Weekly #555 - Trees Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 04/03/2018
Judge: Nigelk

Trees, wonders of the world as far as I'm concerned. I'm open to interpretations as long as the main subject is trees or a tree (or part of). As always with the weekly competition photographs can have been taken at anytime as long as it was taken with a Pentax camera or clone. You have until midnight Sunday 4th March to get your entries in.
Good luck
Competition Entries


Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 13:41
WOW! Thank you all so much for this great and varied selection of photographs celebrating trees.
There is a very high standard here but, being a competition It's my duty to say a few words and well.....judge.

I'll start with the first entry in and work my way through, stopping once or twice for coffee

Glenmore Forest - Perpicador

These plantations are not the easiest things to photograph, I'd say you've done a good job here. For me the weak point of the image is the blown sky, a darker exposure and a bit of Dodging and Burning, lightening of shadows, darkening of highlights would have worked wonders here.
A good strong composition, all in focus nicely displaying the different stages of growth of this commercial forest. My eye is taken in a circular journey around the image, enjoying the splashes of heather amongst the small trees and the delicate colourful trees and leaves forming the base of the image contrasting so well with the dark green pines.

Wind in the Willows - mudge

I'm not sure where this was taken but the willow is well ahead of anything here in Suffolk.
For me this shot is all about the contrast between the have and the have nots. The willow has gone for leaf contrasting with its bare neighbouring trees. I'm not sure I need all the foreground in this shot. Well controlled exposure and a good contrast between tree shapes with and without foliage.

Snowy Beech Leaves - JAK

An icy blast from the past.
I'm having trouble finding an area for my eye to focus on. I think the combination of the grain and texture, nothing particularly sharply in focus is making it difficult to settle. I like the idea of this photograph but, I can but be honest and say this particular shot is not quite working for me.

The Oak Family - Doctorjeff

Daddy, Mummy and baby Oak. Daddy oak loosing his top growth in old age.
A good title for a pleasing image. The critical bit, the image is a bit mid grey over large areas so lacks a bit of contrast and if it were mine I'd crop almost half the sky which really helps keep my attention on these lovely trees. I like it in mono and its a very nice rural scene + good use of title.

Autumn - QuestionableCarrot

From subtle mono to full scale colour warfare......I like it
Whilst the colours don't look totally natural to me I'm enjoying the effect. An already punchy image is further emboldened by the good use of a vignette. Would I make any changes, Maybe if the refection line was bang in the middle of the image rather than being below centre. No, I can just enjoy it as it is. Perhaps offer people eye protection before you show them the image

Wind Bent Tree- Northumberland - tyronet2000

I'm sure we can all see what drew you to wanting to photograph this gnarly old tree (Hawthorn?) This image has a very retro feel to it. Nothing seems quite sharp, quite a small aperture you chose for this shot. It's a nice shot of a tree that I'm sure is much older than its size would suggest, it looks to have had a hard life. You've framed it to form a jaggardy(made up word) diagonal across the frame splitting the image in two, powerful stuff.

Copt Hill Dawn - davidtrout

High contrast, dramatic angle, wide angle. I can't fault this image. I think you've done the best by this scene. There are images here that will beat it on this occasion but I can't fault what you have done, bravo!

King's Forest (hand-held) - WaywardCharlie

Looks like hand-held three times to me.
I always enjoy seeing experimentation but, I'm viewing this as a step on a potential journey rather than a convincing end product. Do I like it? Yes I do. As it stands I think you could be braver with the cropping removing quite a slice from the top and nearly all the ground from the bottom this would really help focus one in on the woods and help take ones eye deeper in, it would also lead it towards being a slightly more abstract image which I think would complement the type of shot.

Coffee, give me more coffee

Sycamore Gap - stephen-s

Yes, yes , yes, it's been photographed a zillion times.
Does that matter I ask myself, NO. A beautiful landscape in excellent light, wonderful composition/ framing but the star of the show remains that wonderful Sycamore cradled in its landscape. Go on take it, first place is yours. Congratulations.

Beech at Packwood House - davidwozhere

Another shot that I'm sure many of us would have been drawn to take. The lovely twisted trunks and limbs against the beautiful foliage that only beech can do. I do have a couple of niggles, the minor one, I find the image a bit, what I call jangly (another made up word) a little over sharpened maybe or a small crop of a larger image, very minor but it could be softened down just a fraction. Now the bigger observation from my point of view, are you ready? Well, for me the tree on the right of the frame should either be in or out. From what I can see here I'd crop in removing it from the picture, for me the image then has a stronger composition, other views will vary. It does remain a lovely image just as presented.

Winter Tree...Oh Canada - JudithAnn

Another lovely image, everything controlled and beautifully presented. Whilst not a winner on this occasion I can't fault it. I can mention how the image makes my eyes move. The beauty for me is in the light on the frost and snow covered trees but with the strong track lines lead my eyes straight through the image to the misty distance where there is nothing to stop me, I then have to drag my eyes back to the beautiful frost laden trees, then the track takes me off again. An observation rather than a criticism. Beautiful image.

Walk in the snow - pipnmels

Another lovely winter scene and a real contrast to JudithAnn's. This being dark and brooding wintry greyness. I'm glad you did stop, take and enter this. The trees standing stark and bare through deep mid winter holding out for the spring to come.
I do have one complaint. You really do need to clean or get cleaned your sensor, there is a very large number of dust spots spoiling an otherwise lovely image.

Hang on, more coffee......

Branches in Autumn Light - GlynM

Now I can warm up a little with this very enjoyable tree lined canal shot. Love the light striking the leaves on the trees and the leaves on the water. The canal and path leading us on a lovely arc through the image.
Here it comes.
One thing that spoils the image slightly for me is the large nearly all black section on the right of the image, being so large and so dark it unbalances the otherwise lovely image. I'd either raise the exposure in this area or more likely if it were mine I'd crop most of the black area off to put the path edge into the corner of the image, worth a try I'd argue. A lovely scene.

Tree Silhouette - paulb531

This does look like a conversion to mono. With the low winter sun casting the long shadows over the snow you've succeeded in giving this tree shot some drama. Well seen and well handled.

Sequoia Sempervirens 1938 - i-Berg

1938 the year of planting?
The scene is set with just the bare trunks, do we need more, not I. I can see how mighty these great trees are. A good use of high contrast mono, this image takes us in then takes us up, up to the light.
Despite not having anything in the image to scale these trees to it manages to convey how mighty they are. We are enclosed by these benign monsters. A top photograph.

Leaning Over - MikeInDevon

This poor struggling tree. Whilst I'm not totally convinced by the composition the image conveys well the struggle this poor tree has to endure to survive. I also think it is a very nice well managed mono that suits the subject well.

A mighty Tree - Mag07

You Drama Queen!
Another shot making great use of a giant redwood. You've taken on a lot with this image and by jove you've pulled it off. Getting in close, working that wide angle and shooting into the sun! Nothing blown nothing blacked out a great HDR shot. The crescent of tree tops framing our primary tree as well. My only niggle, wish you could have squeezed the whole crown into the shot. Another top shot.

Muncaster Castle and Tree - johnriley

Perhaps you know whats coming, even your title gives the game away. "Muncaster Castle and Tree". What you got to ask yourself punk, is this an image of an old castle or an image of a tree. Just a bit of a crop of the left of the image shifts the emphasis firmly in favour of the tree. OK I'll give you 49% castle and 51% tree, must be in a good mood or something.
A lovely tree, perhaps planted as a specimen tree in front of this fine building, the two actually compliment each other well and I'm enjoying the fisheye distortion in the image. I don't think you originally had the lens detail attached but that lens was my guess.
Well framed and exposed image, it makes me realise I must visit this place again, it's been too many years.

Sun Tree - Simonmac

Another well handled into the sun shot. Could you have stepped back a bit and made more of the shadows maybe?
You have succeeded in giving us a rather fine burning bush, the bit of flare adding to the image. As said at the beginning, a well handled shot.

Not the norm - ken2390

Whist I can enjoy the lovely blowsy blossom as a tree and as an image I am struggling with it a little. The fence and support hoops create quite a visual distraction from the main subject. You have handled the exposure and colour well. I look forward to seeing an image in a few years when it has filled out into more of a tree and can dominate its surroundings.

By the Wonky Road - Abe_Normal

I thought something had moved about a bit.
I like this shot, whilst there is a lot of road as a percentage of the image I think the tree manages to hold its own and be dominant, the road leading us to it and the landscape beyond.
The weakest part of this image in both iterations is the sky, you've worked on it slightly differently in this version I think. As the sky adds little in this case, I think I'd be tempted to crop some of it thus reducing its impact.
The main feature, the tree, is showing us some lovely transitional colours catching some lovely light, a well composed shot.

The Southern most Baobab - Noelcmn

A lovely record of this amazing tree.
Is this a home developed print that has been scanned? I'm made curious by the smudge/ streaks down the sides of the image and lack of exif.
Anyway , these are amazing trees and it's lovely to have an image of one in the competition. It is a quite high contrast image which on the whole works but I wouldn't mind the shadows being just a little lighter to show a bit more detail, but then I'm enjoying the rich colours that come with higher contrast.

Now to the places and such.

1st place stephen-s with Sycamore Gap
2nd place i-Berg with Sequoia Sempervirens
3rd place Mag07 with A mighty Tree
My highly commended

QuestionableCarrot Autumn
davidtrout Copt Hill Dawn
JudithAnn Winter Tree....Oh Canada
pipnmels A walk in the snow
paulb531 Tree silhouette

Honestly well done all, a fantastic selection of images that have been really tough for me to pick out the winners, BRAVO!

Best wishes to you all



Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 15:53
Congratulations to the Winner and other places. Thanks to Nigel for the interesting subject, the judging and the comprehensive comments.



Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 17:36
Thanks Nigel for the competition and the work you put into judging it. Congratulations to Stephen for his Sycamore Gap winner. Its a pleasure to see this scene from a viewpoint quite different to the usual view taken by so many photographers. Well done also to I-Berg and Magdalena and the HCs. Thanks my inclusion among the HCs.
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout


Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 18:00
Wow, what a great selection of awesome images. You had quite some work to do! Thank you so much for the comments and congratulations to the winners and everyone else.
'Photography...it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten....' (Aaron Siskind)


Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 18:31
What a tremendous set of photos we have this week. I hard one to judge and well done to Nigel for picking a winner and the feedback. Congratulations to Stephen - excellent shot.



Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 18:57
Hi - Thanks for the comprehensive judging, the good subject and the win Nigel.

Well done to everyone who place or submitted images, it must have been a tough job judging this week as the standard of the images was very good... I will put my thinking cap on and get a subject set later this evening.



Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 19:17
Fabulous challenge, and I suspect all photographers love trees, all too evident in not only the quantity, but also the quality of images submitted. Honour due to Nigel, for the challenge, and the judging exercise. Great stuff. Congratulations to stephen-s, i-Berg and Mag07 and the HC's. The Baobab is in fact a two image stitch, and too much PP to get it suitable. Hence the lack of EXIF.


Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 19:49
Terrific images, judging and winning entries, many thanks for a great competition!



Link Posted 05/03/2018 - 23:17
Thanks to Nigel for an orderly, well-run competition.

Congrats to the winner and other podium finishers.


Link Posted 06/03/2018 - 01:36
Congrats Stephen with a lovely shot in First place, also to Magdalena in 2nd, and the HCs. Some achievements against this quality field. Thank you Nigel for the runner-up spot - much appreciated. And yes indeed - 1938 was the year of planting.
Last Edited by i-Berg on 06/03/2018 - 01:40


Link Posted 06/03/2018 - 09:03
Many thanks Nigel for another of your great and well managed competitions. I think your choice of subject worked very well to encourage an excellent number of entries.

Congratulations to Stephen, runners up i-Berg and Magdalena, the HCs and everyone else for a fantastic set of images.



Link Posted 10/03/2018 - 08:15
Wonderful competition.

I love trees too and these entries are amazing!

Thank you so much for the competition and judging, and well done to the winner, places and HCs.

All the best
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