Shooting Challenge: The Winner Is...

By Martin Snelling on at

The excitement is rising -- after a gripping semi with some superb shooting, the time has come to announce the top three togs of the last round in our new-style Shooting Challenge series. We'll also be totting up the points and will hopefully be declaring an overall winner.

Regular Shooting Challenge readers and participants will notice something is amiss; there's no winning image up above. For this week, the final week of this current challenge, we're mixing things up yet again. So we're going to keep you in suspense for a wee bit longer.

Before I announce the winners of Round 4 (in reverse order), I just want to thank you for all the hard work you all put into your photos over the past month; you all deserve slaps on the back and firm handshakes! Some truly great images were submitted, all of which made judging bloody difficult at times. So thanks again for taking the time to enter one or more weeks. You can see all entries for the latest round on our Flickr page here.

Who won what?

Like an episode of some TV-based reality show to find the next super awesome photographer, the winners of round 4 in reverse order are...

Picking up third place and one point is Chris Tomkins with another great light painting. Using a simple setup of a red glowstick on a piece of string, Chris was able to create a fantastic 'portal' effect which also adds a nice warm tone to the wooden bridge. Well done Chris.

In second place, and nabbing two points for his troubles is Matt Sibley for this photo of a section of the transporter bridge near his hometown of Stockton. I really liked the fact that Matt had chosen to isolate a section of the bridge in his composition rather than choosing to capture the whole bridge. The orange/red tone of the image conjures up thoughts of terraforming on a distant planet.

The winner of round 4 and recipient of three shiny points is Dhinakaran Annamalai for his macro shot of a fly. The level of detail in the head is phenomenal. What grabbed it for me was the composition and shallow depth-of-field; I loved the positioning of the fly within the frame -- it's quite playful. To capture the image, Dhina used a Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens, extension tubes, wired shutter release, and a Yongnu speedlite external flash (and a fly).

Congratulations Dhina, a deserved win.

The Leaderboard:

So at the end of the fourth and final round, the leaderboard looks something like this. Actually, it looks exactly like this:

Dhinakaran Annamalai: 5
Matt Sibley: 5
Chris Tomkins: 4
George Phillips: 4
Ashley Charlotte: 3
Ian Gordon: 2
Greg Rafferty: 1

So what does it mean? Well we've got ourselves a good old fashioned stand-off as both Dhina and Matt have five points making them joint leaders.

As there's a prize of an Acer Aspire Switch 10 laptop / tablet hybrid up for grabs, we're going to have to do something to decide who is the overall winner. And this is where you come in. We want you to vote for your favourite of the two photographs from Matt and Dhina submitted this week, so please comment on this post and tell us which one wins it for you.

You have until midnight on Sunday July 20th to get your vote in; we'll announce the winner next Wednesday.

Martin Snelling is a Hampshire-based photomatographer and wearer of fine hats. He tweets here and he is currently working on a long-term photography project entitled 'View From This Side'.