Thanks for your many photographs for our nature competition.
Chris Packham trawled through the giant mail box and picked his winners and highly
Visit the photo
Allen's 'Frog' was one of our winning photographs|
Our four winners are John Doherty,
Ros Wood, Keith Jones and Peter Allen.
Also highly commended were
the following snappers:
A. Bainbridge, Charles Kinsey,
Claire Wood, Anne Michaelides, Margaret Holland and Richard Tibbles.
can find a selection of images from the competition in our autumn
Chris on your photos
Amongst the thousands of interesting photos that people sent in, there
were many good pictures and our shortlist of finalists ran to a couple of hundred
were some obvious favourites in terms of subjects:
because they are big, approachable, common and attractive,
- foxes, because
many people are lucky enough to have them as visitors to their gardens,
Great Spotted Woodpeckers, because they are so striking and regularly visit bird
- literally loads of
found this really refreshing because along with plenty of spiders, butterflies
and a spattering of others, it's great to see the lens being turned onto some
less cuddly subjects!
Its a crass old cliché but once I'd
got the finalists down to the last 24, choosing the top 10 was tricky.
here are my winners and highly commended runners up.
I'll be honest with you - thats the way I am. I had identified my
five top choices and was struggling to throw one out.
Then I looked at
the names of the photographers and discovered that two of them had been taken
by the same person.
I thought, let's give John Doherty one prize but let you decide which one of his
two wonderful images you like best.
His 'Yawning Swallow' is a lovely portrait
of one of our most popular species, it has a little twinkle of light in its eye
which brings it alive.
You can see all the detail in its gaping beak, even
the tiny veins.
It looks like a very content bird and its a warm
and pleasing picture.
His 'Butterfly', a Small Tortoiseshell, is altogether
This is a very bold and graphic, and slightly cheeky, picture
which I was immediately drawn to through its clean simplicity.
youll prefer the happy Swallow but for me it was a tough call!
I really liked Ros Woods 'Nursery Spider'.
pose is just so dynamic, its legs stretched into a sprung 'X' which gives it a
real tension, and the composition that Ros has framed is perfect.
is nice and neutral, which means you can see the animal properly, and the colours
of the stone complement the spider - all in all, its a very striking image.
As is Keith Joness 'Passion Flower', an almost dizzying abstract
view of this very familiar plant.
Making something out of nearly nothing
is always something I admire photographically, and all too often we allow familiarity
to breed contempt and only wish to point our lenses at exotics.
to Keith for getting such a startling picture in his garden!
the same can probably be said for Peter Allen's 'Frog', a sparkling portrait of
this character which, like the spider, is in a great pose.
know what it is resting on - it might be a bucket or it might be climbing out
of the loo, but it looks like Peter has made an effort to take a new angle on
this old favourite.
We had plenty of Frog photos in far more natural surroundings,
but none were as clear or striking, none were as good a picture as this!
quite a few really nice bird portraits, but for me three stood out.
were well represented but the beauty classically perched on a Bulrush taken by
A. Bainbridge was the best composed, exposed, and it's nice and sharp.
they do stop these birds do sit still, and that helps, but you still have to make
sure that your camera is stable too.
A good tripod can often be a wildlife
photographer's best friend, or a bean bag thrown over the car door - any firm
support to ensure your image is sharp.
Puffins, not my favourite birds,
too gaudy for me, were also a popular subject and separating the best of these
was more difficult.
Charles Kinseys won through largely because, aside
from the fact that it is technically sorted, it's got that tuft of grass to give
it some other interest other than just being one of most people's avian pin-ups.
I liked the little bit of confusion that the grass gave the composition
More striking images
Woods 'Kestrel is the opposite, a very neat picture with a nice plain
background which sets the falcon off a treat.
And an altogether more dignified
species as well, says Chris!
we are able to grab pictures of rare events and because we are not allowed the
time to make as many creative choices as wed like, or take any control,
they often become photographs of an opportunity rather than great photos themselves.
This doesnt mean that they cannot be interesting and Anne Michealides
Stoat' is a case in point.
Ive never seen this scene in real
life, indeed Ive never photographed a Stoat at all.
is an amazing little tableau of a remarkable moment.
Margaret Hollands Sand Wasp and Richard
Tibbless Garden Spider are both well worthy of mention, again
because of the subjects featured.
Sand Wasps are devils to get to grips
with - they dash about maniacally and very rarely stop moving, even when they
are near their burrow like this fine insect.
capturing a decent image is not easy. It's not a problem but if you look closely
at Margarets picture, you can see her wings quivering, a bit like Margaret's
nerves I should imagine!
Garden Spiders often live by their name and hang
around in our gardens.
This makes them very accessible subjects to all
of us, year after year, so they are perfect for us to work with until we get some
really good pictures.
Richard's was probably the best we had, really showing
this plump lady off to her best !