Weekly Photo Contest (March 1st-8th)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by apearlman, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. apearlman macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Weekly Photo Contest (March 1st-8th)


    #1 You may submit only one photo per contest.

    #2 The contest runs for exactly one week, from the time stamped on the first post in the thread (this will be made by the winner of the previous week's contest).

    #3 Please refrain from commenting on the photos submitted in the contest. A good photograph is one that can appeal to someone who may not know much about the technical aspects of photography, so it would be best if the judge isn't swayed by someone else's opinion of the photograph.

    #4 The judge will decide his/her favorite at the end of the week, place a post listing it, and include a short synopsis of why he/she chose that photo. The winner is then responsible for choosing a new topic and starting a new contest thread, which again will run for exactly one week.

    This week's theme is OPTIMISM. I encourage you to interpret it broadly, as I will too. I choose this theme because I've recently felt the world provides an avalanche of bad news, and I want to look at photos that make me feel good. Show me some optimism!

    Good luck!
  2. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    I like your theme. A lot of things are way too negative nowadays. :)


    The sun was going down, and it barely nicked one branch on a tree, and it lit up the only leaves that the tree had. The color was a pretty stark contrast to the rest of the leafless, dark tree and stood out immediately.
  3. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    Older photo of a slough near my home in Alaska. Taken sometime by the end of April or beginning of May.
  4. bootedbear macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2004
    Austin, TX
  5. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Wing Luke Asian Museum - Seattle, WA

    On our last full day in Seattle last September, for our 3 month delayed honeymoon, we went to the Wing Luke Asian museum, the weather was stunning (cold, wet, miseable :D) but the words on the charm are very much the opposite.

  6. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    Having these guys survive the winter snow of South Wales:

    Attached Files:

  7. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH
    Commitment & Hope

    This past summer I was run over (literally) by an 18 wheel truck. For a while we were not sure if I would be able to hold my camera again. After 4 months of a lot of physical therapy and with many people believing in me, I was finally able to do it. This is an image from my first day back behind the camera. It was a great day.

    This is a specimen of Hematite, an oxide of iron.


    Attached Files:

  8. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    kids... and baseball

    I was assigned to shoot a few photos for the sports pages of a local community newspaper, mainly of individual kids in action - typical small-town newspaper stuff. Of course I spent some 'xtra time doing 'behind the scenes' candid shots for my personal work, where I could get more of a sense of what it was like to actually be there. After making sure I had a few good shots for the paper, I relaxed and just started looking for anything with real human interest (at least by my way of seeing things... ;) ) This is one of my captures which remained locked in an unscanned strip of film until last year.

    Riding The Pine

    Canon EOS A2
    Canon 28-105
    Fuji SuperG 400
    Nikon Coolscan V ED
    No exposure info recorded...
  9. noemoore macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2009
    Santa Ana, CA
    Just something I saw when I was walking through my apartment complex during a rain spell.

    Attached Files:

  10. jeffmode macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009

    It really doesn't look like things are so bad...right?

  11. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
    Nothing says 'optimism' like an ice cream truck on a hot summers day, eh?
  12. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    you got to be optimistic

    when you get pulled on your skis by a wild reindeer for a competition!!

    Shot with an olympus E-510 at 200mm in -19C 150km north of the polar circle.

    Attached Files:

  13. jmdfd415 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
  14. endingstart macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
  15. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    If I am gentle enough...............

    (clickable twice)
  16. AlexH macrumors 68020


    Mar 7, 2006
    Look towards the light, even though darkness looms over you...

  17. Abraxsis macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    It might seem strange, but I feel as long as there are heroic men & women like these we should all be optimistic.

    Attached Files:

  18. apearlman thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Winner to be announced in the morning

    I just got back from out of town and need to sleep. But I will announce a winner first thing tomorrow morning. In the meantime, last minute-entries will still be accepted...
  19. jeffmode macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    My domain names changed so the original post isn't working. here is the same photo again.
  20. NintendoChick macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2008
    Oh, a last minute entry!


    I was actually having one of those really crummy days, but just going outside and looking at the world in a new way seems to make everything better.
  21. shady825 macrumors 68000


    Oct 8, 2008
    Area 51
    I guess I'll throw in a last minute entry..


    EDIT: It's showing 12:18am on my post but its 10:18pm in AZ
  22. apearlman thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    Red Hook, NY
    Contest results

    Okay, I'm going to try something a bit different. I really loved viewing all the photos, but I'm going to offer honest critique rather than simply point out what I like about each one. I hope you'll take my comments in the spirit in which I offer them, which is to provide an objective set of eyes that might help you think differently about your photography. If you disagree with my comments or think I'm being unfair, feel free to dismiss me as an amateur and a hack, both of which are true. After all, this is just one stranger's opinion.

    LittleCanonKid: great light here, and I love how the warmth of the orange leaves contrasts with the cold sky and barren dark branches. My only suggestion is to think of a more dynamic composition. Your subject is right in the center of the frame, and there isn't much depth to the image. What I mean is that it seems like most of what's in the frame is about the same distance away. I'd be curious to see a composition with a few branches very close to the camera, and some very far away. This is a very striking image, though.

    AlaskaMoose: this is just gorgeous, and obviously a lot of care went into the choice of subject, lighting, and editing. The reflection is superb. If it looks like that in real life, then what a beautiful spot. If you enhanced it with software, great job.

    bootedbear: this shot fits the theme nicely, though I think the composition is a bit static. It's hard to describe, but the flower is just sitting there. I'd like to see it bigger or perhaps with more of its surroundings, but just leaving it in the middle of the frame is uninteresting. I also think the subject is a bit blurred, perhaps from missed focus or camera shake (slow shutter?). Very nice concept, though.

    jbernie: great light, love the reflections, interesting subject. Those silver signs ("happiness", "radiance", etc.) look great, and I imagine you patiently waited for them to be facing exactly right. Image is cropped a bit tight on the right side for my tastes, but this is a small issue.

    mattyb240: This looks great, but I just can't discern enough detail with DeviantArt's watermark in the way. I do love the smooth background and the delicate white fluff being cradled by the flower. The composition feels unbalanced; the subject is in the center of the frame, but all the background detail is on the left. My eye wants to move the whole rectangle to the left of what you captured.

    lu0s3r322: Great colors and composition here. My eye is drawn directly to the red things. (You can tell from my word choice I'm no horticulturist.) The soft snow and sharp thorns lend a wonderful texture to the shot. I like this a lot.

    deep diver: Wow, what a story. Congratulations on your long road back. This is a very striking image, and the texture is fantastic. Without your personal story, it doesn't say much on its own, though it does make me look deeply at it to figure out what I'm seeing. I'm glad you can take pictures like this again.

    luminosity: A lovely moment, and definitely fits the optimism theme well. What's more optimistic than young love? A few little problems I can see though. First, the color seems off; skin tones look too red on my (calibrated) monitor. Second, the background is distracting -- especially the bike handlebar, but also the white car and dark post. But mostly, I find my eye drawn out of the frame to the right, because I want to see what they're looking at. I wonder if the image might be better if you framed it more to the right. (Of course, it could be that whatever was there would have detracted from the photo, but I'll leave that for you to decide.)

    pdxflint: Oh, I'm a sucker for baseball and children, so this one made me smile. The bright shirts make the subject leap out at us, and the chain-link fence adds to the sensation of viewing these boys in an unguarded moment. The kid on the left annoying his neighbor is priceless. Nothing negative to say about this. Negative... did you say this was shot on film? What's that?

    noemoore: great flower shot. The background is smooth as butter, the flower has great delicate detail, and the water drops are great. It took me a few seconds to even see the water, though, which makes me wonder whether this image would benefit from a bump in contrast.

    jeffmode: Great sky, great light, fascinating subject. Is this Seattle? I didn't realize anyone was building anything these days! I love the white fluffy mist that makes the buildings jump off the background. Great balance to the composition, too. The cranes almost seem alive, or at least like they're having a conversation. This shot is just as beautiful a presentation as AlaskaMoose's.

    AxisOfBeagles: Great choice of subject, and I like the simplicity here. But the image is very static, almost like you've just tried to record the truck for posterity. I'd like to see something with a bit more character. Those shiny hubcaps, the curvy pink fenders with the "chevrolet 3100" trim, and the Lazy Dog logo are all of great interest, but you haven't really highlighted one for us to focus on. Try getting up close to something and really throw it at us, and let the rest of the truck or its surroundings be in the background. In this shot, everything is given equal prominence, so nothing really stands out.

    localghost: Maybe I'd get more out of this photo if it were larger, but I'm having trouble figuring out the story. The bench looks like it could be a cart or wagon, perhaps for these horses to pull? But I don't see wheels. The glass background looks like it could be a carnival atmosphere, but I don't see any other people. Is this guy the horses' driver? His jacket is distracting. There's clearly something very interesting going on here -- which is probably the reason you pulled your camera out -- but I don't feel like I'm getting it from your photo.

    flosseR: This image is delightful. The whole frame is bursting with absurdity, from the skier/reindeer relationship right over to the terrific hats worn by the audience members. In addition, there's a dynamism here, I love the action. The orange fence is unfortunate, and I wish the shot were framed a bit more to the left, but overall this is a very successful image.

    jmdfd415: terrific composition and textures. The way you've framed this shot really makes the viewer feel like we're enjoying an intimate look at a star. The axe has personality. The black & white is a fine choice, but I'm not crazy about the other manipulations (HDR?) and halos that are visible. I wonder whether an equally interesting, but less artificial, "look" could have been achieved with creative use of lighting.

    endingstart: This is a very striking scene, and the scattered gulls look great against that huge sky. Good choice of subject, and I like the feeling of distance in this shot. But one "layer" (near, middle, far) is missing: near. I feel like the depth of the image could have been fantastic with something of interest (besides the pile of dark stuff) very close to the camera. Also, watch your horizons -- the tilt suggest this shot was grabbed, rather than carefully considered.

    Chappers: Fantastic moment, and this may capture the week's theme better than any other entry. I love the fingers wide open and the concentration in this kid's eyes. I wish, though, that there was better light on him. Probably the bright background fooled your camera's meter into underexposing your subject, which is unfortunate and happens to me all the time. A fill flash would have been perfect, or perhaps try recovering the shadows in software. Of course, the best solution is to make sure the bubbles are blown into better light. :)

    AlexH: The colors, contrast and sharpness here are awesome. I love the way the shadows play on the flower petals, and you nailed the exposure -- I can see details in the highlights and in the shadows equally well. In the background, I like the rich greens of the grass better than the distracting brown lines. If it was possible to keep the great light on the flower but get more grass background, I think it could have been even more striking than it already is.

    Abraxsis: I like what you're doing in this image, and has a very reverential feel. The dark vignetting toward the bottom border is nice, and it works with this B&W treatment. With the composition, I'm feeling a bit claustrophobic at the top of the frame, looking for just a bit more space above the crest of that hill. I'd like to see some room between those distant stones and the top edge. I also wonder whether you could have knelt down (and perhaps to the right) a bit to make the closer stones loom larger in the frame, to add to the sense of depth that you're creating with the line of stones going from foreground to background.

    NintendoChick: This is great. I love where you placed the sun, and that you filled the frame with the tree's branches. The exposure is perfect, too... dark enough to keep the sun from blasting the whole image, but light enough to maintain detail in the tree trunk and mountains. The tree's shadow is a nice element, and I would have liked to see more of it somehow, perhaps by crouching lower to let it come out toward the viewer. But that's a small point, this is a great shot. (By the way, great photostream. You play with light really well, and have an eye for close-ups.)

    shady825: Wow, what a sky!!! Amazing. The car looks great too, but I think you could put anything in front of that sky and I'd stare at it for a few minutes. Even though it's not the focus in this image, I like that the Focus is in focus. Makes me want to go for a drive wherever you are.

    * * *

    In my opinion, there are five photos that I feel are "winners" here. (I have a fundamental difficulty with the idea of ranking artistic work, but don't get me started.) They are: AlaskaMoose, pdxflint, jeffmode, NintendoChick, and shady825. But because we need someone to run the next contest, I'll declare ALASKAMOOSE the grand champion of photography this week and offer my congratulations for a very meticulously crafted image that lifts the spirits. Well done!

    If ALASKAMOOSE is unable to fulfill his duties as beauty queen, the runners-up are JEFFMODE and PDXFLINT, in that order.

    Kudos and thanks to everyone for sharing their photos this week!

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37 February 28, 2009