1 Chris Aldred Essex 37pts

Canon EOS 50,28-135mm, 1/8sec at f/5.6

♦ Chris, a retired automotive engineer from Essex, was in County Kerry in Ireland taking landscape pictures when he met Mick Murphy, a former wrestler and winner of the Round Ireland Cycle Race, who now lives as a recluse in a derelict cottage. 'I met Mick in an old churchyard next to his cottage and he invited me in,' Chris recalls. 'He's very sharp and has a radio, so he knows what's going on, but otherwise he lives like a virtual recluse. His cottage has just two rooms with boarded-up windows, and he sleeps on a bare wooden bed.' After repeat trips to Kerry, Chris got to know him better, and Mick finally allowed him to take his picture. Judges say This is a stunning achievement. With just a 60W bare bulb to work with, Chris used the limited lighting to great advantage and captured a wide range of tones in this image. He's

also used black & white to great effect, and the picture's excellent depth of field tells more about his ; ™ •>»; , subject's life. Well done.

Steve Mepsted London 36pts

Pentax Kl 000,50mm, 1/25sec at f/8, llford HP5

30 I | 29 November 2008

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♦ Steve, who has climbed into the top spot on our leader board with his second place finish in this round, spotted this scene by complete chance. 'I usually carry a DSLR and a film camera with me when out shooting, and on this occasion I had been photographing dancers in Blackpool Tower Ballroom,' he says. 'Having filled a memory card with images on my DSLR, I took a break and stepped outside. Across the street behind the trams I saw this image unfolding. With no more space on my DSLR, I thankfully had my Pentax K1000 with me.' Steve says he began to frame the shot as he crossed the road, knowing he wanted the birds flying up to the man's hands and to include the other people in the frame. 'It was quick and instinctive,' Steve says. 'I moved across the road, setting the exposure as I went, took three shots by the time I reached him, and then this one, with the perfect framing of the pigeon flying in the window.' Judges say Steve, who trained as a painter, / N

says there's a quality in ir film grain that reminds Ofltf *

him of paint, and he's . v used that to great effect ^H here to produce a very \

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