Shooting Challenge #1 Results: Great British Weather

By Martin Snelling on at

Our first Shooting Challenge was all about the Great British Weather, and we had some great images trickle in. So thanks must go to all of you that participated -- needless to say, it was difficult picking a winner. However, a winner must be picked, as well as a runner-up, and I shall keep you in suspenders no longer.

I know the rules said only ‘light photoshopping’, but the winning image stood out and was instantly striking and as there are no prizes on offer ‘yet’, we’ll stretch the rules a bit. Just this once, ok? Though don't hold us to that; it's the editor's prerogative, after all.

So, the winner is (drumroll).... Jeannie Moulton and her Oxford skyline silhouette (see above.) Her description of how it was shot, as follows:

After a long string of rainy days, this shot was taken from Christ Church Meadow in Oxford on much needed pleasant evening. It is underexposed to get the clouds to show up well in the sky, so everything else shows up in silhouette. I chose a smaller aperture to get the foreground trees in focus. What struck me the most about the scene (apart from the fact that a balloon appeared magically over Christ Church college!) was the contrast between the dark, opaque fluffy clouds and the illuminated, whispy clouds, so I converted the image to duotone (dark blue and white) to emphasise this.


Canon 550D / EF 50mm f/1.8
1/500 sec
ISO 100

And in second place is Craig Fields for his rain-on-umbrella image, above. Description below:

I used my iPhone 4 to take this picture. I'm a photographer, so I thought I'd be creative by demonstrating that it's not always down to the equipment. It's about composition, colour and an eye for what you see. I took the shot while in a queue for a gig, it was raining and I looked up at my umbrella and liked what I saw.


It's completely un-edited. I may have shrunk it in the email, but Photoshop wasn't used at all.

An honorable mention must also go to Deron Galloway for his stunning image of rapeseed fields; unfortunately, it couldn’t win as it was shot earlier this year:

I wanted to take a pic of a Rapeseed field, so on my way home from work, I drove randomly towards home looking for a route that would provide access to a field without me trespassing.


Found the perfect field and managed to get off a few pics as the clouds were rolling in. 30 mins later it was thundering and lightning...


It was taken with my Samyang 14mm lens which is manual focus only. Used liveview at 10x and made sure everything was sharp. Edited in lightroom to drop exposure on sky to reflect correct darkness.


Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure 0.001 sec (1/800)
Focal Length 14 mm @ F8
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV

What are your favourite images? You can view all 13 entries on our Flickr account here.

I’ll have a new challenge for you next week, and this will require the use of more than just your camera.

Martin Snelling is a Hampshire-based man-about-town who works in the videogame industry. A keen photographer, Martin shoots on film and digital, and blogs here, while also tweeting here.