Monthly #85 - Beauty and the beast Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 31/07/2019
Judge: newbiek50user

This year's BBC Countryfile Calendar Competition theme is "Beauty and the beast". This month's Pentax User competition is to submit a photograph interpreting that theme along the same lines.
Standard 'Monthly Competition' rules apply:
Pictures must be taken with a Pentax camera or closely-related clone.
The winner is expected to select the following month's topic and judge the competition, giving comment on each entry.
---- Entries must be taken within the month of July 2019. Good luck everyone!
Competition Entries

newbiek50user

Link Posted 01/08/2019 - 10:47
I do not claim to be as technically proficient as any of this month's entrants so my choice is subjective but I give my reasons below. None of the submissions were quite what I expected given the remit of following the same lines and theme as the BBC Countryfile competition. Perhaps most members are unfamiliar with the programme or were too busy photographing their entries to the BBC.

Congratulations drofmit. I'll give my reasons for my choice after commenting on the other entries.

Pigs might Fly (Perspicador). Perhaps because I'm getting old I'm losing my wit as well as my memory but I didn't understand this photo. For me the wood pigeon is the creature whose beastly call wakes me too early each morning. Please forgive me but, because of this, I see little beauty in him or in his surroundings however well the photo has been taken.

On a wier and a prayer (speedbird2064). I liked this image as soon as I saw it. Even if the duck may technically qualify as a beast I see beauty in it and its context. I felt, however, that it is a shame that the duck's head and eyes are slightly too much in shadow.

Nearly time to leave (Nigelk). I really like this photo. Puffins are such beautiful, comical and approachable creatures. I like the clouds, the colours and the composition. The flare to the centre right is in keeping with the time of day. Perhaps at 1/125 secs it isn't too surprising that some of the birds in flight are blurred but I assume that your choice of shutter speed had more to do with the overall context.

Blossoming Love (JAK). I have no idea what species of beetle these are. I do see both beauty and beast here. The setting is nice and the colour contrast super. Maybe it's my eyes but the DOF appears to be so razor thin that little of the beetle's bodies seem to be fully in focus.

The winner (in my view)
The beautiful Beast (drofmit). Not my favourite as a subject - that accolade - for me - goes to the puffins but, as a photo and, in the context of the remit, I do see the duality of beauty and beast and I feel that drofmit has captured it beautifully.

Thank you to all entrants with highly commendeds for Nigelk and speedbird2064.

newbiek50user

Link Posted 01/08/2019 - 10:52
I'm not sure what is going wrong with my selection of winner. Whether I click the "winner" checkbox before or after I submit my comments on the entries, the checkbox becomes unclicked again after I add the comments and the instruction to select the winner remains. What am I doing wrongly please?

drofmit

Link Posted 01/08/2019 - 22:25
Woops.... thank you newbiek50user... only just discovered this.
The picture was taken as I emptied my mothtrap... very few moths are ugly, but some like this are more beautiful than one realises....
but very few are "beauty & the beast" combined... this group of micromoths most certainly are both.
I have much better pictures of beautiful moths... and there are many very dull "beasts"....
which I am also required to photograph in order to submit my records which have to be verified.

Having a cherry tree that now has a pigeon nesting in the middle of it [the sheer cheek of it]... I can see exactly where perspicador is coming from...
also as a youngster I remember an entertaining afternoon watching a flock of wood pigeons.... that were unable to clear the fences around my parents garden, after stuffing themselves on a huge crop of acorns.
Congratulations to all who entered [especially Nigelk and speedbird2064]... all the pictures are good... it must've been difficult for our judge this month.

Post script: The beetles, on the Yarrow, are Ragonycha sp..... probably R.fulva, the most common... they are Soldier Beetles [Cantharidae]... totally harmless despite being called "bloodsucker beetles" because of their colour.... they are to be seen bonking on umbelliferous plants everywhere at this time of the year!!

PPS: The moth I submitted here is 8mm long, the "woolly carpet" it stands on is in fact.... the surface of one of the egg boxes I use in the trap!
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!!"
Anon.
Last Edited by drofmit on 01/08/2019 - 22:44

drofmit

Link Posted 01/08/2019 - 22:48
And newbiek50user... "Perhaps most members are unfamiliar with the programme"
Living in France, I certainly was unfamiliar...
and any research on the BBC Website drew me a blank... "this material is not available in your region"....
sorry...
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!!"
Anon.
Last Edited by drofmit on 01/08/2019 - 22:49

JAK

Link Posted 02/08/2019 - 01:03
drofmit wrote:
Post script: The beetles, on the Yarrow, are Ragonycha sp..... probably R.fulva, the most common... they are Soldier Beetles [Cantharidae]... totally harmless despite being called "bloodsucker beetles" because of their colour.... they are to be seen bonking on umbelliferous plants everywhere at this time of the year!!!

Well done with your moth and thanks for the beetle ID.

Quite a difficult subject for a monthly. One cannot guarantee to find something suitable in a good setting. Really a matter of luck finding something which again some might not have had when out and about. The Countryfile competition doesn't restrict photos to just the current month either and for overseas entrants a proper explanation was essential. The comment that 'None of the submissions were quite what I expected given the remit was perhaps inevitable as those expectations weren't stated.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 02/08/2019 - 01:04
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