The entries were judged by David Mendus from Surrey Photographic Association.

One of the entries that scored 10/10 was from Graeme Wales. It was entitled Rain Swept Tree.

Balgy A896

(Please click on the image to enlarge it)

Q1. Graeme, what inspired you to take this image?

I had been experimenting by taking shots through the car windscreen.

It had been raining non-stop for 2 days. This was on the third day of torrential rain. I took this image in Torridon, Northwest coast of Scotland, just outside of where we were staying.

Q2. What were some of the challenges in taking this image?

The challenges were quite numerous. Namely, positioning the car, avoiding reflections of the car interior in the windscreen, waiting for just the right amount of rain drops to settle, and deciding to either focus on the glass of the windscreen or beyond. In this instance the focus was on the glass, using manual focusing. Auto-focus was a no-no, as the camera just became confused.

Q3: Did you do any post-processing?

In terms of post processing, adjustments were made to the raw file in Lightroom. The file was then converted to Monochrome using SilverEfex Pro2. In Photoshop, selective contrast was made of the sky and the foreground in order to make the tree ‘pop’. A week in Torridon changing lenses meant that numerous dust spots had to be cloned from the print.

Q4: What camera gear did you use?

I used a Canon EOS 5D MkII fitted with 24-105mm IS f4 lens. The camera settings were:
Shutter speed: 1/30 sec
Aperture: f 14
ISO 800
Focal length 40mm

Q5: How did you print this image? 

I used an Epson R2400 and printed the image on Epson Premium Glossy paper

Thank you Graeme and our congratulations for sharing a moodily and atmospheric image.

Another winning entry was by our relatively new member Sharon Thomas.

Q1. Sharon, What inspired you to take this image?

I love the Suffolk Coastline particularly along the Broads with the beautiful sailing boats and Windmills and Lighthouses. Sunset/Sunrise are my favourite time of day but this was taken in the middle of the day and I wondered what I could do to make it stand out more rather than be just another a shot of a Windmill. I decided to do a long exposure to smooth out the water and process in Black and White.

black and white windmill-reduced

Q2. What were some of the challenges in taking this image?

The most difficult thing I encountered was waiting until the water was still enough to capture the reflections. Even though this was a relatively quite river I had to be very patient.

Q3: Did you do any post-processing?

Post processing was minimal really. I converted it to Black & White in lightroom and felt it didn’t have enough depth so did a small amount of Dodge & burning until I felt it created the picture I had visualised. I de-saturated the green colour to make the foliage in the bushes very light which I felt looked better than the usual dark colour you would normally see in a B&W image. Although the reflection in the water was good I thought I could improve it so I used a local brush in Lightroom and fully increased the sliders on ‘Clarity’ and ‘Sharpness’ to 100% and brushed over the water, this really improved he clarity of the reflection.

Q4: What camera gear did you use?

I use a Nikon D610 and for a change it wasn’t my wide angle Lens (which I love) I used a 28-300mm Lens , exposure time 15 seconds, aperture f13, ISO 100 I never go above ISO 100 unless I need a faster shutter speed and as I had my tripod it wasnt needed.

Q5: How did you print this image? 

I am new to photography and don’t have my own printer or paper, so with fear of raising some eyebrows I took this to Tesco to print for me on Matt paper.

Great. Thanks Sharon for sharing your image.