Last night was the review of the images entered for the 3rd round of POTY . This round was themed Monochrome and had 50 images entered with 25 members voting.

01 73156 – Gary Wood

Finished 24 Scored 18.64 Range 12 23 Impact 6.38 Composition 6.42 Technical 5.75
Taken down at Great Central Kinchley Lane with wide angle 11mm lens which gives impact from the low angle and stretched look implies motion

there’s something going on above the smoke above the engine. Good action shot of the train. Think I would have cloned out the power/telephone pole – I keep looking at it! Clear distinction between train smoke and sky. Space for train to move into. Perhaps clone out the top of the telegraph pole


02 A Ride In The Country – Debbie Lowe

Finished 39 Scored 16.86 Range 11 22 Impact 5.5 Composition 5.88 Technical 5.46
Impact is not as strong as could be because the horse is looking out of shot.
Technically the white vignette does nothing for the image
Good pose Not sure about treatment I like the composition; but does the process work
Sepia finish trying to make it look old. Maybe background has been changed? Wonder what the horse is looking at – but not indicating a story.
not a fan of reverse vignette

03 Abandoned On Black Sands – With held

04 An Apple A Day – Chris Dunne

Finished 50 Scored 14.23 Range 7 20 Impact 4.79 Composition 4.75 Technical 4.63

Good concept and DoF but could be improved by dodging and burning apple to give more depth and contrast and removing the blemish on the apple which draws the eye. Crop in at the sides slightly. Good still life but bland, mark on the apple should have been removed. and the black line at the back. Depth of field good.
Flat background detracts, Simple subject, perhaps too much background, Simplicity. Good depth of field. Think the dog-leg line across the top is a bit distracting. Would it have been better to have an undamaged apple? But it is exactly where the highlight is and no contrast

Tweaking levels and tidying background

05 Back With A Splash – With Held


Back with a Splash – Isobel Chesterman

06 Bahla Potter – Steve Pears

Finished 19 Scored 18.86 Range 11 25 Impact 6.08 Composition 6.58 Technical 6.13
An environmental portrait. Good depth of field enables the viewer to see what looks like where the potter wipes his fingers on the rear wall!
Busy street photo, the hands seem a little strange because of motion blur, Hat’s a bit bright


07 Barbary Macaque – With Held

08 Beacon Hill – Isobel Chesterman

Finished 49 Scored 15.23 Range 8 24 Impact 4.92 Composition 5.13 Technical 5.25
ICM taken at Beacon Hill. Love it or hate it stuff. Reduced the width of the picture by bringing the tree on the left over more to the right. Converted to mono and tinted with a blue shade, which I believe is allowed. Trip out to try ICM.

Can see what author is trying to achieve and this may be taken through windscreen or painted in but the result lacks depth and focal point. Could benefit from trees being darkened and cropped i on left. Doesn’t, imo really works. Not sure what the story is here, is the photographer relaying a wind day ?. tree on the left is distractingly a little bit of contrast would help.
Appreciate the author trying something different, does it work? Hill Messy, like the nice painterly effect from ICM. Suspect many won’t like this! Looks like might be multi exposure as well. Mono suits it very well.


09 Belties – Dave Varnham

Finished 44 Scored 16.09 Range 7 22 Impact 5.25 Composition 5.42 Technical 5.29

Mono conversion works for cattle but the background is too busy and too sharp. Perhaps would have been better if cattle had heads up looking in direction of photographer? Too much of cattle heads hidden by long grass. Something different but not a strong image, Well captured


10 Black Princess – Al Simms

Finished 28 Scored 18.27 Range 11 22 Impact 5.88 Composition 6 Technical 6.25

A strong portrait but a bit over powering
Just seems to be extremes of dynamic range with little in between. Face and right arm are the dominant areas but I don’t find them interesting enough. Bottom third of image has no interest. May have benefitted from a lighter background to enable model and headpiece to stand out.
nice lighting, OK image skin needs brightening up looks dull.


11 Black Swan At Bideford – Roger Leck

Finished 47 Scored 15.55 Range 6 19 Impact 5.13 Composition 5.17 Technical 5
Nice clear shot of a black swan with good definition of feathers, but a bit soft. Not all of reflection included but water is not smooth and it’s not a good reflection anyway so doesn’t matter.
The black swan is not a big contrast to the background, head of swan out of focus.


12 Dance Diva – With Held

13 Drivers Aboard – Geoff Whitelocks : Finished 45 Scored 16 Range 9 20 Impact 5.38 Composition 5.29 Technical 5.21

Good capture of the steam but image doesn’t seem balanced. Too dark on right and not enough space on the left. Would like more of the drivers climbing aboard.
The image appers a little flat, drivers chopped off

14 Evil Intentions – Alan Wardropper

Finished 16 Scored 19.65 Range 13 25 Impact 6.86 Composition 6.5 Technical 6.23
I cropped the image to try and use the black and white to create a story for the viewer. The viewer is first attracted
To the lightest area which at it’s centre is the malevolent eye ., below this is the slightly darker area of the mutilated mouth which hopefully
Evokes the emotion of revulsion , and finally the dulled blade of the machete . This triangle says to the viewer this being as Evil Intentions.
It was taken with a single softbox with a grid to focus the light shot at F14 1/125 ISO 100.

Great impact, Dramatic, Horrible subject but well taken, Cant look at it, Very tight crop, not sure what person is holding in right hand – just looks like a straight piece of metal. Assume it’s a sword? Very dark triangle on left upper.

15 Film Noir – Daniel Wood

Finished 29 Scored 18.22 Range 8 22 Impact 5.84 Composition 6.28 Technical 5.84

Moody portrait, but lighting on face is flat, assumed lit from front. Not the strongest of portraits. Was driven mad by whatever is on her lip
nice lighting, don’t like skin texture lip ring


16 Grunta Beach – With Held

17 Haven Street Jetty – Phil Mallin

Finished 14 Scored 20.45 Range 12 28 Impact 6.71 Composition 6.96 Technical 6.75
Taken at dusk in New Zealand. The moon was just showing and the rest of the sky was moody so hence no visual of any stars. The image was a colour image changed too black and white in processing..

Good dynamic range. Nearly a symmetrical image, just needed to slightly change viewpoint, maybe getting a bit closer to the floor to get both sides coming out of corners. Long shutter to smooth water nicely done.
I think the composition lets it down. No focal point
bit flat, might have got rid of a few boats and zoomed in a bit more
love this image the still water and the light at the end of the pier and the moon in the sky.

18 Headmaster – Ian Waite


Finished 24 Scored 18.64 Range 12 22 Impact 6.25 Composition 6.25 Technical 6
Good subject. I thought there was a haze around the hat, Looks like background has been darkened as there are light areas around mortar board.
another one for a texture?, shame about the bad rim halo all around the image.

19 Killing Time – Alan Wardropper

Finished 11 Scored 20.95 Range 14 28 Impact 6.79 Composition 7 Technical 7.17

Taken with a single light positioned lower than the subject to bring out the best of lived in face
Shot at F10 1/125 at ISO 100 . the hardest thing was to get a clear image of the flame , it took a few shots to get the balance right.
Good lighting. Sharp. Bit of an inconsistency in pose as think people usually look down at lighter when lighting a cigarette?
I like the contrast between the dark background and the light of the blinds. Good balance through the image, Nice use of studio lighting
good treatment, good shot two light set up. would remove the hot spot on Geoffs nose.

20 Kirkstone Pass – Dave Varnham

Finished 43 Scored 16.18 Range 6 23 Impact 5.25 Composition 5.71 Technical 5.08

Nice view but processing seems to have caused strange effects towards back of image
The slopes from each side are over processed and the background is too soft
dramatic, over processed, over sharpened


21 Late Night For The P.I. – Al Simms

Finished 12 Scored 20.73 Range 15 27 Impact 6.96 Composition 6.67 Technical 7.13
A really strong image and tells a story, Not sure why the smoke/dry ice effect in bottom left! Lamp on right is competing for attention, could crop this out. Lamp not even lit, which might have been better? Arrangement of props seems a bit random.
ery good comp and lighting, lamp a bit too prominent
not sure why you would have smoke in this image. the lighting is awesome on the lamp which is not the hero but the hero Geoff the light is too shallow. The hero needed to be closer to the light. The Jim Beam bottle also needed more light.


22 Leaving On A Steam Train – Ken Chesterman

Finished 35 Scored 17.36 Range 10 25 Impact 5.88 Composition 5.92 Technical 5.58
Taken at Shackerstone Station which was open so we didn’t get told off. Removed a few distractions, moved a few sliders and cropped a bit. Trip out looking for photoclub pics.
Flat background detracts, Good capture of train carriages leaving in midst of steam. Shame we can’t see the engine. Looks like steam at the back of carriages is an added element as would have thought it would be all the way along the right side. Not the sharpest image.
Perhaps the image could have been cropped tighter to the train


23 Merlins Cave – John Denny

Finished 40 Scored 16.77 Range 9 22 Impact 5.25 Composition 5.83 Technical 5.58
Location: Merlins Cave, Tintagel, Cornwall, Taken: 1:38pm 4th Nov 2020, Camera: Nikon D750, Iso 400, f 4, 1/60sec manual settings,
Nikon 24-120 @ 32mm
HDR from two images, one at +1 stop., Mono conversion and post processing in Lightroom classic, some dodging and burning in Photoshop CC.
A rock was moved in the bottom left corner to help with composition.
Hand held, metered using live view with histogram. I got one chance at this before a crowd of tourists walked in front of me.
A good idea but there is too much in darkness
Difficult shot to get without blown highlights and very dark inside cave, which is what has happened. Nice idea.
very dark , well shot


24 Muscat To Sur Bw – Steve Pears

Finished 38 Scored 17.18 Range 6 24 Impact 5.63 Composition 5.88 Technical 5.5

feel the image has been overworked post camera, Interesting scenic shot but could do with more contrast.,  dramatic, Over sharpened


25 Oldenburg Quay – John Denny

Finished 20 Scored 18.82 Range 10 25 Impact 6.04 Composition 6.38 Technical 6.29

Location: Ilfracombe, Devon, Taken: 1:34pm 26th Sep 2020, Camera: Nikon D750, Iso 200, f 7.1, 1/800sec shutter priority, Nikon 70-300 @ 70mm

Mono conversion and post processing in Lightroom classic, some dodging and burning in Photoshop CC.
The landing Quay for the MS Oldenburg, the ship that goes to Lundy. Built below the main docks level, the roof and walls catch the light reflecting off the sea from the left.
Composed using live view in mono. Original in colour from camera jpg.
Hand held, metered using live view histogram.

Dynamic range has been well handled., Love the subject and the composition, might have cropped in a bit to bring the person a bit nearer the front, what’s she doing ?


26 Partly Dying Trees – Paul Steans

Finished 32 Scored 17.86 Range 10 23 Impact 5.83 Composition 6.08 Technical 5.83
Not a strong image, Trees dramatic


27 Passionate – Peter Lawrance

Finished 20 Scored 18.82 Range 11 24 Impact 6.5 Composition 6.13 Technical 6.08
was taken during a climate demo on Westminster Bridge. Managed to get right close to the action with the media and you could feel the anger and passion.
Taken on Westminster Bridge during Climate Change demonstrations. Passions were riding high and I managed to get over the barrier and amongst the demonstrators with some of the media.

More importantly I made it safely back over the barriers with camera intact.
Good expression on the men, particularly the one on the left. Focussing on these might have made a better image. A lot is uninteresting. Cameraman gives some context. Shame can’t see the full logo on the flag. Obviously a catching-the-moment image.
Well taken and tells a story, could crop into people on left, cound loose most of the left as best bit is the two men also this would have made them bigger in the frame
The crane is distracting so is the two highlights on the building below the crane. Over sharpened in places. its a shame that the two heroes are so close the the frame whilst the centre has a girl with a black hat and looking away.

Clone out crane

28 Points Of View – Peter Lawrance

Finished 22 Scored 18.73 Range 11 25 Impact 6.29 Composition 5.88 Technical 6.5
was taken on the tube between Street locations. This amazing guy sat down opposite and got his paper out. Unfortunately I pressed the shutter on my now defunct Z6 which is completely silent. Influenced by Mike Martin, our speaker a couple of weeks ago.
Managed to capture this characterful gentleman when he sat opposite me on the tube. Silent mode engaged I unfortunately found my finger on the shutter button and shot away without him realising.

I then used the image following on from the Mike Martin talk a few weeks ago and extended his idea by splitting the subject and reversing the composition. As he was looking at the paper it leant itself to the title.
Intriguing, however if this was to be symmetrical then this has not worked. the lower half of the body is blurred and the balance is not there. Good try though.
Clever idea, Different and great impact, Novel treatment of a portrait. Initially looks like two individuals but closer inspection reveals a single person cut and split to either site of image. Good idea.
don’t get it, gap a bit big between the two men and whilst it may be a recreation of the one in the zoom meeting a few weeks ago the man does not have the same impact.

Close the gap

29 Rainbow Bridge – John Smith

Finished 22 Scored 18.73 Range 10 27 Impact 6.17 Composition 6.38 Technical 6.17

Good image from Foxton. Like the lead in up the bridge which takes the viewer to the buildings and people beyond the bridge, coming back up the canal and round again. Another impressive sky, is this a replacement? Good contrasty image.
lacks depth
nice treatment and viewpoint

30 Ready To Salute – Ken Chesterman

Finished 30 Scored 18.05 Range 13 25 Impact 6.08 Composition 6.04 Technical 6

Pulled the canons round a bit so the big square thing at the end was not in the picture. Changed the sky. moved a few sliders for contrast etc. Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The texture in the sky is perhaps too heavy. Would have taken out the restraing wires
Wide depth of field so all cannon are sharp. But the way they curve takes my eye out of the image! A bright day in contrast to the sky.

Suggestion to flip horizonatlly


31 Rockham Bay – With held

32 Royal Scots Guardsman The Hadrian – Margaret Waterson

Finished 33 Scored 17.45 Range 12 22 Impact 5.83 Composition 6.08 Technical 5.5
Taken on our day trip from Nuneaton to Carlisle
I thought this would suit a monochrome effect
using mostly Photoshop i changed it from colour to greyscale
Added a bit more black , then added this canvas filter to give it a painted look
It has been cropped to get rid of a few people on the platform
A good start at textures. Not sure that it works on all of the image but I think the photographer was trying to make it look like a canvas. The people are blurred and there is a weird something below one of the trees.
Good shot of the train with steam at the front. Not sure about the added texture.
I wonder if the texture process has not done justice to the subject, too much texture


33 Royal Tiger’s Wood – Andy Freeman

Finished 46 Scored 15.86 Range 8 22 Impact 5.21 Composition 5.13 Technical 5.46
I would have cropped this from the left, Sharp shot of the water and vegetation, with a bird sitting on the wheel. Good contrast and dynamic range. Good reflections. Not sure about the top part of image – top of trees very light and sky looks odd.
what’s the subject


34 Seaside Shrub – Roger Leck

Finished 18 Scored 19.09 Range 13 24 Impact 6.71 Composition 6.29 Technical 6.04
My eyes goes to the sand as its the lightest thing in the image but it is distracted by all of the debris. This could be a great image with a bit of TLC.
Simple and effective, Very minimalistic image. Think I would have cloned out the white buoy.
dramatic, good tonal range, horizon looks a bit off but that may be my eyes would like to have seen all the root plus a bit.


35 Shot At Dawn – Graham Townsend

Finished 27 Scored 18.41 Range 8 24 Impact 6.25 Composition 6 Technical 5.96

taken at the National Arboretum, 17/9/2020. 1/1000, F5.6, ISO 100. 24-105 mm lens @ 55mm.

It was a dull day, but the sun came through and created ots of high contrast hith the shadows
Good angle used to simplify image. Lighting almost suggests dawn, perhaps tone down the statue a bit.
Strong subject. Tells a story

36 Sidmouth In Winter – Geoff Whitelocks

Finished 40 Scored 16.77 Range 6 21 Impact 5.38 Composition 5.67 Technical 5.46
Flat background detracts, Like the atmosphere but think foreground needs lifting. Needs bird further in from edge, or clone it out.
The image is somewhat flat and loses any detail

Tweak Levels


37 So Long And Thanks For All The Fish – Chris Dunne

Finished 48 Scored 15.45 Range 11 22 Impact 5.08 Composition 5.29 Technical 5.17
Eye drawn to the writing rather then the dolphin
Does well to catch the dolphin but a run of the mill record shot
Record shot. Unfortunately a very bright background. action all on the left

38 St Just In Roseland Church – Gary Wood

Finished 36 Scored 17.23 Range 12 23 Impact 5.88 Composition 5.79 Technical 5.58
Good low angle gives an unusual view. Should I mention the sky? Some haloing around the tower. The grave crosses lead you nicely towards the church.
The colour of the church grounds is lost in mono
nice treatment and viewpoint


39 Stanage Millstones – Steve Bexon

Finished 13 Scored 20.59 Range 15 25 Impact 6.79 Composition 7.04 Technical 6.71
Taken early morning in late August from Stanage Edge. Camera settings 24mm, 1/20 sec at f/13, ISO100, 0.6 ND Grad and Polarizer, Tripod. Processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex
Captures the texture of the stones. I think the high horizon works
Nice sharp millstones occupying most of the image, with background scenery showing context.
good treatment, could be grittier?


40 The Black Widow – With Held

41 The Eyes Have It – With Held

42 The Starlet – With Held

43 The Thinker – With Held

44 Time To Relax – John Smith

Finished 26 Scored 18.5 Range 10 26 Impact 6.08 Composition 6.33 Technical 6.04
Great shot – pity about halos around lamppost
image, sharp throughout. Why am I often suspicious of the sky? I might have cloned out the notice on the lamppost.
bit busy
might have got the sea behind it from the other side?

45 Tintagel – Daniel Wood

Finished 15 Scored 20.09 Range 10 26 Impact 6.6 Composition 6.92 Technical 6.4
That bridge has been added since I was last there. Assume it’s to make it accessible to all. The image is mostly about the bridge and steps so tilting the camera down might have worked better.
he lead lines make the image, good perspective, lacks impact could have tried straight down the bridge.


46 Valkyrie View – Steve Bexon

Finished 17 Scored 19.18 Range 12 27 Impact 5.88 Composition 6.58 Technical 6.5
Taken early November during the golden hour. This view takes in the Roaches, Hen Cloud and Tittesworth Reservoir. Camera settings 24mm, 1/40 sec at f/18, ISO100, 0.9 ND Grad, Tripod. Processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex
Dark and foreboding. Is there a storm on the way?
The image is too dark


47 White Hydrangea – Margaret Waterson

Finished 42 Scored 16.73 Range 6 21 Impact 5.42 Composition 5.46 Technical 5.58
Taken in Westonbirt Arboretum
It is a white plant , i used the black and white filter in lightroom
I tweaked it in Photoshop and added a canvas filter for texture
It has been Cropped to a square format for the best composition
Perhaps too busy
Texture added, brightest part in the centre to draw the eye.
too much of that same texture again.

48 White Rose – Paul Steans


Finished 36 Scored 17.23 Range 6 23 Impact 5.67 Composition 5.5 Technical 5.83
Good use of a textured background
personally don’t like mono flowers. Also could perhaps have cropped in more
well it

49 Woolsthorpe Church – Ian Waite

Finished 33 Scored 17.45 Range 8 21 Impact 5.46 Composition 6.25 Technical 5.74
Not so much about the church as the varying shades of the trees.
Would have cropped from the left
if this is autumn I would have saved it for colour

50 York Minster – Andy Freeman

Finished 31 Scored 17.91 Range 7 24 Impact 6.13 Composition 5.5 Technical 6.08

Nice contrast and detail, very sharp, Good side lighting on minster but unfortunately half hidden by buildings and trees. Also has scaffolding on minster.
I like the highlighted middle of the minster; but a record shot
good light on subject, busy foreground
scaffold and other buildings so maybe zoom in more on the left and loose all the right and some of the sky so you just have the bushy bit on the left or get a different angle.


—- X ———————

31 Rockham Bay – James Botterill

Finished 10 Scored 21.13 Range 11 27 Impact 6.76 Composition 6.96 Technical 7.24
Again a typical slow shutter speed pf the sea
Another nice seascape showing movement in the surf with good depth of field.
good movement, would prefer landscape orientation.

03 Abandoned On Black Sands – Julie Holbeche-Maund

Finished 9 Scored 21.14 Range 13 30 Impact 7.17 Composition 6.96 Technical 7.04
Taken in Iceland. Its a Super DC3 that did a forced landing in 21st Nov 1973 all 7 crew survived.
Walked a good 4 miles to get to location at 4am (still not light) in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Taken in colour but changed too Black and White in processing.
Only had 20mins to take a number of images before the first idiot came and stood on the top of the plane :-(.

41 The Eyes Have It – Debbie Lowe

Finished 8 Scored 21.41 Range 16 26 Impact 7.04 Composition 7.08 Technical 7.25
Apart from the eyes a good use of the hands, which can be difficult
Nice pose by the model. Lighting a bit harsh. Bit of a bright area on her left shoulder maybe could be toned down.
well lit and posed

07 Barbary Macaque – Chantal Cooper

Finished 7 Scored 21.48 Range 12 27 Impact 7.12 Composition 7.04 Technical 7.16
Good expression, dof, Focus is on hands more than the face, Nice portrait, sharp at front of image and nice softness behind. Like the pose.
Very sharp. Just a little too close
Wonderful expresion, a candidate for a texture behind

16 Grunta Beach – James Botterill

Finished 6 Scored 21.91 Range 10 27 Impact 7.04 Composition 7.12 Technical 7.48
A typical slow shutter speed of the sea. Well executed but is the horizon straight, Good dynamic range. Good movement shown in the sea. Sharp throughout. Good sky.
Good impact with low angle, good motion & clouds, possibly as a landscape not portrait

12 Dance Diva – Graham Townsend

Finished 5 Scored 22.41 Range 14 30 Impact 7.33 Composition 7.42 Technical 7.63
taken 21/8/19. 7.4 sec exposure using Bulb. F14, ISO 100.
This uses a reverse curtain flash, and a second constant light. Model moved through the frame from the right, the constant light creates the movement trail, then the reverse curtain fires the flash at the end of the exposure to freeze the model and light her fully.

42 The Starlet – Phil Mallin

Finished 4 Scored 22.77 Range 17 29 Impact 7.38 Composition 7.58 Technical 7.83
The planning for this image took 2 months, trying to find the right model and location. Then out sorting and buying the correct dress and accessories knowing that the image was to be turned into Black and White.
Lighting, is 3 lights: one at the back to highlight the hair and arms and side of face, one to the right to highlight the face and dress and a kicker light at the front low down to highlight the front of the model and dress in true Hollywood Style. Taken with our equipment.
Beautiful lighting on model’s face. Not keen on the pearl bracelets, especially one closest to model’s face.
ood studio work
very good lighting

40 The Black Widow – Julie Holbeche-Maund

Finished 3 Scored 22.91 Range 16 30 Impact 7.46 Composition 7.88 Technical 7.58
Planning this shoot took 1 month. First thing was to find a model with a good chin and dramatic feel, then buying the dress and hat (both black) and the gloves were black.
The white table and the grey background were deliberately done to show the progression of black to white. Two lights: one light a large parabolic umbrella straight infront of the model and the other a 30×90 soft box to the left to give the shadow off the hand which is slightly raised deliberately. Taken in our village hall with our equipment.
A good simple portrait
Simple but effective. Nice pose. Intrigue as can’t see the model’s eyes.
Wonderful comp and lighting
appealing shape
don’t know much about portraits but maybe crop up to the elbow of the raised arm and take off left hand side

43 The Thinker – Chantal Cooper

Finished 2 Scored 23.22 Range 18 30 Impact 8.04 Composition 7.56 Technical 7.68
Nice captutre and well processed. Just brilliant
Lovely image of the ape with a very human expression. Good application of texture to hide, probably, a man made structure.
Superb shot – pity the face is not more towards the viewer
aptured well

05 Back With A Splash – Isobel Chesterman

Back with a Splash – Isobel Chesterman

Finished 1 Scored 23.41 Range 18 29 Impact 7.79 Composition 7.71 Technical 7.92
Not much done to this a shadows lifted and a bit of texture also a few blobs of water removed. On a beach somewhere. Can’t remember which one.
Beautifully dramatic capture – Composition and low angle, Great image, sharp and full of character, Nice action shot, sharp, good composition, good timing to have front paws out of water. Good depth of field.



Click for Table of Results

Click for POTY Table after POTY 3

2020 / 21 POTY 3 Monochrome Gallery