Weekly #678 - Monochrome Landscape Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 26/07/2020
Judge: JAK

I've noticed a resurgence of monochrome landscapes posted here recently so it seems a good time to find the best one taken by Pentax users. Good monochrome landscapes are not easy to produce, they require some forethought and a good understanding of light form and exposure rather than the effects of colour.

Images can have been taken as a monochrome original or converted from colour. If you've used any special effects or the use of a filter either on camera or digitally applied, a brief comment about it would be appreciated.

The usual weekly competition rules apply (https://www.pentaxuser.com/forum/topic/weekly-competition-rules--amp--guidance-6244) - the photo can have been taken at any time, however it has to have been shot with a Pentax or closely related camera. Ask if in doubt. The winner will then set and judge the competition next week.
Good luck with your entry which I look forward to seeing.
Competition Entries


Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 13:54
Thank you all for your entries and the time spent creating them as without them we wouldn't have a competition. Please remember folks these are just my views. I've looked for the photos that show a good interplay of tonal range to show that understanding of light form I referred to. Some entries have, others haven't and some could be made to.

A Bend in the Nene by GlynM
This has a lovely texture on the water surface and vibrant lighting on the adjacent field. Silver Efex has helped with the micro contrast particularly with the vegetation on the right and the background trees. A fine sky too. All in all a very pleasant photograph.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh by Perspicador
This is OK, if not making use of the full tonal range available. Often longish telephoto shots need a boost in contrast to overcome atmospheric haze. The townscape has made for a cluttered view but it is what it is, can't really go round demolishing housing blocks just for your photo! The monument is well placed in the frame and there is an interesting sky. Do I notice a slight lean to the monument?

Honister Pass by tyronet2000
This has nicely captured the lighting interplay where the sun is peeping through the clouds making for a pleasant contrasty effect on the hillside. The path coming in from the left leads nicely into the picture and the stormy clouds add a moody element. Well done.

Deserted Cattle Station by Nigelk
The real picture here for me is the derelict cottage on the left which has super light and shade. That with the dramatic cloudscape would be the photo. The buildings on the right are hard to make out and distract so think I'd lose those to concentrate on the cottage. Good use of tonal range.

Old Man of Hoy, Orkney by Johnwnjr
It is nice to have passed it by and been able to capture this. The weather didn't help and I feel it just needs perking up a bit with perhaps brightening it up and a contrast boost to make better use of the tonal range given we're missing the colour tones.

Pylons by Aitch53
The picture here is as you label it, the pylons. The pylons have a natural frame, that tree line. So not sure why the field has been included as it adds nothing of additional interest and somewhat spoils it. The silhouette of the pylons peeping through the trees and against that sky makes for a really good monochrome photograph.

The mists of Strath Ban by davidtrout
David's image certainly catches the eye with A contrasty reflection in the lake. I'm not saying the picture isn't technically level, I'm not certain about that, but I feel the overall effectiveness of the image might look better if the shore line was made level? That aside I like it a lot.

Ben Nevis from Corpach by PRYorkshire
This one's gradually grown o me. Initially I felt the processing had left it looking a little underexposed causing it to lose the shadow/sun interplay on the mountainside. The clouds are great so perhaps the landscape part could be brightened up a little?

Twr Mawr disused lighthouse by newbiek50user
This has successfully made the subject stand out with good use of tonal contrast. Well done for that. There isn't really much of interest in the sky and that occupies most of the image so I'd be very tempted to lose some of that. Nothing important would be lost.

Tide out by retsoor
This one is pleasant and has made a good monochrome image with the subject well placed in the frame. I might have been tempted moving a little to the left to let the two boats play off each other in the frame rather than having one in front of the other, assuming this could have been a possibility.

Scatterlings of Africa by Noelcmn
At first glance I believed this to be purely a skyscape. Elephants, what elephants? I've found them now! IMHO this is just crying out for some foreground interest. The elephants are just too far away and camouflaged in the lie of the land just leaving that fabulous sky.

So thank you for your entries, some interesting conversions from colour. If you ever try this again, most digital cameras and processing software actually makes simulating the use of colour filters for monochrome images quite easy. The different coloured filters allow one to alter the tonal range of the image to emphasize otherwise hidden elements. Adding yellow, for instance before converting to a colour image will lighten greens and enhance the clouds.
If you wish to investigate this further there's a good simple guide here, albeit intended for film:
If your camera supports coloured filters one can play around in camera to see the effect they have. Many processing software packages allow the same. Sometimes just hitting 'convert to monochrome' isn't enough.

So the the podium!

1st place: A Bend in the Nene by GlynM
2nd Honister Pass by tyronet2000
3rd The mists of Strath Ban by davidtrout
HM: Twr Mawr disused lighthouse by newbiek50user

Well done and thank you all.
Last Edited by JAK on 27/07/2020 - 13:59


Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 14:44
Thanks JAK for an interesting subject and your critical input. Congrats to Glyn, first man into the competition and first man out. Well done also to Stan, and thanks for my 3rd place. I don't think the shore line in my picture was skewed, it just ran at a different angle to a flat on view, however I take your point about the effect it portrays and if I ever use this image for public viewing again I'll try to straighten it up.
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout


Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 15:45
Wow, that was unexpected. As David has hinted above it is rare to have the first entry come out on top. I've always felt that even if it is a good contender it sets a target for for everyone else to beat.

So many thanks John for the win, plus all your excellent comments and advice and choosing such an inspiring subject which is going to be difficult to follow.

B&W photography is usually outside my comfort zone but I have been inspired by some much more knowledgeable people at my old photo club and I have to agree with your advice about having a full tonal range. Silver Efex Pro certainly did an excellent job on converting what, in colour, looked like a rather bland record shot taken because it was the first time I had been across that bridge and been free to pause in the middle. What with moving house and lock-down it was the first landscape I had taken in over a year.

Congratulations to my fellow podium members, Stan and David plus Gerald for the HM and everyone else for stepping up to the challenge with such wonderful images.

I will have a think about the next subject and post post something up shortly.


P.S. I just realised that this now means that I will have two competitions to judge next weekend but as it currently stands the monthly competition only has four entries with another promised. However there is still time to make my weekend a judging challenge .
Last Edited by GlynM on 27/07/2020 - 16:00


Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 17:43
Congrats GlynM, worthy winner, and agree with the sentiments of our judge. And extended to Tyronet2000 and davidtrout, and the HM Newbiek50user. Thanks are in order to our Judge for some constructive C&C's. always appreciated.


Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 18:31
Congratulations to the Winner which as the first entry set the bar high for the rest of us. Well done the other placing with thanks for my 2nd Place. An interesting subject and good critique.



Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 19:44
Congratulations from me too for the winner among a set of entries that I enjoyed looking at. Thank you JAK for your helpful comment on my photo of the lighthouse. Point well taken.
Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 19:48
Thanks JAK for the judging and comments. Congrats to Glyn for first place and to tyronet and David for second and third respectively. Well done to newbiek for the HM. All good pics


Link Posted 27/07/2020 - 21:46
Thank you all again for taking part and the follow up comments.
John K


Link Posted 29/07/2020 - 22:08
Congratulations to all and thanks to John for the comments on Ben Nevis from Corpach. I did wonder about the exposure on the hillside, I had concentrated on getting the clouds looking right. Will reprocess to see if I can lift the hillside contrast without losing the cloud effect.

K1000, istD, K70
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.