Our recent Focus 2020 competition attracted hundreds of superb entries. But there can only be one winner – and here’s what our judges chose.

Earlier this year we launched the Focus 2020 competition, which gave photographers the opportunity to show off their finest work in glorious SmartFrame quality. From landscapes through to candid portraits and a raft of travel shots captured in all corners of the world, the competition attracted a wealth of submissions from photographers of all abilities.

Our five judges have been sifting through the entries we received, debating the various merits of the images included for submission. And now, we’re very pleased to bring you their verdicts.

Overall winner – Emrah Karakoç

Our overall winner is Emrah Karakoç, thanks to this superb black-and-white composition. The image resonated with judge David Yarrow in particular:

“Someone once said that, if you want to be a better photographer, put more interesting stuff in front of the camera. It’s such a simple piece of advice that it can often be dismissed, but this photographer has listened to that instruction. Great pictures can also be looked at for a long time, and I looked at this image more than any other in the strong list of final selections. There is also technical excellence in the depth of field and the angle of the shot. It works in black and white as it is reductive, and allows the viewer to focus on the sum of the parts. I wish I had taken this photograph and I admire the person who did – he bought a great deal of intelligence to the field that day.

Emrah wins himself £500 in cash, together with a SmartFrame Pro 30 account for life, a portfolio review and a signed book from David Yarrow. You can view more of Emrah’s work on his website.

Runner-up – Suvro Paul

Our runner-up is Suvro Paul, whose image of these two girls was universally popular with our judges.

The composition is perfectly balanced, while the muted greens and browns serve as the perfect backdrop for the more dominant purples and blues. The expressions on the girls’ faces also highlights the importance of timing with such images; it’s too easy for such an image to be marred by a subject blinking or looking the wrong way – but the execution here is perfect.

Suvro walks away with £250 in cash, and also joins Emrah in winning a SmartFrame Pro 30 account for life, together with a portfolio review and signed book from David Yarrow.

Third place – Nitin Khatri

And finally, third place goes to Nitin Khatri for this monochrome image of a camel and his owner.

Capturing images in harsh, midday sun is always tricky, although here it works very well. The black-and-white treatment accentuates the ridges in the sand, which lends this image a more interesting background than would otherwise be the case, while the highlights on the camel and his owner help the pair to stand out against this. The position of the sun is also key here, as it provides shadows for balance in the foreground. The image would have still no doubt worked without these shadows, but they introduce another element while adding a pleasing symmetry of sorts to the overall composition.

Nitin scoops a lifetime SmartFrame Pro 30 subscription, together with a professional portfolio review.

A huge thank you everyone who entered Focus 2020. Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time – there’ll be more competitions coming soon!

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