2015 Photo Competition: Nature’s Neighbourhood

Many congratulations to Vicki Jull who was named winner of the 2015 photographic competition.  The theme of the competition was ‘Nature’s Neighbourhood’

The 68 entries were judged by Mike Wilbraham, a wildlife photographer of many years experience.  Unfortunately, Mike was unable to attend the  prize giving but his comments on why he chose the winner and the commended photos were read out by competition organiser, Evelyn Auld. Evelyn also read out a statement from Mike, explaining how he had chosen the photographs:-

‘ The quality of the entries was very good, ranging from technically precise compositions to simple snaps.

It was difficult to judge or even try to short-list the entries so I concentrated upon the notion of “nature’s neighbourhood” as given in the competition theme. Interpretation is entirely subjective so I do hope if entrants did not get commended or win they are not put off entering again next year.

Some excellent action shots of the bird life were entered and from a photographic and technical point of view they were superb, some more than others hinted at the “neighbourhood” aspect of the competition.

Landscapes of the Pond in daylight and evening sunsets were also popular some of which would not be out of place framed on a living room wall and were of good quality,  some more than others yet again hinted at the “neighbourhood” aspect.

I chose the commended photographs and eventually the winner by considering if the photograph would enthuse others to visit the pond. Would I see these sights if I were to wander around the pond? Can I imagine how close to a large town and a mainline railway the pond is situated? Is this indeed nature’s neighbourhood?’

Vicki is pictured receiving the Rosebowl from Councillor Stephen Parker at the Society’s recent AGM.

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Vicki took her photo of the heron on the bridge over Brookly Stream with her phone, whilst on her regular walk round the Pond.

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Judge’s comments:- A lovely composition, showing “nature’s neighbourhood” . The photographer took advantage of the opportunity to capture the Heron as it sat on the bridge.
There is no vigorous action or subtle hues or mists but a straight forward record of what the viewer saw.
This is a clear indication of how nature and humans can get along together with the Heron “owning” the bridge. The background of woodland and the foreground of water indicate the ecological diversity around Fleet pond.
It encourages us all even with a humble camera phone to get out and record the environment around us.

This photo by Max Stevens won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ on the night. Everyone who attended the AGM had a chance to view all the entries and vote for their favourite.

E6 1 of 3 Natures Neighbourhood 1

Photographer: Max Stevens

The following photographs were all ‘commended’ by the judge:

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Photographer: Lynn Linn
Judge’s comments: A delightful atmospheric shot showing our close association with nature, the misty mood in the background and the dappled reflection show Fleet Pond at its best.

E5 3 of 3a a misty start to the day

Photographer: Michael Carrington
Judge’s comments: A moody, mysterious touch to this photograph. The mixture of colours and hints of mist suggest somewhere exotic, but is it is here in our own town – something we should be proud of.

E20 1 of 1

Photographer: Ken Sutherland
Judge’s comments: A different view of Fleet Pond. The reflection of the light points to the foreground where the birds are feeding, suggesting the end of a busy day for it’s inhabitants.

E4 1 of 3 Mallard family closeup

Photographer: Colin Gray
Judge’s comments: A cheery family photograph showing nature, but also the hint of human activity. Bright and heart-warming.

E22 P3 of 3 heron reflection

Photographer: John Fletcher
Judge’s comments: Excellent reflections and very crisp focus. The composition suggests peacefulness with still water and the colours give warmth. Overall, a feeling of nature at its best.