Here are the top ten images uploaded to Photocrowd from Round Five, Best of British, with comments by the AP team and our guest judge
In Great Britain, we like to pride ourselves on our eccentricities. Traditions that sometimes go back centuries may look frankly bizarre to those who weren’t brought up in this country, but to us they seem perfectly normal. But these aren’t the only things that make this small island what it is.
Our coastline provides not only beauty but also an opportunity to enjoy our beaches and the notoriously fickle days of summer – and sometimes even winter, too. It’s worth acknowledging, however, that in recent years we have been a divided country, too. Although some might argue photographs of this don’t reflect us at our ‘best’, nobody can deny it makes a great subject for photography.
We can go from rural idyll to urban architecture within only a few miles, and it’s this sheer diversity that makes Britain such an endlessly fascinating place to photograph – as the top ten winners in this Best of British round of APOY so ably demonstrate.
Round Five, Best of British, Top Ten
1. Tommaso Carrara, UK 100pts
Fujifilm X100F, 1/160sec at f/5.6, ISO 3200
Followers of APOY will recognise Tommaso from Round One of APOY, which he won with a striking low-light image. Equally engaging is this dynamic shot showing the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, London. It’s one of those photographs that gives back what you put in.
Spend time with it, and you’ll take in details such as the variation in curtains and blinds, the multiple bicycles that suggest the possibility of a large family living in a small space, the plants that show the importance of greenery, however diminutive it might be.
But the key focus, of course, is the flags that indicate – we suspect – support for the England football team during a major tournament. All of this would be nothing, of course, without the two girls running out of frame to who knows where. An excellent capture.
2. Charlie Jobson, UK 90pts
Pentax K10D, 28-200mm at 28mm, 1/500sec at f/8, ISO 100
Guest judge Peter Dench says: ‘Defining Britishness in a single frame isn’t easy. You can capture it in parts: a breed of bird, a moody land or seascape, a style of clothing or iconic mode of transport. All of those have featured in this competition.
This photograph goes a long way to delivering a complete essence of Britain. It’s a beautiful and calm image. The camera doesn’t judge. The eye meanders lazily around the composition. The viewer is in control, helped by the elevated viewpoint.
There’s a lot to see, from the lone sheep to the lolling couple. They are placed as meticulously as you would on a model train set. It’s a scene I want to be part of, and makes me want to buy an ice cream, roll up my trousers and dip my toes in the stream. It delivers the best of British feeling. Even the name Hutton-le-Hole is quintessentially of this nation.’
3. Dominic Beaven, UK 80pts
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24-70mm at 24mm, 1/8sec at f/5.6, ISO 400
This somewhat surreal scene – an effect that is heightened by the processing – left the judges bamboozled. Were we looking at a set-up, a composite or a documentary shot? In the end, it doesn’t matter too much, because what we have here is a very striking image that’s intriguing and has an excellent sense of place.
The two men in the shot could almost be twins – or at least brothers – such is the similarity in their appearance and stance. There is a sense of being together and apart at the same time, which is something common to using the London Underground. The contrast between the movement of the tube train and the stillness of the men is what makes things really pop. A clever image.
4. Helen Trust, UK 70pts
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 16-35mm at 16mm, 1/350sec at f/2.8, ISO 500
Helen’s stunningly clinical shot of the London Underground couldn’t be more of a contrast to Dominic Beaven’s third-placed image. It’s as if she was permitted into the brand-new Elizabeth Line before anyone else.
This photograph is all about light, symmetry and balance. Everything has been perfectly contained within the frame, with not a line out of place. The tunnel in the centre – despite being obscured by the sign – draws the viewer in, and makes them wonder where they might travel to if they were to take this futuristic route. It’s an extremely pleasing composition that appears simple at first glance, but if the viewer takes the time to appreciate the effort that has gone into it, they will be rewarded.
5. Sabrina Garofoli, Italy 60pts
Canon EOS 5DS R, 24-105mm at 28mm, 1/13sec at f/11, ISO 100
When people think of the UK, they often visualise eccentricity and multiculturalism. These two elements are brought together nicely in Sabrina’s shot of afternoon tea on the street. The expression on the young girl’s face as the street performer pours his non-existent tea into her cup is priceless, and the setting, against the everyday bustle of the shops behind, heightens the sense of oddness.
There’s a charming awkwardness, too, with the woman and girl appearing not quite sure how to act, while the elaborately dressed man goes about his act. A well-captured scene.
6. David Dunnico, UK 50pts
Olympus OM-D E-M10, 14-42mm at 23mm, 1/100sec at f/7.1, ISO 800
It only takes a moment’s viewing to know this image is all about Brexit – the subject that has caused such division in the UK in recent years. One could argue such a shot doesn’t typify the ‘best’ of British, but it certainly sums up what’s probably the most important political issue for a generation.
The disdain between the patriotically dressed man on the left and his more ordinary counterpart on the right is plain to see, and has been well captured in just a split second, while the contrast between the ‘Believe in Britain’ poster and the EU flag behind couldn’t be more stark. A picture for our times, that’s for sure.
7. Tommaso Carrara, UK 45pts
Leica M10-R, 28mm, 1/750sec at f/5.6, ISO 100
Tommaso has been placed in this round’s top ten for a second time, with this quintessentially British scene of a woman enjoying the sunshine in front of her beach hut. What lifts the shot out of the ordinary is its observation of the limited colour palette, the composition – which is all the stronger for not including the woman’s head – and the shadow that’s so perfectly contained within the stripy windbreak. A scene many of us can relate to and enjoy.
8. Richard Hemming, UK 40pts
Fujifilm X-T4, 50-150mm, 1/125sec at f/2.8, ISO 5000
Even after viewing the images in this top ten numerous times, this image still made a number of us laugh. It’s all about the expressions on the two men’s faces, which speak of… well… we’re not quite sure! Has something gone wrong? Are they discussing the latest petrol price increases? Has the man on the left just found out it’s not fancy dress? Who knows?
But it’s certainly fun trying to work out what might be causing such a pair of grimaces, which contrasts so well with the comical Union Jack cone hat. Black & white is the ideal treatment for such an image, which has a lot to commend it.
Richard’s photograph is also the highest camera club scorer from the Best of British round!
9. Trevor Hosking, UK 35pts
Fujifilm X-T4, 16-80mm at 34mm, 1/750sec at f/5.6, ISO 160
There are few things more British than stoically enjoying the outdoors, no matter what the weather. What lifts this image out of the ordinary is the yellow paintwork of the beach hut alongisde the yellow of the blankets, contrasting with the woman on the left’s pink clothing and the turquoise stool. The viewer is left feeling that they’d like to pour a cuppa, sit down and join in their conversation. On a technical level, cropping to a square format contains everything nicely without the frame being cramped.
10. Nigel Watson, UK 30pts
Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 24-105mm, 1/1000sec at f/8, ISO 320
An action shot where the viewer instantly knows what’s going on. The Santa costume and hats dotted throughout the rest of the frame indicate just one thing – a Christmas Day swim for the crazy.
The timing is excellent, with the ‘Santa’ on the right anchoring the frame, and Nigel has captured the laughter and anticipation of the swimmers very well. The long shadows in the foreground complete the scene and speak of low, winter light.
Young APOY Round Five, Best of British winner
Ryan Kitchen, UK 100pts
Nikon D3300, 18mm, 1/160sec at f/6.3, ISO 400
Home to the National Railway Museum, there’s something special about York’s train station – such was its significance in revitalising the city’s fortunes in the 1800s. Ryan has done a great job of capturing the majesty of the station’s structure, concentrating on the rawness of the engineering set against the more elaborate decoration on the right. The sinuous curves of the roof lead the eye through the frame towards the end of the platform. It was essential, of course, to have a train in shot, and this is placed beautifully in the bottom left third of the frame. Excellent work.
Camera Club competition
David Waters, UK 10pts
Canon EOS 700D, 100mm Macro, 1/400sec at f/5.6, ISO 400
This little harvest mouse is full of character and has been captured with pin-sharp precision by David, who is a member of Royston Photographic Society, who currently sit in joint fifth place in our camera clubs leaderboard.
Entrants to APOY can earn points for their club by selecting it from the dropdown menu when they upload their images to Photocrowd. David’s shot, which has been excellently timed and composed, with the depth of field giving context without being distracting, was rightly shortlisted in this round.
The 2022 leaderboards following results of Round Five, Best of British
Tommaso Carrara is awarded his second winning image of this year’s APOY, and has jumped from fifth to first place. There’s every chance for the leaderboard to shift significantly, however, given there are still five rounds remaining in this year’s competition.
With only 50 points separating those in first and joint sixth places in Young APOY, there is still the opportunity for new names to appear in the top ten. Our camera clubs are continuing to fight it out, with two clubs pulling away from the others – but all it takes is a couple of top ten placings from one camera club for that all to change.
If there’s one thing that APOY has proven to us over the years, it’s that nothing is predictable! As Tommaso has two images in the top ten, only his highest-scoring image receives points.
Winning kit from MPB
The gear our winners used can be found at MPB
In second place, Charlie Jobson shot his blissfully rural scene using a Pentax K10D. Something of a vintage model, it was launched in 2006 and received excellent reviews. It features a 10MP CCD sensor with dust removal, 11-point AF with 9 cross-type points, shake reduction and an ISO range of 100 to 1,600. It’s also weather-sealed. If you fancy trying it out, you can pick one up at MPB in excellent condition for a mere £88.
Taking fifth place, Sabrina Garofoli shot her quirky street scene with a Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art. A high-quality standard zoom with constant f/4 aperture throughout its zoom range, it employs 19 elements in 14 groups, including an array of special elements to suppress aberrations. Its Hyper Sonic Motor ensures it’s fast and quiet in use. When reviewed in AP it was described as ‘a pretty compelling option as an everyday lens’. This lens can be found at MPB for between £374 and £524, depending on condition.
David Dunnico was awarded sixth for his tension-filled shot, which he took with an Olympus E-M10. This Micro Four Thirds camera features a 16.1MP Live MOS sensor, a 100-25,600 ISO range, 8fps shooting and three-axis image stabilisation. When reviewed in AP, it was said its ‘speed, functionality and portability are key features’. This excellent camera can be purchased in like-new condition from MPB for £174.
To browse the extensive range of stock at MPB, visit www.mpb.com