Wow! Thank you very much for the opportunity to look at all your photographs and judge the winner. It was not an easy job as each and every one of them was brilliant. I am very impressed! Well done to all of you. I look at thousands of photographs every working day yet your work stood out and brought a smile to my face. I thought all of you captured the season of winter wonderfully well, whether it was by photographing big sunsetting skies and landscapes or animals, from ducks to bugs, or lovely detailed close ups of plants and ice.
A few mentions before I announce the winner. I loved the sunsets photographed by Daisy, Sophie (I particularly liked the title 'Sky is lava') and Felicity. Felicity, I loved how the puddles in the field reflected the sun's light. Another mention goes to Maisie's robin's footprints in the snow, so sweet! Casey's and Elliot's icicles are amazing photos of nature's ability to make patterns. Kurtis's ducks on ice is great. The male duck looks like it's just stepped into the spotlight! Vlad's sheep in the field has different things going on which work together really well. The river (or flooded path?) leads your eye to the sheep, particularly the one reflected in the water. Lovely. Ruby's 'Dew on snowdrops' is also beautiful. However, it came down to a choice between two. I love love love Eric's piece of ice frozen into a puddle. The light shining on the piece of ice makes it look like a rough diamond gleaming, particularly as it contrasts so well with the dark ice on which it sits. Well done.
The winner, however, is......Sophie's 'Patch of Beautiful Grass'!!! Great work, well done. Sophie's photograph is the best example of what many of you succeeded in doing and that is showing something that is familiar to us in a different way. Getting down so close to the grass gives us a 'bug eyed' view of the world, we feel that we are about to go exploring into this forest of grass glistening with water. It feels fresh and inviting, it has a lovely texture and colour and I love the fact that the foreground and background are thrown out of focus with just a strip of grass in focus. If you think about it, that is the way we actually see the world. Once again, well done Sophie.
To repeat, I loved them all, I simply do not have time to mention all individually. Please keep going and if you ever need another competition judging, I'd be very happy to do so.
Senior Picture Editor
Congratulations Sophie! A framed copy of your photograph and a £10 Amazon voucher are on their way to you soon.
Visit our Mill Lane Photo Gallery to see all the wonderful photographs sent into our competition.