The Schools' Photo Competition
Key Stage 3 Winning entries

1st Place - Keeping families connected

by Casey Hawtin - Monks Walk school

Judges' Comments

Your photo very successfully highlights one of the key features of lockdown. Communications networks and the widespread availability of digital devices, such as computers, tablets and mobile phones, enabled substantial changes in how we interacted with other people. Lockdown physically isolated people in their homes. Those communications networks created virtual opportunities to help overcome problems. Many people could work from home, log in to school lessons, zoom video with friends and family, go shopping online and access games and entertainment.

Your photo captures this by the BT sign and an excellent portrait of the man. The man is wearing a mask suggesting that his working environment is not ideal. He may not always be able to keep a sufficient distance from others. You highlight the mask by “colour-popping” and that is done very effectively here. The mask is blue and stands out in what is otherwise a monochrome black and white photo. Your photo would have had much less impact if you had presented the fully colour version – the colours may well have been distracting.

2nd Place and RPS Choice - Pain suffered alone
by Rose McCrossan - Monks Walk school​

Judges' Comments

Lockdown created a major dislocation to the normal day to day activities of young people. It also meant that one-off celebrations – such as school leavers’ Proms – were irreplaceably cancelled. This very striking image has been created to illustrate the impact of the changes. The black clothed figure, nearly fully curled up, conveys a strong sense of isolation – the person is in their own world. And the black suggests that they are suffering the pain of a dark place. The words pictured on the wall succinctly highlight some of the external factors that have constrained the young person’s activities.

3rd Place - Covid Haircut No. 2

by Sarah Simpson - Sherrardswood school

Judges' Comments

This is a great image and very successfully shows the man trying to cut his own hair. Haircuts were one of the casualties of the lockdown. The Haircut as a subject is therefore a very effective choice for illustrating lockdown. The photo works particularly well because your use of a mirror gives the viewer an all-round view. A strong visual link has been created between the back of the man’s head on the right-hand side of the image and the reflection of the man’s face just to the left of centre. The viewer’s attention follows that line to the face and then takes in what is happening in the rest of the image. You have chosen the exact position to take the photo carefully – notice how the scissors are in just the right place in the image. We clearly see enough of the arms and the raised hands trying to organise the haircut. A slight camera movement in any direction would have generated a different, and probably less successful, image.

Highly Commended - So near yet so far

by Nate McIntyre - Monks Walk school

Judges' Comments

Lockdown was built around restrictions on movement outside the home. A number of photographers tried to illustrate the sense of isolation and being trapped at home that those restrictions generated. This image is very much in that category and works well. It is bright outside and inviting. The subject is seated in one corner of the doorway. Importantly, the exposure is such that the inside of the house is clearly seen, and the back and head of the girl fit with that level of inside lighting thereby connecting them to the inside of the house. The bright outside is seen through parts of the girl’s blouse. The lack of movement and the way that the girl’s head is tilted and touching the doorframe convey a sense that she has been there for some time thinking about being isolated and not able to go out.

Highly Commended - Lockdown splatter

by Olivia Scott - Stanborough school

Judges' Comments

This image invites the viewer to ask: “What is going on here?” The two white paper sheets are lying on the yellow-brown paving stones, which have their own distinctive pattern. Tubes of paint, brushes and other art implements are scattered around in no particular order. It is clear that individual letters have been used as stencils to create the “Lockdown” lettering. The paper has been splattered with paint such that the underneath of the letters remained clear while the surrounding paper has been covered with multicoloured dots. Removing the letters then revealed the word. A number of additional differently coloured circles have been randomly added over the top, thereby obscuring the wording slightly and creating a bit more of a challenge for the viewer. This will all have been quite a messy process, so it is understandable that it has been done outside on the paving.
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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