View Full Version : And the winner is...

6th August 2009, 12:15 PM
As announced a week ago, Damien Demolder, the editor of Amateur Photographer magazine, and an accomplished photographer in his own right, has taken on the task of judging the Beauty of Winter competition here on the Olympus E-System User Group.

Here are Damiens comments that lead him to select the winner:

Olympus UK E-System User Group
Beauty of Winter competition

Damien’s shortlist:

* No. 092 (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/11927/size/big/cat/) Chailey_Common by ndl0071

* No. 186 (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/13214/size/big/cat/) winter sun by MARS

* No. 021 (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/11618/size/big/cat/) Autumn leaf frozen in winter by shirley

What a great selection of wintry photographs! Given the number of days on which we’ve had snow, or even a proper winter, since the inception of the E-System it’s amazing to have a collection of pictures of such a high standard.

I’ve had a bit of a hard time choosing between the three images I selected for my shortlist. I love the colours of Shirley’s frozen leaf, and the light shining through the ice making the bubbles really stand out. Winter Sun, by MARS, is great because it reminds us photographers that winter often provides the best light for landscapes – low and warm, plus you don’t have to get up early for sunrise. The layers of grasses, water and the trees of the distance lend this picture depth, and help the backlit grass heads standout from the page.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/673/Chailey_Common.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/11927)
The winning picture!

The winner, though, is ndl0071, with Chailey Common. It’s a wonderful scene that most of us could have turned into a decent picture, but the low angle here, with those frosted ferns, leads us in to the composition, takes us to the trees and then on to the winter sun. I like the slightly monochromatic warmth of the foreground, and that the sky hasn’t been over saturated and that the contrast has been carefully restrained. It’s a very nicely handled piece of work. You Four Thirds users have been gifted a wonderful set of proportions (if not in your anatomy in your 4:3 image frame at least) that work so much better in many situations than the over-long 3:2 ratio of 35mm and APS-C, but ndl0071 has gone further cropping to a square to create a composition that can easily be taken-in in a single glance.
It’s a great picture that Neil should be very pleased with.

I'd like to extend my great thanks to Damien for taking on this task and explaining so clearly and with insight why he chose Neil's picture as the winner.

And congratulations Neil! I will be arranging for your E-30, 14-54 II, and HLD-2 grip to be shipped to you as soon as possible!


6th August 2009, 12:28 PM
Very probably a worthy winner but I still say the title of the competition should have been Winter rather than The Beauty of Winter.
Just my opinion you understand!

6th August 2009, 12:31 PM
Well done Neil. Look forward to seeing some shots with your new camera :)

6th August 2009, 12:35 PM
Wahey! Congratulations, Neil! I think it's a cracking image -- any chance I could buy an A3 print?

With best wishes,


6th August 2009, 12:40 PM
Very probably a worthy winner but I still say the title of the competition should have been Winter rather than The Beauty of Winter.
Just my opinion you understand!

Not wishing to get into a long drawn out debate on this, but 'beauty' was deliberately chosen. Winter can, of course, be very ugly and cruel, but I decided that I wanted to focus on the attractive aspects of winter.


6th August 2009, 12:55 PM
Well done Neil, your image certainly portrays the beauty of winter - I hope you enjoy your new camera. *chr

I have to admit to being very excited at coming third...just remind me.. what was the third place prize Ian ;);):D ?

(Only joking - just in case you thought I was serious - my sense of humour can sometimes get me in hot water!)

6th August 2009, 01:02 PM
A very well deserved winner!*yes Well done Neil:)

6th August 2009, 01:06 PM
Well done indeed.It was on my short list also.

Enjoy the camera.*chr

6th August 2009, 01:19 PM
Excellent and deserving winner. Definitely an "I wish I'd taken that..."

Well done!

6th August 2009, 01:53 PM
Thanks everyone, I致e just had to be picked up from the floor and given a few minutes to recover with a cup of hot sweet tea, I知 at work so it was just a bit embarrassing!!:o

I知 really am very pleased but also very surprised as the standard of entries was extremely high in my opinion, I was just happy to make it into the top 12.

Thank you to all the forum members who voted, not just for this photo but for all of the entries, participation by all is what makes this forum special.

Thanks to Ian for coming up with and running the competition, it was good of you to pick a theme that I could cope with!!

Thanks to Olympus for putting up the prize, I値l do my best to do it justice.

And finally my thanks goes to Damien for choosing this picture, I知 sure it must have been a very hard decision given the high standard of entries.

I知 flying out to France early tomorrow morning so I値l be armed with the E3, I致e a couple of days back in blighty mid next week before I jet off to Italy for a week or so, hopefully the E30 will arrive in time for me to put it through its paces over there. If so I値l certainly post one or two images.

At risk of sounding like a worn out record, Thanks once again to all, it really is appreciated.


6th August 2009, 02:20 PM
Congratulations Neal..........your shot was a worthy winner.
It was in my top 3 and it brings very happy memories of a glorious winter.It was like the winters of old with weeks of hard frosts which does give things a special beauty. Your shot captures this beautifully and would be really immense as a canvas print.

Good luck and have fun with your brilliant prize.............


6th August 2009, 02:42 PM
Huge congratulations to you Neal - very well done. I am sure you will put the E-30 to excellent use.

Enjoy it, and your trip to Italy.

6th August 2009, 03:31 PM
Just adding my congratulations, Neil. Your shot fits the spec perfectly - well done.

6th August 2009, 03:31 PM
Very well done Neil - a lovely natural scene so beautifully captured. A worthy winner.


Regards, Ann1e

Kiwi Paul
6th August 2009, 03:34 PM
Congrats Neil, great photo I'm sure you will enjoy your new camera.


6th August 2009, 04:48 PM
Great prize for a great photo.

Congrats Neil.

6th August 2009, 06:52 PM
worthy winner Neil - congratulations

6th August 2009, 07:09 PM

I'm presuming you'll do the honourable thing and offer it at a reasonable price to those of us less capable so we can challenge you in the future :D


6th August 2009, 07:22 PM
Well done indeed - a very worthy winner *chr

The whole image seems to have an ethereal light about it - just beautiful. I've said it before - I'm so glad I withdrew my entries, as I could get nowhere near this quality.

Congratulations once again - some people have all the luck :D!


6th August 2009, 07:26 PM
Thanks to all those members leaving kind words, since my last rambling post.

I’m now home from work and (almost) fully recovered from the initial shock.

The photo was taken during the hoarfrost that we encountered last winter, I was out for a winter wonderland walk with Mrs ndl when this opportunity presented itself, it would have been rude not to have made the most of the opportunity!

The sun was just starting to dip into a low thin cloud base leaving an eerie glow for light, the photo was handheld at 1/320 at f7.1, the shot itself was presented as it was taken with the exception of the crop, there hasn’t been any hanky panky in PS apart from the normal curves adjustments.

Well, thanks once again, off to pack my bags now a 3am start awaits.



6th August 2009, 09:41 PM
May I add my congrats Neil great photo ,one day maybe --I might do as well

7th August 2009, 07:47 AM
Congratulations, Well done Neil, a good choice. I think it was one I voted for, I can't remember, it's so long ago!!
I am disappointed to come so close to winning myself, in second place, but at the same time pleased to have done so well in the first photography competition i have entered.( I am surprised to get in the top 3). It's just a shame a winter competition dragged on until August!. I'm sure the winner doesn't mind though!
Coming 2nd is encouraging to a novice, shows I am doing something right, and that it's a lot to do with "seeing" what will make a good image rather than having the top gear.( my pic taken with e-410, 17-45mm.) or years of experience. (1st slr)
Thanks to those who voted for my entry.

14th August 2009, 02:54 PM
Sorry for the delay in responding. Busy at work.

A wonderful picture. One of the ones I voted highly.

Well done. Notice the green face on this smiley. :D Appropriate. :p

Enjoy the camera. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.


Naughty Nigel
8th September 2009, 08:44 AM
Well done Neil. It is an excellent photograph which does indeed show the beauty of winter, rather than (perhaps) the cold, stark reality of it .

(Sorry for the delay BTW. I have only just noticed this thread).:o

I must say I really enjoyed this competition, (believe it or not it is the first I have ever entered), and it was very encouraging just to be shortlisted.

Oh well; I suppose it will be time for the next winter competition very soon. :(