Flight: Alan Hillman

July 2021 – Pets & Animals

Judge: Barney Douglas

Once again thank you so much for the invitation to adjudicate on this competition and I am going to start by saying that this is a big entry with a very high standard of work, including a few outstanding submissions.

Animals, be they our own life companions, or those observed outside our immediate domestic circle, make great photographic subjects. For myself that has involved a close relationship with a dog training club for a number of years, and amongst commercial commissions has recently involved shooting equestrian wear with live models, both human and horsey. My wife and I have always had animals in the home, and just yesterday picked up a new border collier puppy from a very reputable breeder.

The most important thing about working with animals is they don’t speak English, although we did have a dog whom we always said was trilingual; born in France where she worked as a herding dog on the farm owned by my daughter and son-in-law, she spent her retirement with us in England. She spoke English, French and, of course, dog.

Trained animals can be “posed”, while others just provide fleeting moments … and there are some very good fleeting moments in this set alongside the posed images. This is a tough job for me.

Once again I am taking the images in order of title and I’ll then pick out my highlight image(s) from each group.

Again I am checking the White Balance setting on all images for which it was available, and although I have mentioned it in the past, everyone whose photo WB I can see in the beginners’ group has left it set on Auto. Again some photos could have been improved a bit by playing with the various settings available and as I have mentioned before it’s worth getting to know the device you are using. Barney Douglas





As in previous competitions I have judged I brought together those under consideration for the places in the Advanced group, and here they are for this competition:

This really is a case of which whisker … or scale or feather … crosses the line in front. You’ve given me a tough job. A different judge on a different day and any of my top thirteen could be in contention.