Select Six

Much of the morning was spent trawling through twelve months of photographs, seeking a selection from several thousand of the New Forest from which to enter six images into the Everton Festival: three prints, and three electronic efforts. This was a daunting effort. How do you portray this particular forest? A pony portrait of course could have been produced anywhere. I managed to pick about sixty possibles.

The Assistant Photographer reduced these to 19. Now it is your turn. I would be grateful for any suggestions as to which should definitely be included/excluded.

Because I am running out of printer inks with which to make the prints we set off to Wessex Photo at Ringwood to collect these. But we didn’t get very far. As Jackie began reversing the Modus in the front drive, Helen and Bill drove in. It would have been rude not to have offered them coffee. So we did. And enjoyed a catch up conversation.

Afterwards we did travel to Ringwood and I made my purchases.

We diverted to North Gorley on our way home. There,

the greens were occupied equally by equine and bovine residents. Flies were beginning to plague the animals – cattle ignored them, ponies switched their tails; one pony paddled, another nursed its new-born foal; a bovine necking session was in progress.

This unnamed lane led us towards Ringwood.

Jackie’s perfect pork paprika; new potatoes, firm broccoli, and breaded mushrooms were what we dined on this evening. I finished the Carmenere. My Lady abstained because she had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.


  1. Definitely that big Jesus beams shot! The line of cows stretching up to eat the hedge and the cheery thatchers as they are definitely New Forest natives. And the red sunset photo. That’s four – clearly any of the pony shots would do – and possibly the bike scooting through the ford which is a fabulous shot….?

  2. You have selected very best images Derrick and I hope you will select a few among the nos. 1,5,11,14,16,17,19 25 and 27. Good wishes.

    1. Thanks very much, Rupali. Helping to narrow it down. No 27 is an interesting choice because it was so muddy that I couldn’t get any nearer without the risk of falling over

  3. My favourites are the misty leaves, #4. The happy thatchers, #6. And the wonderful ponies #26
    A difficult choice, as they are all marvellous. ?

  4. Wow! There are so many gorgeous photos in this post, it’s impossible to pick one or two. I love all four of the shots with the sun shining through the forest. Excellent!

  5. Hi – it would have helped if you numbered them for us –
    but how fun that we get to chime in.

    here are my top four:
    2 – have to have the horses and this is warm and alive
    7 – bike – splash adds so much and the bike depicts the bike path and natural beauty to be enjoyed – and a good action shot
    12 – this silhouette shows the harmony within this area – the animals and the beauty – etc.
    19- sometimes certain trees photos feel tired to me – I guess we see the sunsets and canopies from around the world and that is why photo 5 and 3 are my least fav of the 19 (still awesome – but … well anyhow) – #19 has the air lines with the value, verticals, color, and natural frame/border from the trees. GORGEOUS and shows the terrain of this special place.

    I also like the people shots – the joy of #6 and folks walking in #18 – but these pics need to be with the others for us to feel how they fit in – and so standing alone might change how they come across – ya know?
    Best wishes as you choose!
    Honorable mention is #4 –
    the border, the shapes from the branches (there is almost a triangle in there) but it is delicate, inviting to all – from spiders to humans – and would make a great print – LOVE it

  6. I am afraid I am no help in selecting six out of 19, as all of them look perfectly marvelous to me, Derrick. I am simply scrolling up and down, enjoying them all.

  7. I am sorry to be unhelpful but I can’t even choose my own pictures let alone anyone else’s. Use a blindfold and a pin. They all seem worth a look to me.

  8. Three I’d include are the tree roots (actually the toes of some prehistoric creature?), the cow reaching for leaves, and the thatching. Those are the ones that delighted me particularly.

  9. Oh, my goodness! They are all so wonderful, Derrick and as my family know, I am hopeless at making my mind up about anything and everything! I love the sunbeam in the forest ones, the deer with bird and the recent ‘cow eating the hedge’.

  10. Every one is just a beauty. My picks are 4, 5 and 6. I do love the human element of the thatchers, but no. 5 just makes me want to walk off into the fog and forest. Well done as always and excellent culling by the Assistant Photographer/Chief Decider.

  11. It’s extremely tough to choose from all those beauties, and yet a decision must be made. Personally, I’d submit images 2,5,6,7,9 and 12. If ponies are part of the theme, well, all of them are as fine as any of them!

  12. You live in a place that helps center you in the middle of nature, showing you are just another part of all of it. This is the greatest gift and lesson I have ever received. I hope it gives you comfort. It does me. It makes me fell like if I end up as soil, that would be so good because I would be, elemental. necessary and useful.
    Love to you Derrick.

  13. Photography contest judges are often culling through thousands of images. They’re going to see a lot of very good photos. Yes, yours are all spectacular, but what makes a judge stop and spend some time with an image will be your ability to know what kinds of images they like, avoid the obvious, show them something creative, new, rarely seen or never before seen.

    For me 5 – 6 – 7 – 12 – 13 – 25

    Whatever photos you enter, good luck!

  14. All excellent choices of your always amazing photos, Derrick! If I can only pick six photos…I’d say… #2, 4, 11, 12, 17, and 19. 🙂
    Your newest photos are so beautiful, too! I love the ones of the animals showing some love to each other. 🙂
    Hey! and (((HUGS))) to you and to Jackie!!! 🙂

  15. Well, I’d certainly keep all the ones with sunbeams, trees and paths, but for personal reasons I would exclude the thatching photograph. The gentleman with less hair looks too much like an ex-headmaster of mine and the memories would never go away.

  16. From the top:
    Nos 5; 8; 9; 12; 13; and definitely 19. There are some super animal shots, but these could have been taken in places other than the forest.

  17. The foggy forest with sun rays is a must! After that it get very difficult. # 1 and # 4, # 10 and # 13
    Oh jeez, I don’t know, they’re all great!

  18. All are wonderful, Derrick. I’m partial to the sunlight beaming through the forest and the foggy scenes. The line of cows nibbling the hedges made me smile. And the tree roots and moss are so earthy and rich. How to choose? That photo of the mare and foal is so tender.

  19. Derrick – what wonderful shots! I didn’t look at any comments so I didn’t get swayed. Not sure my numbers are correct, so I added descriptions. My favorites (A bit more than 6) are: #3 dinosaur claw tree root, #4 Magical misty forest, #5 Misty Lane, #6 Thatchers, #7 Biker, #9 Cows eating hedge, #10 B & W Momma & Babe, #11 Marilyn Monroe Horse, #19 Sunbeams.

    LOVE the Thatchers & the thatched roofs are so indicative of your area – However – here in the USA (Where there’s a lawyer on every corner) – they won’t publish people’s faces without a release from them saying it’s ok. So that would be a wasted choice here.

    This was fun!

    1. A very good selection. Most were popular. The thatchers knew they were going to be featured and were very happy about it. In UK it is not illegal to photograph people in a public place, but if anyone objects I always delete their images. Thanks very much, Jodie

  20. Oh Derrick, this is a hard task I do love the cow grazing, and the foster fire, and the horses cuddling for the rest I would just close my eyes and randomly pick the rest as they are all breath taking in there own right.

  21. Like many other fans, I love the white horse looking at you, the soft light beams streaming in through the trees and the cow reaching for the leaves. I also like the one where the dear has a bird on its nose.

  22. The boy on the bike is my firm favourite for this competition because A it is a brilliantly captured photograph and B as it’s a local fete there will be many entries of animals. The cows eating the hedge is also a favourite and the foggy lane and finally the sunbeams.

  23. What a difficult choice, but I’d say the Thatchers and the splashing cyclists are just that little bit different, and should be included

  24. Somehow I missed this post, so now the other one makes sense! 🙂 These are all wonderful photos. For this particular instance, I agree with Pauline’s choices. I also like numbers 4 and 5 and the silhouetted deer, but they may not stand out as much or seem to shout New Forest as the others?

  25. Like short story entries, it’s always helpful to check previous winners, and re-read the entry guidelines. Gives you a feel for what the judges are looking for, but I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. For my mind, the thatchers is a must. The single cow reaching up to eat the hedge is very arresting, as is the white horse looking at the camera. Of the misty shots, I think the one where the bracken is haloed red, the one where the tree trunk is centred. All the shots are good – but which one/s say “this is the forest, and no where else in England”. You’ll be the best judge of what other locals identify with? On that judgement, while I love the boy riding through the water, is it unique enough for the area?? And prefer the ones that have one single point of interest that draw the viewers eye. Of course, you’ve had plenty of other very informed advice, so you may have made your decision by now. Good luck!!

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