Competitions - A review of our Street Digital Competition judged by Peter Crane, 20 Jan 2020

A review by Helen Jones - Street Digital Competition (Sections A and B), judged by Peter Crane ARPS
Back in September we welcomed Peter Crane to talk to us about Street Photography. It was a highly enjoyable evening and we followed it up with a Street Competition, held last night. We weren't sure how many entries to expect, as some people are not comfortable with candid people shots, but Peter clearly inspired everyone and we ended up with an incredible 95 entries.

Peter began by telling us what he thought a good street photo should include. It should be natural or candid, not posed; it should tell a story or deliver a message and humour is always a bonus. It should always be interesting.

Technically, because of their nature, street photos are not always quite so perfect as other genres and Peter gave us plenty of advice here. Aim for good compostion but sometimes a moment caught is more important. A lot of post-processing is not usually necessary - but do remove distractions. Try find a setting or background that isn't too busy - look for context without clutter. Don't pose people and try to avoid cliche subjects such as people on phones. Finally make sure that your foreground people are sharp. This was an issue with quite a few of our photos and Peter said it was often shutter speed that was the problem. His 'safe' settings are around 1/200 - 1/250 shutter speed, aperture f/8 and auto ISO.

Peter started his judging with the B section and then moved to the A section. Despite the fact we were tight on time he managed to give every photograph a good critqie - pointing out what worked and which areas were in need to of improvements. Often photos needed cropping to really focus on a person or interaction. Sometimes he suggested a photo would be more successful in a different genre.He injected lots of humour into his comments and this coupled with some very funny photos, made for an entertaining evening.

Indeed sucessful photos were often ones that made us laugh. They were often well-composed perhaps with a "triangle" - 3 points of interest. Colour is important to Peter too and he looked for photos showing matching or complementary colours eg clothes matched to the colour of graffiti. He was also looking for originality, something a little different, something he felt the photographer had thought about rather than 'grabbed'. All his awarded images told a story and held your interest.

Lots of thanks yous. Thank you to Peter for being and excellent and entertaining judge. Thank you to our very hard-working competition team of Susan, Malcolm and Iain - a lot of effort goes into every competition. Thank you to Iain and Stephen J who work together at the end of every competition to get the results and photos from Photoentry and up onto the website before midnight. Thank you to Neil for the group photo. And finally thank you to all you last night for arriving promptly and bringing your own drinks. We could probably have squeezed a coffee break in after all but hindsight is wonderful.

~ Helen Jones

Street Digital Competition Results and Gallery
Street Digital Competition Winners, with Judge Peter Crane (Neil Crick)