Weekly #480 – My Other Hobby Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 25/09/2016
Judge: GlynM

It goes without saying that for members of Pentax User photography must be high on their list of activities however what else do you do?

So this week’s competition is “My other Hobby”. I want to see images that capture what else you people get up to.

The usual weekly competition rules apply. Entries can be shot for the competition or taken from your archives. It must though be shot using a Pentax, the re-badged Samsung equivalent or Ricoh GR cameras.

The winner is expected to set, comment on and judge the next competition.

The competition closes at midnight BST on Sunday, 25th September. Good luck and I look forward, with some anticipation, to seeing your entries.
Competition Entries

GlynM

Link Posted 26/09/2016 - 00:45
I was not aiming for the accolade of the competition with the lowest number of entries but with only four images by mid Sunday afternoon I felt that I had not picked an inspiring or attractive enough subject this time. However after this very slow start the last minute entries, giving a reasonable total of 11 entries, have saved me . Many thanks to all of you that entered. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

Just a reminder that I am no expert at this. Everything here is just my personal opinion and the results reflect my personal tastes. I have tried to make useful comments for each entry and hope that I have not upset anyone as this was definitely not my intention. As always it is an excellent and well-crafted collection of pictures and it has been fun and a privilege to review your work.

Ornithology – Perspicador
I was hoping we might get a bird picture to start this competition and I was pleased to see Rodney rise to the challenge. I think this is a nice representation of a garden bird. I am no expert but I guess that this is a female blackbird. While the camera settings look fine the image perhaps feels just a little soft but I have to congratulate Rodney on his efforts to encourage garden birds to his garden to help create the photo opportunities we regularly get to see from him.

Meeting on the Bridge – RichardsPentax
I love this image. It has lots of great detail to explore, has fantastic splashes of colour and captures ongoing and imminent action. I feel for the marshals and wonder how they keep this activity safe. I have to admit that I had to look up “Anachronism” and I then felt that the image also created a little bit of fun because amongst all the historically attired participants there appears to be a man in a modern yellow hard-hat. A great image and a good description to explain what was going on.

Asian short clawed otter – LancashireLad
This image is certainly a fantastic capture of this creature. I am slightly disappointed because you do not give any hints of what hobby this image relates to. It is though a nicely framed shot and while may have been cropped the lens focal length of 150mm does suggest the subject was fairly close so probably shot with a lot of care. The face and whiskers are really sharp and further enhanced by the soft background. I also think you have done really well to capture a very determined look on this otters face.

Silence is Golden – johnriley
I think this is a terrific atmospheric shot taken with an MX-1 in what I assume were very challenging conditions. The detailed textual description also works really well to tie the image in with the chosen hobby. The only criticism I have is that the sloping edge of the stage, which may be on a different plane to the camera and therefore could be perfectly valid, for me though creates a feeling, illusional or otherwise, that the image is not level.

A Bit of Trainspotting.... – JAK
As a bit of a train spotter myself I was pleased to see this image. I had to go and look up this engine and discovered that it is a standard class 4, 2-6-4, tank engine, originally built in Brighton in 1954 and currently on loan to the East Lancashire Railway where this image was shot. I think this picture takes a good and different approach to capturing a train spotting related theme. I also like the story telling element of this picture. The viewer immediately knows that there are some loud noises going on that is probably not being appreciated by at least one of the subjects. I find platform shots at this sort of attraction are often difficult with an overload of clutter and people but I think this image works well and is nicely composed.

Any Bargains ? – ken2390
This image, which is a perfectly valid for this competition subject, did look a bit familiar to me. A quick search found it in one of my previous competitions, Monthly Competition #23 – Around Midday in May 2014. Much of what I wrote then about this picture is probably just as valid now – “I think the lighting has worked well to lift the colour in this image and I love the red spotty dress of one the foreground subjects. I have a friend who is a retired sport photographer and he keeps telling me how important it is to photograph peoples’ fronts so you can see their faces. So perhaps I have been conditioned in that I feel that it would have been better for the foreground subjects to be coming towards us.” However with potentially so few entries this week I am not complaining and it is nice to see it again in a different context.

Black headed Heron with catch – Noelcmn
Wow, Noel what a fantastic and stunning picture of what to me looks like a very classy bird on a successful hunt. Herons in my part of the UK are a drab grey, usually very nervous and need more patience than I have to successfully photograph. Your inspirational shot makes it look so easy but I am sure you put a lot of effort into this as hinted at in your text. I also really appreciate the effort you have obviously put into that textual description. A fantastic shot that was a real pleasure to see and have the production of so nicely described. Well done.

Blue Fazer – snakey
A real pleasure to see a picture shot specifically for the competition. It is also a well thought out and implemented image. Possibly the brightness setting of my monitor but the initial feeling I had when looking at this image was that perhaps the large area of darkness on the lower right was a little distracting. However this feeling diminished when looking at the larger version of the picture when more of the leaf structure of the background was visible. Mixing natural and artificial lighting can often cause a challenge with the white balance but here I think the tint of the cooler LED lighting has helped to enhance the blue colouring of your bike. Composition wise your subject is nicely offset and pointing into the shot. I think the exposure of the background and the bike are well balanced and the bike looks very sharp. As an aside, and in no way a criticism of the picture, there appears to be one or possibly two dead pixels, showing as red dots, about halfway up towards the right of the shot which suggests you might want to perform some pixel mapping on your K-5. A very nice, well-crafted shot that also shows off how well the K-5 performs in low light conditions.

Alone on a saphire blue sea – drofmit
Tim has given us a very nicely executed image of what I suspect is quite a small spider on the new fabric roof of his classic 2CV for both of which he obviously has a passion. Unusually, for Tim, it is not a last minute shot being dated three days previously . I think it is a lovely, well-crafted picture. A little bit of research suggests that this spider is only around 5mm long. This is therefore a close-up/macro shot. Although there is a quite a narrow depth of field the spider is wonderfully sharp showing off its hairy body and legs plus the top row of its eyes. The shot is also nicely composed with the subject offset to one side and travelling into the shot. The roof of Tim’s car has done a fantastic job as the background to this little creature. The narrow depth of field also creates a little track across the shot giving the illusion that the spider is on some sort of path which I think enhances the composition. A very good, well observed and managed macro/close-up shot.

Amazing....... – Simonmac
I suspect that this is a macro/close up shot of a fairly small spiderman figurine. We do not get a huge amount of exif data so it is difficult to see how it was produced but I think it works well. I like the way the narrow depth of field concentrates on the figure’s head and the way the softer torso creates for me a feeling of movement. The soft background also works well with the split between the background colours creating the illusion of an horizon. The green part of the background also does a good job in complimenting the red colour of the figure. It is well lit and I love the way the figure is looking diagonally out of the shot. A very nicely thought-out and implemented image.

potting – davidwozhere
A record setting last minute entry! This image was added at midnight and must have just beaten the shutter coming down. I am pleased to see it though as gardening is a classical British hobby. The displayed exif data looks like nonsense but the exif add-on in my browser shows that this is a fully compliant image having been shot with a K-5. I think it is a very good well composed shot. I like that the hands come in from one corner and the plant is pointing into a orner on the other side. The plant and hands are nicely sharp and enhanced by the softer background which retains enough detail to reinforce the garden element. A great shot to close this competition.

Results
While having fewer entries makes the commenting less effort it does not make it any easier to judge. I try and order the images as they come in. Up until late today I felt that all the images were largely equal. However one of the last minute images is outstanding so suddenly first fell into place but awarding second and third was still difficult. So after some careful consideration here it is:

1st – Noelcmn for “Black headed Heron with catch” – For such a fantastic and well-crafted bird watching image.

2nd – drofmit for “Alone on a saphire blue sea” – For such a lovely, probably opportunistic but still well-crafted close-up shot of a small creature on the new roof of his well-loved car.

3rd – RichardsPentax for “Meeting on the Bridge” – For such a detailed and colourful capture of a battle re-enactment.

Highly Commended - with the still fairly small number of equally well-crafted entries - goes to everyone else.

I think this completes my responsibilities here and hand over to Noel for the next round.

Glyn

Noelcmn

Link Posted 26/09/2016 - 07:38
Oh dear, more work . Thank you Glyn. I'm chuffed, my half hour or so with this bird paying dividends. Loved this challenge, loads of nostalgia evoked in me, for e.g. davidwozhere's image, that reminded me that gardening is indeed very pleasant (i simply don't have time for such pleasures) and Simonmac's Spiderman- Oh to be young again . Congrats to Dromfit, loved the minimalism on that, and RichardsPentax, which as noted, has such amazing details. And all the HM"s . Thanks Glyn, for tempting me to pursue perhaps another hobby, and for the judging exercise and comments. As always, appreciated. I'll have something up later today.

Simonmac

Link Posted 26/09/2016 - 07:47
Hello folks

Many thanks for the competition- some cracking shots!

Very well done to the winner and places.

In response to the great comment on my shot- I used a Helios 44M-4 with an extension tube, window lit (I had just picked up both for £8 from Craft at Aberystwyth railway station!).

All the best

Simon
www.flickr.com/photos/simac/
www.500px.com/simac

drofmit

Link Posted 26/09/2016 - 14:24
Thanks for the podium Glynn... and the competition subject.
Congratulations too to Noel for that cracker... the third place Battle Re-enactors.... and all the other pix.
I particularly likes the Frankie Valli shot from Mr. Riley.... ye gods, Valli is wearing well for 80+ [ as are the Stones, Yes, Deep Purple, etc....].

Opportunistic pic, Glynn, yes.... saw it, hadn't seen one before, only camera easily to hand....
had a 70-200 zoom and an x1.4 converter on.... and I shot it hand held.... fun, not!
Should've used a monopod. This one was taken resting against the car!!
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 26/09/2016 - 14:25

davidwozhere

Link Posted 28/09/2016 - 23:41
I too was amazed that it scooted under the wire at exactly 0000hrs! Nice to see Simon using a Helios 44M4. There should be one in everyone's bag. And Noel shows us that herons eat other things than fish - in his backyard anyway. Super challenge and excellent commentaries. Thank you Glyn.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link
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