The judging of `BPY' is always one of the highlights of the BB year. With more entries this year, and a clutch of unfamiliar names on the leader board, it is satisfying to know that this competition continues to go from strength to strength. This does not make the judging any easier, though; in fact, with so many top-class entries to choose from, judging this year was perhaps the closest for many years. A concern voiced by the judges in recent competitions was the relative lack of routine post-processing carried out by photographers,perhaps owing to a misunderstanding of the rules. On behalf of the judges, David Tipling prepared a short article on digital manipulation techniques (Brit. Birds 101: 39­42), suggesting some of the simpler techniques that can be employed to improve images, and which would be appropriate if carried out on entries for this competition. One of the characteristics of digital photography is that the initial results tend not to be as crisp and contrasting as their conventional counterparts. This is readily overcome by using a digital manipulation program, such as Photoshop, which modifies brightness, contrast and sharpness and allows the photographer to crop an image to bring out the best composition. David's article has undoubtedly resulted in improvements in the quality of the images we received. A total of five slide images were received for the 2008 competition but we have decided that, from 2009, only digital images will be accepted. 

Issue 8
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