A gritty image of everyday construction has won the spring round of the NCE/Practical Photography Engineering Image 2005 competition. Pitted against over 150 entries, the photograph showing a steel erector tackling a giant set of shackles ahead of a 260t bridge lift in Taunton, Somerset, was the judges' clear favourite.
David Hunter's photograph, taken in April, was praised for its strong, simple image showing a common construction activity boldly and dramatically.
The judging panel consisted of president of the Royal Photographic Society Roger Reynolds, Sunday Times picture editor Ray Wells, ICE director general Tom Foulkes, Practical Photography editor Andrew James, NCE editor Antony Oliver and professional construction photographer Grant Smith.
Smith said: 'This photograph met the brief and by having the man next to the strops created a great sense of scale. Colour is also spare - just the red structure and a flash of orange on the jacket.' Second prize winner, Martin Baker's curious covered walkway also grabbed the judges' attention. 'The man at the end of the tunnel certainly intrigues the viewer - What is it- Where is it- What is that person doing?
The picture has an eerie quality that turns the dull structure into something much more sinister, ' comments Oliver.
The third prize went to Tim Shaw for his photograph of the Falkirk Wheel. 'This is a much photographed structure, but, here, the photographer has clearly thought about how he wanted to express the shot and show something of how it works. He makes the viewer get more out of the picture, ' says Smith.
Judges commented on the high quality of entries and enthusiastic response from NCE and Practical Photography readers, but added that some excellent photographs had to be rejected as they failed to meet the brief.
So, a benchmark has now been set for the next phase of the competition which starts this week. The brief for the summer round is as before: to capture an image of buildings or infrastructure being built, maintained or used, explaining in less than 50 words how the subject relates to society.
To keep images fresh and to reflect the changing nature of construction, photographs must be less than eight weeks old. Contributors to the Spring round are welcome to submit new entries.
For rules and an entry form visit www. nceplus. co. uk or contact Christina Taylor on (020) 7505 6666.