So, further to Part 1 of this piece and the elation of getting six images shortlisted in Landscape Photographer Of The Year 2014, many will probably think it fairly unforgivable of me to even consider writing a single word about the pain of rejection and deflation after achieving something like that. And I have to admit I agree to a point – it sits slightly awkwardly with me. But I can’t help it. Those nagging deep rooted doubts that your photography isn’t as worthy as you think it is and feeling once again some of your best images were passed over and cast aside in a few moments, not considered to be interesting enough, presented nothing new, lacked subtlety, story telling, or worst of all was just an ‘also ran’ others have done better before. Of course the judges don’t approach things quite in those terms, but personally I can’t help that emotional bond with some of my images that means I want to scream “YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!”.

Of course, I am by far alone in feeling this way. Having seen the steady stream of high quality rejections floated around the internet already following this year’s initial round and knowing instinctively those must have really hurt, it does make you wonder what it is any competition judge is really looking for. My shortlisted images in Part 1 were an interesting set, some mono, some colour, some infrared, some dramatic, some less so, there’s certainly no identifiable formula there, though someone else thought they had a certain je ne sais quoi at least. Do any of us really know better than any of these judges? Of course not, we just look on things differently. Photography and art generally would be very boring indeed if we all liked the same things, held the same views and produced the same imagery.

Regardless, on with this year’s roll call of deflation…

It’s no secret that Born To Fly was a big favourite of mine from 2013. I love that whole juxtaposition on show here, I tried to depict the possibility of an inanimate object trying to flee the chaos of its surroundings, as if it had higher purpose. I’m welling up already…

Born To Fly

Born To Fly

Next Red Dawn is a photograph that required a lot of physical effort to achieve. Of course, you don’t get points for that, nor do you get any votes for the number of road miles you burned in the making of it or a bonus for setting your alarm clock at 2am. For me this was a one in ten year image at best, so the deflation was particularly cutting… I’m truly gutted this one didn’t make it through.

Red Dawn

Red Dawn

I thought I’d produced something of real character here with Grounded, those roots are something to really get lost in and it took me three separate mornings until I got what I really wanted here. All for nothing? Maybe not, but I thought this was a particularly striking infrared…

Grounded

Grounded

 It will probably come as no surprise that Burst is another personal favourite of mine. Alas, another cast aside this time. I felt it was better than any of the similar images shortlisted but it was not to be…

Burst

Burst

And finally From Here To Eternity. It might be an also ran where the composition is concerned but it doesn’t make it any less painful. I guess trees in the mist are not really that much of a unique approach and after all, the judges decision is final!

From Here To Eternity

From Here To Eternity