The Schools' Photo Competition
Key Stage 1 Winning entries

1st Place - Lockdown Rainbows

by Isabella Grover - Creswick school​

Judges' Comments

This group of four images very successfully grabs the viewer’s attention and interest. The lady with her rainbow forehead, the boy with dark glasses staring skywards in the sun and the sprinkling of rainbows across the images are the main elements that work together to make a striking overall image.

The rainbows remind us that our health system is dealing with extraordinary circumstances having a deep impact on those directly involved. The very direct portrait of the lady is quite compelling (and slightly chilling perhaps?) and this is enhanced by the black background – there are no distractions – and her face mask is a prominent part of the image. The image of the boy, by way of contrast, presents an altogether warmer and somewhat more contented feeling as he soaks up the sunlight.

The other two images in the set are more abstract and add strong graphic content. They need to be examined more closely to discern what is being shown. The lower right image is of a pair of hands, touching at thumb and one finger, so as to create a window through which a partly obscured bright light is seen. Rainbow streaks originating from the light have then been overlaid. The upper left image is more difficult to interpret; the visual effect is quite striking, whatever is being shown. The number “100” is identifiable – making perhaps a link to the Welwyn Garden City Centenary celebrations.

What you have given us in terms of concept, design and image quality would not have been out of place in the KS4 category. It would most probably have been among the winning entries.

2nd Place - Back together at last

by Lexi Campbell - Applecroft school

Judges' Comments

This very successful image can be readily interpreted by the viewer. That clear interpretation is partly the source of its strength – we are pretty sure what we are looking at. We see two grandparents being reunited with their granddaughter. We can imagine that the scene is set at the girl’s home with the grandparent’s car recently arrived and parked on the driveway. The grandparents probably live some distance away.  Lockdown has meant that frequent grandparent visits suddenly stopped completely for several months. Remote Internet video meetings were a poor substitute for face to face meetings. There may well have been concerns that the grandparents were vulnerable and had been isolating to avoid catching the virus. This is a scenario that will have played out in many families and not always with a “happy ending”. Your photo has therefore shown us an important aspect of lockdown. The image successfully conveys the mixed emotions on reunion – a mixture of sorrow for missed visits, joy on seeing each other again and relief that the grandparents are well and hadn’t caught the virus.

3rd Place - Free to run by Benjamin Gillard

by Benjamin Gillard - Oaklands school

Judges' Comments

Lockdown restrictions have presumably eased at this time and people are able to get outside more freely. You have illustrated this very successfully here by your photo of a girl alone in a large field. Her red top is distinctive and adds to the strength of the image. The dark sky and the trees and hedgerow at the top of the image provide a sense of place and scale. The band of green grass at the bottom of the photo effectively leads the viewer into the scene. (If you blank out that band of green grass then the image works less well.)

The girl is surrounded by a large amount of attractively coloured golden grass. That placement conveys to the viewer the sense of freedom that she has regained in order to explore her surroundings.

Highly Commended and RPS Choice - Lockdown 2020
by Mia Connell - Swallow Dell school

Judges' Comments

Lockdown had hardly started when the supermarket shelves had been emptied by some aggressive shoppers intent on panic buying. People were concerned about the continuity of supplies, especially for items such as toilet rolls, dried pasta, flour, baked beans, and hand gels and soaps. Your photo provides an excellent reminder of how those items had been made artificially scarce. With a photo such as this, it is you the photographer who controls the choice of the setting, the selection of the items and their placement in the photo. You have made some very good choices. The girl at the window inside the house is an important part of the photo – she is clearly in lockdown and directs the viewer’s attention to the items displayed on the window ledge. Those items work well – we can clearly see everything without any single thing being dominant. A lot of people displayed coloured rainbow drawings in their windows to show support for the healthcare and other key workers. Your inclusion of some drawings is therefore most appropriate and completes the scene very effectively.

Highly Commended - Coronavirus shopping

by Oscar Van Zyl - Applecroft school

Judges' Comments

This mirror photo is a great idea. The mirror draws the viewer in to look and see what is going on. The store message about not trying on the clothing, the two metre tape floor markings and the photographer’s face mask tell us that these are not normal times. The photographer always has a choice as to where to stand (or where to sit, crouch or lie down) in order to take the photo. In this case, you have chosen well. You have included just enough of the mirror’s surroundings to enable the viewer to work out what is being shown. The alignment of the red “Great Prices” sign with similar but reflected signs is one interesting result of your camera positioning.

Explore the other categories
Lockdown Rainbows
by Isabella Grover
Caterpillars to butterflies
by Emma Baker

Keeping families connected

by Casey Hawtin
Restricted love
by Lucy Paris

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