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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2012
Welcome to this weeks photo contest thread!

The theme this week is: ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS. While I’m a fan of wide, cinemascope, David Lean-type images, this contest is just the opposite. Details. Interpret how you like but I’m hoping for images that are less about the overall architectural structure and more about an intimate detailed element whose composition makes it stand out on its own.

“Architectural structures” might include skyscrapers, bridges, buildings, homes, benches, fountains, playground equipment, cathedrals, churches, banks, bike racks, staircases, landmarks, vegetable stands, gates, doors…. well, you get the idea. Get in close, isolate an interesting element, create a unique environment or close your eyes and shoot. Observe in a different way.

Be creative and have fun.

You may only submit one photo per contest.

Please do not comment on photos until after the judging has taken place.

The contest runs for exactly one week, starting NOW! (see time/date stamp at the start of this thread.)

At the end of the week, The Judge (last week's Winner) will choose a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place photo, providing as much feedback as possible. (Judge has 24 hours to make decision.)

The 1st place Winner will start a new thread with the topic/theme of their choice, and act as the Judge for that contest. (Winner has 48 hours to create new theme.)


macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2013
Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland and a shot of its typical windows.


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macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2013
Adelaide, Australia
I haven't been around these parts for what seems to be the longest of times and what should be the theme for this weeks contest but one of my photographic loves!

I hope that a change of image (once only) is allowed?

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 8, 2012
Thanks to all of you who participated in this week’s contest. There were a lot of nice images and a good variety too. For me, however, architectural details suggest images that are typically tighter shots, focusing in on specific elements and making that composition stand on its own. So I was a little surprised by all the wide-angle shots. But that might be my take on the theme and the beauty of these contests is that you can interpret them how you will. But for me to judge the contest, which is always highly subjective, I have to use the criteria I’ve established in my warped little mind and try to judge based on what has been submitted. So now, on with the show.

started off the contest in dramatic fashion and I’m a sucker for gothic architecture. Very nice use of light and shadows and the angles and lines move your eye across the image well. Great use of B&W and kudos to you for making me want to travel to Scotland again.

Stillcrazyman captured the essence of the contest perfectly. Quite often, an ornate gate can become lost in the grandeur of an estate, chateau or castle. The gate itself is beautiful and full of great contrast. Unfortunately, for me, the background competes too much for your attention. I don’t know if it’s because its too busy or if the depth of field could have been adjusted more or if there is an HDR affect going on. But I LOVE that gate!

Hughmac’s image made me smile. Take a nice architectural detail and add a confused squirrel and you’re bound to make someone smile. I am particularly fond of high contrast and, for me, this image is a bit too one-tone for me, likely due to a lack of bright sunshine. If you could bring out more highlights elsewhere in the photo, I think it would be helpful.

Tomnavratil had a nice ideal of creating geometric patterns and it’s a cool way to capture architectural details. Bonus for the touches of color. I like how ambiguous it is - does the image contain a reflection of a building across the way or are we looking through one building and on to another? The colors enhance the image and the bright pink window becomes the focus point. I think perhaps a variation on the cropping would enhance the image more.

Badrottie - The artist who created a bike rack to look like a giant cupcake had a nice sense of playfulness. It’s also nice that you took an interest and captured it on film. However, the composition and harsh lighting works against you here. You have a good eye to observe objects, now the trick is to move around and find the best angles. The lines of the sidewalk, curb and street are working against you here.

Alexander.Of.Oz (apparently) changed his image but I didn’t see the first one he submitted so I’m okay with that. Plus, the one he did submit is a beauty, so we all win! I really like the details you captured here. I’m assuming this is a building of some sort but, because you can’t really tell and because of the strength of the composition, the images stands on its own without having to rely on a knowledge of what the building is. I would be curious to know what a nice gradient moving up from the bottom third or a vignette around the entire image would look like. Because of all the angles, which I love, I’m thinking a vignette might retain the focus even more . Nicely done!

JDDavis submitted a wonderful shot, capturing a unique angle of a well-designed monument. Using B&W for this shot enhances the mystery of it, as does the lighting, helping to move your eye up the image. Because of the curved shapes, your eye would tend to fall off the image but, the strong diagonal highlight towards the center top pulls your eye back in. Nice composition!

Anotherscotsman provides another lovely B&W image focusing on the vaulted ceiling, columns and light fixtures of the Union Station Arcade. It’s a strong image with dramatic lighting and I’m a sucker for images like this. I love the deep, rich black in the foreground providing a silhouette and an invitation to really focus on the architecture. I’m a little conflicted with the people and sign in the image but it does give it a sense of scale and I realize how tricky it can be to grab shots with less people in the composition. Beautiful image.

Melizard grabbed my attention with this image with her dramatic composition and dramatic lighting. Add gothic architecture and, again, you make me wish I was there touring the place myself. This image has a wonderful symmetry built into the composition, which I have to believe was incredible tricky to achieve. Normally, I would hope for a little more pop of some highlights in the bottom 2/3s of the image but in this case, because the sky is so dramatic and your eye is led there by all the lines and shapes, this image works perfectly as-is. Nicely done!

Mikestimson tried to submit an attachment but, upon several viewing attempts and at the time of judging, no image could be found. I might suggest we add a link or brief guideline in how to create an attachment in the rules section of each week’s contest. Just a thought.

BeaglMeister’s image reminds me of something you might see in a horror movie. You just know if you tilted the camera down, something scary would suddenly appear. I can appreciate the observation of this vacant service station and the details they saw but the composition isn’t working for me. This might be a good example where moving in closer and focusing on the rusted box or peeling paint on the door might have been better for this week’s contest. Otherwise, moving out wider could possibly help.

Deep Diver’s image is certainly pretty and I like the soft sepia look. It gives the image a ghost-like feeling that is eerily beautiful. However, for this week’s contest, and what I was sort of hoping for, this would have been an excellent time to move in closer to and capture the arrested decayed areas of this barn, shack or shed. Or the fence. Rust, peeling paint and gnarled up wood can make for great detailed shots. Cool image, Deep Diver, but too wide for me.

Zaphodtheprez found a nice composition to highlight this fabulous structure. I am intrigued to where this is and I would imagine it would have been fun to explore this area in greater depth. Again, for me, this shot practically begs you to move in closer after capturing this wonderful wider shot. The intricate carvings look amazing and, if you were allowed to move in closer, you could have captured those details beautifully.

Someoldguy - This is a fun, intriguing image where a bunch of details have been captured. The main focus seems to be the hexagon shapes, probably because all of the other lines in the staircase and beams point that way. I like your observations but, for me, the composition could be refined, maybe with a variation on cropping. It looks like a cool metro stop though.

Pmxperience - You gotta love Grand Central Station and you took a nice image of this landmark. One day I hope I can visit this place. While I’m a fan of wide shots like this, and you did a nice job capturing the symmetry, I can only image the details you might have captured based on some of the elements I’m seeing here.

Jkramerbob - This is a nice composition highlighting opposites: old vs. new, dark vs. light, even the materials are opposites. Bonus points for all that. Extra bonus point for taking a picture in Chicago, a place I really enjoyed living for a while. I love the brick and ivy building standing defiantly against the sleek and shiny buildings in the background. And composing the image this way certainly strengthens those details nicely.

MiniD3 - Beautiful B&W image of a desolate location. Finding structures in an arrested decayed state is a photographer’s paradise and you captured a lovely image. The use of light and shadows work really well here and I would be envious if I were there and had not taken this shot. Again though, for me, moving in closer and capturing details of the rusted, decaying structure would better fit this week’s contest. Beautiful image.

Fireman32 - What a cool, leaning barn you found! You captured a wonderful image and I like the composition. It looks like a great structure and I bet it was a blast exploring that area. It’s the same issue for me again, too wide for how I was interpreting this week’s contest. Still…cool shot, dude!

Apple Fanboy - I’m a sucker for cathedrals and you focused on some cool details here. I love gothic structures, beautiful gothic windows and how can you not love gargoyles?!? I like the use of B&W, as it brings out the antiquity of this fabulous structure. Cathedrals like this are tricky though because there is so much to see. As a tourist, I like capturing wide angle, sweeping images and then moving in a little closer like this. It’s a great way to highlight and remember the cathedral in different ways. But….for really strong compositions, and especially detailed shots, I have had to learn to isolate even more. Choose a gargoyle or two, use the lines of the column to help focus your eye, use the sky as negative space and use shadows and light to help strengthen the composition. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. For this composition, however, I think there’s just too much going on and, if I’m not mistaken, the image looks a bit soft. But whenever I come to the UK, take me here, please.

rx7dude - It’s always a little sad when you see grand structures falling into disrepair. I’m not sure where this was taken but it reminds me of the recent article about a BMX biker using the abandoned Detroit Silverdome stadium as a playground ( While this is an interesting shot, it is too wide for me for this week’s contest. I bet you could have found some really cool details if you were allowed to go inside. Also, just a thought, but it might be interesting to frame this off-center to the right. I would also have a blast exploring this area looking for really unique angles to capture wide shots like this.

Ish - This is a another nice shot of a gate bordering a lovely church in the UK. I really have the urge to return to the UK again soon! This looks great in B&W with a nice balance of light and shadows filling the image. I think it’s always smart to take a shot like this while touring a location, as it can highlight the church in a different way and showcase the environment surrounding it. I like the composition because of this but, for the contest, I think you’d have to isolate and focus more on the ornate fence rather than expanding the canvas to include most of the church, if that makes sense.

Drum roll, please….

3rd place - anotherscotsman, jddavis
2nd place - stillcrazyman, Alexander.of.oz
1st place - Melizard

Congratulations, Melizard for capturing a dramatic image for this week’s contest! It’s up to you now, to create the next contest.
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