First, let me say that all the entries were in some way fine, and clearly evoke good memories of the trip and of this very special place. The levels of photographic skill varied, naturally, and the three that I’ve initially shortlisted have certain photographic qualities that I liked. There’s always an element of taste in making this kind of judgement, and what appeals to me may not necessarily to you. Here they are, then:-
Winning Entry: Sorarit Kiatfuengfoo, Haba Shan 5369m
The exposure’s spot on, and the composition has been thought through (not always easy when you’re climbing like this). In particular, the sun, which is very nicely flared, with a good sunstar – sign of a small aperture – balances against the small figures upper right at about the same level. At the same time, I like the tight framing at lower left, which takes the curve of the snow ridge just above the bottom of the frame.
Shortlisted: Patrick Wong, Untitled (Two Women Playing Cards)
A pleasant candid reportage shot, and while there’s nothing unusual going on, it’s quite well framed, and the choice of viewpoint and longer focal length are good. In the business, this is known as an over-the-shoulder two-shot, which you see a lot in interviews and dialogue sequences on television, and the angle is spot on, the foreground figure slightly out of focus and counterpointing the main figure without dominating. If it were me, I’d refine the framing by cropping slightly to remove a few unnecessary distractions from the main character, but that’s just personal.
Shortlisted: Sue Chua, Untitled (Two Horses)
The simplicity of this picture is quite appealing: a pair of horses (good that they’re different colours) against clean bands of water, ground, wall and trees. Here I would definitely recommend cropping like this, partly to reinforce the horizontal bands, but more to remove the distraction of the out-of-focus foreground. Nothing wrong with that, and it’s a natural consequence of using a longer lens, but it interferes slightly.”