The Reflections Photo Challenge attracted an exceptional number of high quality entries. Indeed, we were so impressed by the high standard and large number of submissions that we decided to triple the number of pages we usually allocate to this section. And even then we had to leave a few very good pictures out of the final group. Happily we have room for the extras here on our website.
Photo Review Competitions
The inspiration for the Night Lights challenge came about after we decided to publish the lovely night studies of Sydney photographer Peter Solness (Photo Review Australia issue 41). We hoped that our Photo Challengers would be similarly inspired when asked for their take on lights in the night. Happily, as the pictures shown here demonstrate, we were once again rewarded with a variety of creative responses to what is a somewhat technically demanding theme.
Never underestimate the power of black and white. Photo Challenge 36 was all about monochrome and boy did our challengers rise to the occasion. We received a great swag of terrific entries and it was therefore exceptionally difficult to decide a winner. But, in the end, that’s our task, so after much back and forth, we gave the nod to Mark Sherborne for his very subtle untitled landscape study. As a token of our appreciation, Mark will receive a Verbatim 250GB Portable Hard Drive.
For our 38th Photo Challenge we asked participants to seek out photogenic examples of repetition. As usual our endlessly creative correspondents delighted us with their fine and subtle interpretations of the challenge. While there was only a hair’s breadth between them, we decided that this issue’s winner had to be veteran Photo Challenger Roz Krugle’s humorous row of school kids’ feet. It would have been a very good picture if they’d all been wearing shoes, but the single pair of bare feet transformed the picture into a smile-inducing classic.
The idea for the Hands competition came to your editor whilst he was perusing a dog-eared copy of Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. This was the book that, to be frank, taught your humble servant how to draw like a grown up rather than a child. As I flicked through it, a piece of paper slipped from the pages. It was a drawing I’d attempted of my hand …and that lead by the usual aribitrary chain of free association to the notion that hands might make a good subject for a Photo Review challenge.
My, what a shy bunch our usual crowd of keen Photo Challengers are! Even though the conditions were as easy as they could possibly be – ie, to look into your own lens – it seems that we modern photographers are rather wary of being our own subjects. Still, although we received a comparative handful of entries for Photo Challenge 35, the standard was, as usual, pleasingly high.
We’ve posed some tough challenges over the last 30 issues, but judging from the number of entries we received, ‘the smallest room in the house’ must have been the most difficult yet. Still, whilst we didn’t get as many competitors as is usual, the standard of the submissions was uniformly strong. As many artists know, working on a small canvas with only a limited range of options often leads to more than usually creative expression.
The idea for this photo challenge came from photographer R. Ian Lloyd (see ‘Be Prepared’ in Photo Review 34). One of the very first challenges he faced as a young photography student was how to come up with a good picture of a humble egg. The difficulty factor of this apparently simple exercise was obviously pretty high, because we received fewer entries than usual. However, it was good to see that a hardy band of our most stalwart Photo Review Challenge lenspersons were undeterred by the complexity of rendering simplicity. It was a competitive group as you can see, but in the end we gave the nod to Craig Mitchell for seeing the shape of an egg in a most unexpected place.
Photo Challenge 30: Shadowland The response to our Shadowland Photo Challenge was one of the most impressive we’ve yet seen. Choosing the winner was, as always, a great struggle. But in the end, we felt we had to give the nod to Damien Siviero for a picture he captured 10 metres below the sea in a cave near a spot known as Splendid Arch in New Zealand’s Poor Knight Islands. As you will see, this photograph was competing for first place not only with the rest of the field but with two other extraordinary images from Damien’s lens.
The challenge we set in our August-Sept 2005 issue, was not easy. The task we set was to capture the experience of that most humdrum and ordinary of experiences – a trip to the supermarket. Our intention was to set Photo Challengers a task that really made them work to find an interesting image. In the end it was a bit of an old home week as some familiar Challenge responders got across the line for the win and places. We think they answered the call rather successfully.