Monthly #128 - Upstairs, Downstairs Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 28/02/2023
Judge: johnriley

The monthly competition is, as always, for pictures shot on our Pentax (or clones) cameras this month - February 2023. The subject is Upstairs, Downstairs, which can be anything from pictures of stairs or stairways to images relating to the social structures of stately homes. Have fun!
Competition Entries


Link Posted 01/03/2023 - 00:06
Here we go with the winners and the comments!

Care for a ride by Perspicador: As usual, first in the competition! An interesting idea that also has some interesting decisions built into the EXIF data. ISO 51200 has resulted in huge amounts of noise, which is fine if that is what is wanted, but on the other hand the shutter speed is 1/250s so there is some scope for using a slower speed even if hand held, and reducing the muddy look that the ISO has also resulted in. The arms of the chair are almost menacing, reaching out as theydo, especially in the thumbnail.

Stairs in Honfleur by corkyboy is unfortunately shot outside the timeframe of the competition. Just a reminder then that all the monthly competition entries are meant to be new shots, in the month of the competition. So February 2023 only I'm afraid, which is a pity as this is a fantastic shot.

Upstairs or down by sueriley: This one fits the brief very nicely, with a fascinating 1800s double decker carriage providing upstairs (uncomfortable though it looks) and downstairs under cover. Perhaps the only pity is the disconnected gentleman on the left, looking out of the frame.

Steps in Time by takuman: Another out of time entry, and another shame because it's a fine image that fits the brief. So very sorry, but not in the running.

Toujours plus haut Always higher by Francisbd: Excellent. This fits the brief and the technical quality is superb, a lovely gritty, contrasty black and white image that enhances the mystery of the shot. It actually reminds me of a holiday I once had in a gatehouse, and the way into the clock tower was very much like this.

Steps to the Marahaja's Palace by Nigelk: This is a powerful travel image, with a great viewpoint. A great picture of stairs, just one person out of place bottom right who is disconnected from the main theme of the image, but a minor point as the rest of the people fall into a very pleasing pattern of activity.

Upstairs and downstairs by jeeess: The reasoning behind this one seems a bit obscure without the explanation to guide us, so I don't really think there are enough clues in the image itself. However, I do applaud the attempt to do something different!

Angles by PRYorkshire: Good choices here with composition, maybe there could be a little more depth of field to get crisp detail throughout the image? Also, if not used then a tripod would also help. A good lesson in looking around us and seeing all sorts of images there for the taking, right in front of us.

Silo Stairs by Noelcmn: There are plenty of interesting angles in this image, including of course the stairs which go up and down, as stairs generally aspire to do. A good idea to use the silo and it would be interesting to see what else could be found in the same area.

Stairs to Nowhere by drofmit: A curious tale and I wonder where the door at the top of these stairs led to. Of course, without the door the stairs are redundant but they still make a fine subject.

And so this leads us to the winners:

1st Place and WINNER is Toujours plus haut Always higher by Francisbd.

2nd Place is Steps to the Marahaja's Palace by Nigelk

3rd Place is Upstairs or Down by sueriley

Well done everyone, over now to Francisbd for the next monthly competition.
Last Edited by johnriley on 01/03/2023 - 00:49


Link Posted 01/03/2023 - 07:28
Thanks for the competition John and congratulations to Francisbd and the other winners....
Some nice photos.
To answer your question John, this is an old French townhouse [a "maison du maitre"] and overlooked the square and market place with the bank next door.
Possibly, when built, a business address [lawyer?]... the posh gates are opposite the other set of steps and between is a large window.
The French often like to have people enter by one door and leave by another where possible.... so, as it did not face the gate, this would have been the exit stairway.
Inside, now, there are no clues... the reception and office are one room deeper, the waiting room has the window and behind the blocked door is a storeroom...
the pattern of the tiles is period and vanishes under walls [including the waiting room and reception desk] and everywhere else is vinyl, so it has been very much altered in it's life.
My dentist is to the left.
You might guess, I rather love old buildings and their history.
Never be afraid to talk about your techniques...
"Give a thousand photographers...
the same camera, lens and scene...
and you'll always get a thousand different takes!!"


Link Posted 01/03/2023 - 09:40
Thank drofmit, for that fascinating background information.
Best regards, John
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