Red Squirrel - Duncan Gray

July 2022 – Pets & Animals

Judge: Barney Douglas

Once again thank you so much for the invitation to adjudicate on this competition. In this competition – Pets and Animals, there is only an Advanced entry, no Beginners or Intermediate, so you might think that makes a little easier for me. Not so! This group is of a very high standard indeed and picking a winner is going to be very tough.

I said last time that I judged this subject matter that animals, be they our own life companions, or those observed outside our immediate domestic circle, make great photographic subjects. I mentioned a year ago that my wife and I had picked up a new border collier puppy from a very reputable breeder and he is now just over a year old, having already gained his Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze and Silver awards.

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.

However, before I get into judging mode, may I send my deepest condolences to Gwynn’s family and friends.

Advanced

Advanced Results

Well, that was a very strong set of photos indeed and I am in awe at some of the detail achieved within these images. This is a very tough one to judge, by far my most difficult set to date. And 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, and even some very good images have not made it into the final cut:

Commended: There are two commended images and it is the two insects primarily because the wing tips are just not quite crisp:
Dragon Fly | What’s in the Hole? |

Highly Commended: Five images are in the highly commended group, and as I have mentioned before, a different judge on a different day and any of my top ten could be in contention for the places. Even so personally I still feel I am being harsh not putting any of these five into the places:
Chipmunk | Lassie our Rescue Dog | The Shags at Home | Looking for Lunch

So which is the fifth one? Well this one gets a special mention within the Highly Commended group
because it is so good, and because of its simplicity it really was just a whisker away from the top three
places: Spectacled Warbler

The top three places:
Third Place: Curly Tailed Lizard
Runner up: Noodle
Winner: Red Squirral