Weekly #709 - Just outside the door Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 21/03/2021
Judge: davidwozhere

Everyone is cooped up in their own domestic space presently but we can use our immediate environments for photo fodder nevertheless. This is a 'weekly' contest so you are allowed to use archive images as well as any that you take for this specific purpose. The only rule is that you must have used a Pentax camera (or accepted clone of one).
Competition Entries


Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 12:10
That attracted a wonderful range of entries. Thank you for your submissions.

Coaltit by Perspicador
Perfectly framed inside variously focused branches and twigs this coaltit really looks 'the business' and the critical focal point of its eye is spot on. Super shot.

Fir Tree Demise by Johnwnjr
Not what you'd expect outside the door but it makes an excellent and very well composed picture.

Thirsty Work by MHOL190246
Total disdain for whatever water its owner supplied - this tastes better! Nice composition, the bowl coming in from the left and the cat from the right, intersecting at the point of action - but why did you crop off the top of its ear?

Water's Edge by Nigelk
It just exudes peacefulness. Looking for all the world like a drawing by an accomplished pastel and charcoal artist you have captured the essence of your garden stream beautifully. Few of us could make successful in-camera multiple exposure compositions - probably because we have never tried !

Fungi on Parade by JAK
I saw the detail here and thought, "Wow, what lens is this?" It certainly deserves its 'Limited' status. But is this a limitation in itself? Clinical perfection is just the job to present detail and this image has that in spades. However, to present this in a context of 'just outside the door' necessitates the greater environment being shown as well which clashes somewhat in a macro study of a group of fungi - and that's where, for me (a macro person), a bit of a visual rift opens up. That said, the outright 'macro' content is stunning.

Crop in snow by cats_five
Here we get just the opposite, where subject and environment blend together seamlessly. I'm trying the figure out if it is colour or B&W (not that it matters here). The longer focal length and, I assume, a judicious crop has resulted in a lovely consistent pattern of shoots in every portion of the frame and the slight cant off horizontal has avoided a boring series of horizontal stripes. Exposure is near perfect, retaining a wealth of detail if you care to examine it. This is a fine piece of 'simplicity'.

Ideal Pet by tyronet2000
Double take there - it's such a lifelike model. Classic piece of composition that guides the viewer all the way round the wealth of detail in the scene and every time, you return to those bright eyes and a wet(?) nose. It makes a pleasing and satisfying picture.

Flyboy by vic cross
Nearly everyone has had a go at one of these sparkling jewels. As soon as you go for the 'threequarter' view it becomes decision time. Do we focus on the eyes, the brilliant thorax, the wing detail? The closer you go the harder it becomes to get it all sharp. I'm guessing it's a Tamron 90 Vic and you have learned now that its good right up to f32? (which, I think, would only have reduced the shutter speed to 1/125th). First attempts - great stuff!

Dandelion Seed Heads by newbiek50user
Another shot that is precisely the opposite of the previous one. Vic's was high ISO, high speed, high f and this is about as low in all of them as you can get and uses a competing macro lens. While the Tamron's f16 was hard and crisp, the wide f5.6 here has produced a much softer result. It suits the dreamy dandelion clock that isn't about to fly away but it does camouflage the amazing amount of detail that is undeniably present in the chosen focal plane. (check out the bristles around the top and the very central seeds). Perhaps the idea suggested by the central seeds, that are the stated subject matter, could be emphasised by getting even closer or cropping to display that detail without the competing fuzziness? It's a trade off between dreaminess and macro punch.

Blossom by PRYorkshire
Winter cherry makes such a refreshing reminder that spring isn't far away and, as you have discovered, that pink makes a really pleasing companion to a blue sky behind the bare twigs and branches. While the Tamron AF is very good, you still have to point it at the right spot and you nailed it beautifully to highlight all those pretty stamens. You picked a nice group of blooms as well that have produced a very nice composition. I'm not sure about the evening light though since I know you can get a far brighter punch with these.

Contract employee by Flan
What a wonderful blend of colours. And great use of a square format to frame a quite difficult composition. It has bags of impact but could do with the shadows being raised quite a bit to bring out the details in the dark parts of the bee.

Shroom by Noelcmn
I'm guessing, from the scale of the blades of grass that these were quite tiny? It's a nice 300mm lens too judging from the detail in the middle and the bokeh in general. But why ISO140 that has prevented the use of the far higher f number you need to focus across the entire cap? It was surely on a tripod at 1/10th second so the only practical limitation here was the ISO capability of the camera itself. You can take some nice "macro" style images with 300mm lenses, as this demonstrates but something went awry here?

Bob by retsoor
Another example of a cat caring nothing for human boundaries. He owns it all ! Nice of him to even look at you and better that you'd set things up right to catch him when he did. Very nice handling of extreme shadow with bright lighting and a purrfect shot of someone who knows your place in the scheme of things.

This was a quality bunch of submissions, without a doubt and although Masterchef can put multiple winners through, I can't, so I'm going with what I see as technical excellence....

1st: Nigelk has produced a little wonder with his 'Water's Edge'
2nd cats_five's near perfect exposure of a crop field in snow together with that composition
3rd Perspicador's almost 3D coaltit and its beady eye that is so well framed.

And everyone else is charging right up behind them.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link


Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 12:25
Congratulations to the Winner and other Placings. Thanks to davidwozhere for the interesting subject, the judging and the critique.



Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 14:33
A worthy winner in a very interesting competition with some great entries


Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 14:50
Thank you for honouring the Eye of the bird with a placement! I do hope we can pay homage to the harbingers of Springtime with Nigel's new competition!


Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 16:22
Thanks davidwozhere for the critiques on all the photos, congrats to You Nigelk a worthy winner and also to cats five I also really liked that image.


Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 16:22
davidwozhere wrote:
However, to present this in a context of 'just outside the door' necessitates the greater environment being shown as well which clashes somewhat in a macro study of a group of fungi - and that's where, for me (a macro person), a bit of a visual rift opens up. That said, the outright 'macro' content is stunning.

Well a shot showing the 'greater environment' was used for the contest as the competition was titled, 'Just outside the door' so I'd have thought that the inclusion of the environment was essential and to be expected, otherwise it could have been taken anywhere at any time.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 22/03/2021 - 16:34
Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 20:02
Thanks David for an excellent competition and comments. Well done to Nigelk, cats_five and Perspicador, all outstanding photos


Link Posted 22/03/2021 - 20:07
Should I have gone for an easier option based on my immediate reaction and said, "I don't like it"?
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link


Link Posted 24/03/2021 - 18:26
Add another congrats to NgelK, Cats_five and Perspicador, worthy winners. Thanks to our Judge for a wonderful challenge and matching C&C's. Something went awry-indeed it did. Its called laziness. Been out for much of the day, and saw this as drove into the yard, and just grabbed the camera and shot with whatever lens was on it- light was fading fast and I was tired. Just did not feel like getting on the knees with a Macro lens for a shroom. A tripod is so much more convenient, I love mushrooms, but not enough to do all that But you are right, I should have done more with the opportunity. And it was indeed a small shroom.
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