From the archives: Photocrowd favourites and their judge reviews

We've put together a selection of some of our favourite images and reviews from past Photocrowd contests. Share your thoughts on the photos, and feel free to agree or disagree with our judges' takes on them in the comments section below. And you can find our previous selections here.

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Contest: Open wide
Judge: Davy Jones

"I really like this image: it fits the brief perfectly and demonstrates very good control – shooting wide open can be very tricky, especially in a shot like this, which is essentially an action shot. The position of the bird about to land is spot on and the decision to keep the focus on the other bird works well. There is the hint of a story in the picture – this could be a frame from a Hitchcock movie, a signal that something ominous is about to happen. The wealth of background information adds to this interest, capturing the viewer’s attention. The colour palette of the image is very attractive, with the muted tones meaning there is no distraction from the key elements of the shot. The only potential improvement I can see is that there is a little colour fringing, which could probably be corrected in post-production. This is a stand-out picture for me, though – skillfully put together and combining a number of elements in an accomplished manner."

Contest: Travel
Judge: Stuart Freedman

"I love this. A real sense of movement and action in such a small space. I can feel the pot wobbling, and the photographer has managed to catch the concentration on the face. It's graphically strong - good clear shapes; and circles within circles and the arms lead you in. There's also good crop/framing into the man's head - makes it striking and focused, and makes the viewer see what the photographer wants them to see rather than just showing the whole scene."

Contest: Show Your Best... Macro
Judge: Heather Angel

"This is a fine example of a macro shot which has a careful and powerful composition plus precise focusing. For any animal to appear alive, the eyes do need to be sharply in focus. The two orange eyes, as well as the rest of the head, are all sharp and become the focal point. The downward swept wings add to the graphic element with the edge of each appearing as a strong diagonal. Many macro shots fall down with a cluttered background. Not this one: the green backdrop perfectly compliments the black venation on the wings as well as the orange eye and flowers the dragonfly has alighted upon. So, for all these reasons, I have chosen this dynamic (in terms of composition) dragonfly as my winning shot for the macro contest."

Contest: Circles
Judge: Alex Bortkiewicz

"I was really impressed by the visual impact of this image – an extreme graphic of circles and lines that pop out magnificently through the use of black and white. Very simple but very effective interpretation of contemporary architecture in progress. The variations in the size of the circles gives it an almost hypnotic quality. My suggestion would have been to fill in the lines and tidy up any extraneous lines. My understanding is that this image is part of a project so maybe these “flaws” were integral to the project but for a single image it does take away some of the graphic perfection."

Contest: Show Your Best... Architecture
Judge: Mike Betts

"What’s not to love about this wide-angle shot of the Museum of Modern Arts in Frankfurt? Beautiful symmetry and balance in the composition, fabulous attention to detail in the framing and cropping of the scene, and explosions of colour to either side. The exposure is good, only allowing the highlights to blow out in the window spaces, and retaining just enough detail in the white walls. I think this is such a fun shot, but also one that has been so well executed, and it’s my winning shot for this very competitive architecture contest."

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