With the COVID-19 lockdown disruption this Open Print competition was shifted to PDI and the Judge Peter Gennard MFIAP EFIAP/p from Smethwick PS kindly did the voting remotely including returning comments and modified images showing his thoughts.

These are included below plus comments from the authors says why and what they did to the image.

A Glimmer Of Light by Alan cook scored 12

A good attempt at making an Creative image. The white areas to the left are too bright.

An Intimate Portrait by Al Simms scored 14

The double lines down her arms affect the picture, otherwise, another photographer trying to create something different.

The image was taken with a big square soft box directly behind her
Apple Blossom by Paul Steans scored 13

Perhaps a little too much in the picture. Try and simplify by choosing less complicated flower buds.

This was taken for one of the rounds of Just for fun but wasn’t used.
Cropping and dodging and burning was done using Affinity.
I also adjusted the colours.

Battling On by Peter Lawrance Scored 16

A good canoeing shot. Looks like the photographer has flipped the image as the name on the helmet looks ‘back to front’.

Holme Pierpont, September last year at national White Water Championships.
Nikon D850 and 70 – 200 lens 5000 at f2.8
Very high speed to freeze extremely quick movement.
The challenges were to avoid the far bank and to try and make it appear contestants not blinded by sun. Original Image .

Bee Fly by Chantal Copper Scored 16

Its unfortunate that there is a little area to the back of the bee that pills the eye to that area.

was feeding or pollinating our beautiful purple flowering bush (no idea what it is) so again with my 100-400 lens and camera set at fast speed
I managed to capture this after many failed attempts. Again large crop and denoise

Cariad by Al Simms Score 16

I just love the tension in her expression. I would have created the picture around that face. (My version attached)

Catch Me If You Can by Peter Lawrance Scored 13

The picture is in the bottom half of the shot. I don’t think you needed the sky.

South Bank, London in March week before lockdown this year.
Nikon Z6 24 -70 zoom 1600 sec at f 5.0
High speed trying to freeze jumping. very crowded area and had to remove some people to the left of screen and crop a great deal from right.
Also required straightening. Original image attached.

Chilly At Sutton Cheney by Rob Jones Scored 15

This picture doesn’t work in its present form. I think is be better as a monochrome. (My version attached)

Concentration by Paul Steans 16

Very well captured under difficult conditions. Good composition.

This was taken in a hairdresser’s salon in Hinckley.
I knew the owner, Joe, and went along one day and asked if I could take some photos.
Luckily he had this client and they both gave me the ok.
Originally I was thinking of using one of the images in the theme “Industry”, but changed my mind.
Taken using the available light in the salon plus daylight.
Cropping and dodging and burning was done using Affinity.

Contemplation by Daniel Wood Scored 15

I feel that the ‘street art’ actually overpowers the girl. You need to make the girl a little brighter to dominate the picture.

Dafawagen by Roger Leck Scored 13

Conditions a little too bright for this subject matter.

Disappearing by Paul Steans 13

This is a scene that I know very well. I have taken many pictures in this location. This picture looks too grey. I have tried to inject a little more drama into the shot. (My version attached).

I waited for quite a while on the bridge into Selfridges to get just one person in the distance.
I like the curvature of the bridge with the strong lines of the structure leading towards the person.
Converted to black and white and dodged and burned within Affinity.

Eagle by Chantal Cooper 15

A very good portrait of the bird.

This was taken last year at a bird of prey centre in the Cotswolds. It was sitting on a perch against a dark background so
I made it darker and cropped in close. I also did some dodging and burning.

Electric Power by Steve Bexon Scored 17

Another location I have scene before in exhibitions. It needs a little more contrast. (My version attached)

After seeing a similar picture a number of years ago, managed with the help of Google maps to find a possible viewpoint.
On my next trip to London I checked it out and found a narrow footpath on the edge of Chelsea which seemed a good spot.
Although not too safe on my own at dusk with groups of undesirables checking me out, I balanced my camera on a fence and took a few long exposures of the scene.
Because my camera had very little stability on the fence, most shots were blurred but managed to take a couple I was happy with,
so immediately got out of the area and back to the nearest tube station.
Basic edits in Lightroom to correct white balance and colour tones.

Eyes To The Left by Daniel Wood Scored 13

This is similar to a picture we saw earlier. The background is too prominent.

First Steps by John Denny Scored 12

Somehow the squirrel gets lost in the picture area.

Taken during lockdown daily walking exercise in Sheepy Woods, next to the common and Burbage wood.
This squirrels nest (dray) was spotted whilst waiting back 2m for some people to pass, I took quite a few pictures over a series of days
but rarely were all three babies (kittens) together.
This image just had some work on the shadows and levels to give it better definition, especially in the sky. It was then cropped, all in Lightroom.

Taken 22 Apr 2020 – Sheepy Wood, Burbage, Leicestershire
11.53am, Nikon D750, Shutter priority, 1/400sec, f7.1, ISO 320, Nikon 70-300mm @ 300mm

Fisticuffs by Peter Lawrance Scored 13

The boxers are to low in the bottom left of the frame. Another picture that needs more work doing to it to enhance the tones.

1940s weekend, Quorn

Nikon D850 24-120 lens 500 at f5. Exposure bias -1 EV

Incredibly bright day.
Problems were avoiding glare, finding an angle that omitted present day features and other visitors.
Although cut off to the left of fighter I thought that this led through the picture, through the action of the gloves
and faces up to the RH corner and the guy watching.

Floating by Alan Wardropper Scored 17

The shape of the girl and especially the hands work perfectly.

I lit the model using a single overhead soft box , I positioned her so her front was lit.
I metered the flash and then moved the f stop up one to make the image darker and softer.

Follow Me by Steve Pears 13

Because of the severe lighting conditions, this factor affects the overall picture, I have tried to take out some of harsh tones. (my version attached)


Giant by Debbie Lowe Scored 14

I don’t feel that single images of elephants work. A herd would make a picture.

Harbour Reflections by John Smith Scored 12

I find the green area at the bottom of the image distracting.

Isolated by Alan Cook Scored 13

Birds on feeders do not work as well as if they were at a tree hole nest site.

Moon by Rob Jones Scored 15

An excellent picture of the moon. Not strong enough for a high score.

Morning Under Vienna by Roger Leck Scored 16

Very well composed. However, I just feel there is too much space at the bottom. Living up my name, ‘Chopper Gennard’ I would cut the bottom off up to the
main red coloured area. (My version attached)

Not The Hogwarts Express by Gary Wood Scored 15

I just like the conditions. Perhaps a little too much at the top of the picture.

Scary by Ian Waite Scored 12

Far too over saturated.

Seaplane Sundown by Andy Freeman 13

The plane is too far to the left of the frame. Good use of the night time conditions.

My IOTY image was taken on a night shoot at the RAF museum at Cosford In mid-March, just before the lockdown started.

The aircraft in shot is a Catalina seaplane from the Second World War period.
This image was taken after the sun had gone down, but facing west, hence the glow in the sky.
Shot was taken on a Nikon D3100, using an 18-105 zoom, at 18mm, f4, 100ISO, 30 second exposure.
Lighting was provided by the organisers, using fairly dim spotlights 30 yards to the right of the plane.

Serenity by John Smith Scored 15

Very simple composition. Too bright at the bottom of the picture.

Shhhh by Debbie Lowe Scored 16

Good use of dramatic lighting.

St Peters Witherley by Gary Wood Scored 13

Another picture where I find the sky is too bright.

Sunset Over Benidorm by Roger Leck Scored 13

Good sunset. The land starts to get too dark to the right of the frame.

Tauranga Beach by Julie Holbeche Maund Scored 17

I feel that there is too much at the bottom of the picture and the perhaps a little too over saturated. (My version attached)

Holiday trip to New Zealand Feb 2020.
We got to the beach for about 8pm just as people were leaving the beach.
The site was not what we had expected at all.
We wanted sunset images and the sky was not vibrant to start with.
We walked around for a while and found a couple of locations with foreground interest and I started to take some images, using a tripod.
Then by magic the lighting changed so I changed the setting to 24mm focal length, F16 ISO 100 at 20sec with a 6 stopper filter.
I wanted to get the water to be still.

The Flower Girl by Alan Wardropper Scored 16

I admire photographers who try something different. This one works except for he arms. I would cut out the arms and make it a square picture. (My version attached)

Lens 18-55 mm 1/80 f9 iso 100
The model was in a child’s swimming pool in a milk and water mix.
I was standing in the water to get the overhead shot.
The biggest problem was dealing with the reflection and cold water, also accounts for the model’s wide eyed look.
She did really well to get through the shoot without getting hyperthermia.
Took out any remaining reflections in photoshop.

The Open Door by Steve Bexon Scored 15

Very well captured. I would take some off the top.

The Preacher by Steve Pears Scored 14

Good use of space in the picture. Contrast well controlled.

The View From Beacon Hill by John Smith Scored 15

The photographer has recorded the mood very well. Not quite strong enough to get into the high scores.

Thinking About It by Alan Wardropper Scored 14

I feel the other picture of this girl is stronger. Her right arm needs to be put onto the side of the chair.

Both images this and floating were taken at same shoot.
Lens 18-200 mm 1/125 f13 iso 100
I lit the model using a single overhead soft box , I positioned her so her front was lit.
I metered the flash and then moved the f stop up one to make the image darker and softer.
One thing I did miss out on was I printed both images on Matt paper which again added to the softer look .

Underneath The Arches by Ian Waite Scored 13

The bright light coming from behind the girl is a distraction.

Waiting For Sunset by Steve Pears Scored 13

The person in the picture doesn’t suit the picture. A person from the region on a camel may be more fitting.

Walk On By by Ian Waite Scored 17

A good example of street photographer. Blurred images compliment the picture.

My Street image, Walk On By was planned in advance having seen similar in a magazine.
I was in Gallowtree Gate and shot with the camera at waist height using the flip out screen to be unobtrusive.
I used a shutter speed of 1/6 sec to emphasise that people were walking by and ignoring him, whilst attempting to keep the camera
still so the subject remained sharp.

What You Lookin At by John Denny Scored 13

I like the way the photographer has blurred the background, Not strong enough to get into the high scores.

Taken at Brodick ferry terminal whilst waiting for the ferry back to the mainland from Arran.
I was taking photos of both this heron and an otter swimming around below it, for a brief moment the heron
looked directly at me resulting in the beak becoming invisible.
The image was first cleaned up and cropped in Lightroom then loaded into photoshop.
Once in photoshop, to emphasise the bird more I created a new layer containing just the heron.
I then duplicated the background layer and set the blend mode to multiply, adding a gradient mask making the background
darker at the bottom to lighter at the top, to give a sense of depth. The ‘heron’ layer was then brought to the top.

Woodland by James Botterill Scored 14

Good mood in this picture. The rays of light look too dramatic.

Wren by Chantal Cooper Scored 13

The wren looks too big in the frame.

was taken in my garden now that I have more time to sit outside it was always in my bucket list to capture a Wren.
This was taken with my canon 100-400mm lens. Small amount of editing in photoshop to remove a couple of branches, otherwise just crop and denoise.


Ivory Flame  by Phil Mallin Scored 18

Holly has been photographed very well indeed. The motion and softness suits the overall image. I just think she is a little too far to the right. Cut a alittle off the left to re centre her. (My version attached)

Taken using natural light, set against a plain plastered wall.
The model is wearing one of Jules headdress and feathered skirts.
The idea was to produce an image that looked light and flowing with pastel colours.
Canon 5D mk4 – 24mm – f9 – 1/125 – Manual Exp –

Saltwick Wreck by Julie Holbeche Maund Scored 18

Another good seascape picture. A little more separation between the wreck and the rock in the background would have helped the composition. Also, don’t like the magenta cast. (My version attached)

Went to Whitby for the Weekend, travelled to Robin Hoods Bay late afternoon to find out that the wreck was a good walk away and the tide was coming in.
With wellies and a Canon 5D mk4 we started walking on very wet black rocks.
whilst climbing over rocks I slipped and fell badly and got wet, but that did not stop us we got to the wreck.
I set up the tripod and camera with a 17-40 lens and took some images after looking at several compositions.
The setting were 19mm focal length, F11, 1/50 at ISO 200.
The way back was tricky the tide had come in quite a bit and I was concerned that we could get stuck.
However, we got home and then i realised how badly I had damaged my knee, I could not walk very well and was bruised.

Te Hoho Rock by Phil Mallin Scored 18

A wonderful composition and conditions. I like the low view point taken by the photographer.

Taken while on holiday in New Zealand. At Cathedral Cove, North Island.
We walked for 1.5 hours in the pitch dark, with just head torches to guide us,to get to this place before the sun came up.
We had no idea if the sunrise was going to be worth it!
We arrived about half an hour before the sky began to colour up (we wanted to be the first photographers there, it is very popular)
Needless to say – we stayed there for about 2 hours and many a shot was taken!
Canon 5D mk4 – 17mm – f14 – 30 sec – iso 800 – Manual Exp –
6 Stopper Filter and Graduated Neutral Density Filter used

Fun In The Township by Debbie Lowe Scored 19

The photographer has caught the action this picture perfectly. The vitality of the children has been recorded very well. I would have made the picture a look more dramatic. (my version attached)

Herringfleet by James Botterill Scored 20

My favourite picture in the competition. The photographer has captured the mood of the landscape very well.