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We pick some of our favourite images and judges' reviews from past Photocrowd contests. You can share your thoughts, agree or disagree with our judges as well as suggest your own favourites in the comments below.

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Contest: Me time
Judge: Anthony Luvera

"This wonderfully playful photograph deftly flexes adroit digital manipulation skills to create a compelling self-portrait image. The sensation of falling is palpably depicted through the posture of the body and the serendipitously captured falling hat. The tunnel effect of the blurry vignette and shallow depth of field draw the eye right into the depths of this composition. There is a quality about this self-portrait photograph that convincingly speaks to the work of the surrealists, and their obsessions with the strange contradictions of reality and the worlds of dreams, in a fresh and exciting way."

Contest: Portrait using available light
Judge: Rosella Vanon

"I love the geometry and severity of this shot, and the black and white works perfectly to enhance both elements even more. The side lighting is brilliantly used – it lights up part of the face while leaving the other side completely in the dark, turning the man into an authoritative and mysterious figure. The lines that the light creates on both the coat and the wall also contribute to making this shot very interesting to look at. The very long depth of field, which makes the whole image completely sharp, background included, is a clever choice as it doesn’t allow the gate/doorway to blur out and therefore be lost. The sharpness contributes to the overall austerity of the picture, and the sharp gate contributes to the geometry of the shot, adding an interesting element at the right point of the picture, which would have otherwise got lost in blur. A striking shot with its own strong mood and uniqueness, great technical choices and beautiful, creative use of available light."

Contest: Bridges & Crossings
Judge: Duncan Lawson

"Of the many entries featuring The Forth Bridge this one stood out for me, and it shows both the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. The composition of the shot is its biggest strength with both bridges leading your eye in from the edges of the frame with the foreground detail also leading the eye into the picture. Aaron has used a 6 stop ND filter along with a small aperture to achieve an incredibly long exposure time of four minutes. That resulted in the surface of the bridge being completely smoothed out into a glass-like finish. The long exposure time has also resulted in a slightly ethereal effect on the slowly moving clouds, which is helped by the even effect of the dusk lighting."

Contest: Straight lines
Judge: N-Photo Team

"Living beings don't tend to have many straight lines, and most of the successful photos in the competition – ones that were both technically good and really yelled 'STRAIGHT LINES!' – were of man-made things such as buildings and railway lines. This photograph bucked the trend. The graphic stripes of the zebra crossing are repeated in the man's shirt and meet the theme of the competition. The colour is brilliant: the playing cards and feet of other pedestrians make you feel the shot wasn't staged, yet the bright yellow of the shirt and bags really make the man pop out from his surroundings and add to the graphic quality."

Contest: Night shots
Judge: Jenna Banat

"This is a fantastic piece of night street photography, beautifully sharp focus on the figure, with intelligent composition from the ridged shutters on the right drawing the eye in to the face. The blown-out street lights in the background also create a kind of halo around the subject. The fact that this portrait was shot at night gives it the broad range of tones that make it truly stand out. And the delicate lighting on the face, which creates an air of mystery, was another of the many reasons why this image stuck in my mind."


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