled branches effectively communicates the Southern Gothic theme. And who lives in that little shack? A big congratulations to Ephemeral.

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AP Forum competition results – sponsored by Manfrotto