Barry Shaw's title for his portrait entry is “Time Lines” and it is an image of a local character Shane.
"He's a guy with a very interesting life and personality. He has done many jobs and lived in many places; and his face is etched with many experiences. As a photographer, you can’t walk past him without not wanting to photograph him.
"Shane is one my subjects for a developing collection of portraits of locals and subjects of photographic interest. I am slowly building the collection with the aim of holding an exhibition to show people my style of work; to generate work and fulfil my goal of doing photography fulltime.
"You could say that I am a late bloomer with my photography. At 56, I am a more recent convert to digital photography, having worked in film for many years, with a love of black and white developing and printing. It is these skills that I now bring to my digital work and I really enjoy the creative freedom and possibilities that digital photography now presents. For my portrait work, I enjoy adding textures and building painterly effects that match the individual and give the image extra visual power and appeal."
Barry says that photographing Shane was challenging, but very rewarding. "I wanted to go beyond what people already knew of him and portray him as 'gritty' and yet hard working and interesting. And he is all that!
"I use Canon camera equipment and this image was shot on my faithful EOS 5D MkII with an 85mm lens. The exposure was 1/160 second @ f2.8, ISO 800. I was conscious of keeping the ISO as low as I could to avoid noise. This made my shutter speed slightly slow and my depth-of-field very narrow."
Shane was shot using only window light against a neutral background which gave Barry the option of cutting Shane from the background in post-production. "He was firstly shot in colour and processed initially in HDR software to extract as much detail as possible from the raw file. Then I converted the image to black and white and added a rough textured background before adding a gradient fill layer to darken the bottom of the image.
"The final touch was adding a cream tone finish in Lightroom and selective sharpening to squeeze more detail into Shane’s weathered face.
"I have competed in the Better Photography comp for approximately four years and received quite a few silver awards, but never an elusive gold! I do it to challenge and improve my photography. It also gives credibility to my work and pushes me to improve my artwork.
"I’m really rapt to receive my first gold award - hopefully the first of many!"