Weekly Comp #543 - A close-up B&W Christmas Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 10/12/2017
Judge: drofmit

Christmas with the colour knocked out!!
A Christmas or Yuletide close-up picture....
not necessarily macro.... but I'm not ruling that out...
in true black & white... no colour!!
Nor something black & white photographed in colour....
I can't think of anything Christmassy or Yuletide'ish that would be black and white...
but I thought I'd better cover that one!!
No people, pets or animals.... sorry if that's emptied half, or more, of your archive....

Usual rules about cameras...and, as it is a weekly, you can either...
trawl through your archives... or take one for the competition.
If you are wanting to use a picture from your archives that is in colour...
be experimental with the filters...
remember that the two main colours for this time of year are Red and Green....
they are colour opposites on a colour wheel...
I am always surprised by what a difference I get from the same original, when it has colour opposites in the picture.
Competition Entries


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 00:01
Twelve entries... thank you everyone.
This machine is telling me that there are "some updates for me" and they could be a while....
so I will finish my deliberations in the morning... probably on another 'puter.Night all!
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!!"


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 10:01
Computer has finished its update... will have result as soon as possible...
but now currently in the eye of a storm with strong gusts... 94kph forecast...
and we keep getting brown-outs... keep your fingers crossed!!
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!!"


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 10:15
We have a winner... well done Noel!!
Comments, etc will follow asap.
Last Edited by drofmit on 11/12/2017 - 10:15


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 19:23
Well, that is surprising, but i'll take the honors. I thought GlynM's shot would take this, or Tyronet2000' Humbug, that brought back a lot of memories. Thanks Dromfit! Look forward to your comments. New challenge up in a few moments.


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 21:07
OK... at long last... the comments
Quite a selection to chose from... some I am discounting because they aren't actually close-ups.
A close-up is usually understood to be something around no more than a couple of feet away from the lens...
or appearing so because you've used a long zoom.

Decoration by perspicador

Not quite a close-up... I've seen the colour picture...
however, a nice choice of subject.
BUT, BUT, BUT... still lots of shake in your low light shots...
you could have really upped the ISO and chosen a faster shutter speed for this shot.
Or treat yourself to a monopod for Christmas... easier to carry around.
I use mine as a walking stick... in fact two of the three are walking poles adapted for cameras.
Yes, the result would probably have looked grainy.....
but you can have far more grain in a B&W picture...
and still have an acceptable picture.
In fact, when I was doing B&W photography....
I aimed for grain quite often, to enhance a picture.

Christmas baubles abstract by Shaun_B

Very nice use of depth of field in this shot....
making the sharpness of the strings of lights pop against the lights in the background.
Shame that you weren't a stop tighter to bring the Christmas tree lights in as sharp as the round ones.

Old and New by Nigelk

Not quite within brief... but still a nice shot... I can see why you took it.
To my eye, it needs the right hand frame to be the same distance from the S....
as the left is from the L...
this would give a better balance... and get rid of the little cluster of bright lights on the Debenhams roof at that end...
which to me, are distracting... pulling my eye from the main subject matter.

It's begining to look a lot like ......... by derek897

Ah, a real close-up... Santa.... ringing a bell??
A very nice composition..... it looks like a glass Christmas tree decoration.
If you've still got this fella, re-shoot the picture, but adjust the stops to bring his boots into sharp focus.
You are full open, or thereabouts, at f2.8, if the lights giving the bokeh become too sharp....
bring the subject and his chair nearer to the front... and move the tripod a corresponding distance back.

Alpbach, Austria by eoinandpaulahanley

Not a close-up by anymeans... nor is it particularly Christmas/Yuletide.... just wintery
The composition, however is very good... especially as a B&W photo.
The picture is an assemblage of contrasting triangles.... and opposing diagonals.
The pale sky and dark trees mirror in negative the gable end wall of the house and the snow on the roof.
Very well spotted. The middle of the picture is dominated by vertical triangles pointing up and down.
Like it!

Raspberry Pi Xmas Tree by GlynM

Great Christmas themed close-up... and a nice idea to stack the shots.
Creates a depth to the picture and subject that is almost unreal.
The starbursts on the LEDs...? the lens iris or a filter?? Very effective...
as is the "snow" in the background.
The only problem I have with it is the power input at bottom right keeps drawing my eye.

Santa Ice Sculpture by JAK

A cheery chappy.... helluva skill carving something like this...
and more skill involved in actually capturing a meaningful image.
Clear ice like this is like crystal glass... difficult to light correctly.
I'm guessing, but you had a grey sky to assist in an even lighting?
A very nice picture... just on the limits of close-up.

OTT by paulb531

Good grief! Light pollution at its worst!!
There are two side-by-side in a village near us in sleepy France...ghastly.
Again, not a close-up. Difficult to work it on a subject like this...
but you could have taken just the group by the front door.
Using a telephoto would have allowed you to zoom in to a close-up of just those lights....
without treading on their property...
although, if you knocked and asked, you'd {a} get a yes...
and {b} be offered seasonal treats!!

Let it Snow by johnriley

Nice collection of characters in your little lantern...
and a shutter speed just right to show a bit of movement in the swirling snowflakes!!
Can't find fault in it... it just doesn't quite have the pzazz!

Miniature Presents by NoelCM

Oh this is wonderful... you are on a roll, sir!!
Nice diagonal, sharp presents, nice "bouquet" in the tree.
Nice use of PP to finish.
Well shot Noel, well shot!
A winner!
The winner....

Christmas? Bah Humbug by tyronet2000

Another cracker of a picture... I can taste them from here...
lovely detail thrown out by the B&W and getting in so close.
I like the fact that the cellophane has its own set of patterns against the horizontals in the sweets...
I also like the fact that you chose to photograph just two...
parallel to one another...
and still get a nice diagonal across the picture.

Christmas Star by Abe_Normal

Last pic in, but by no means least, I quite like the way you've lit this...
The pattern of the glass [plastic though it is] is Victorian and still made...
one of my major customers was a stained glass supplies business in Barnsley...
this plastic copy of the pattern is good, it looks as sharp as the real thing.
It is a nicely photographed piece... you have got the DoF just right...
so that the back of the sides is as sharp as everything else
The shadow from the frontal flash is nicely softened by your use of a lamp to light the wall, to backlight the star.
There is only one niggle... that bit of what looks like, to me anyway, peeling paint between the bottom two arms of the star...
really needed to be either taken off if possible, or cloned out.

A dozen pix to judge... thank you all, on Thursday I was beginning to be concerned...
and apologies for this time delay...
after the update, I then had to reset all the permissions to enable me to see the net!!

So, you all know the winner... well done Noel...
Second place goes to "Santa Ice Sculpture" by JAK
Third to Mr Riley for "Let It Snow"
And HCs to... in no particular order...
Christmas? Bah Humbug by tyronet2000
Raspberry Pi Xmas Tree by GlynM
It's begining to look a lot like ......... by derek897

So to quote Mr Holder...
and may Santa bring you the lenses you asked for... and useful accessories, too!
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!!"
Last Edited by drofmit on 11/12/2017 - 21:16


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 21:37
Congratulations to the Winner and other places. Thanks to Tim for the interesting subject the judging and the comments.



Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 23:07
An interesting competition, it must have been because it inspired me to shoot an image specifically for it.

Well done to all, some great ideas.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 11/12/2017 - 23:44
I didn't have anything really suitable until that weekend so the York sculptures were timely, especially the one of Santa which just happened to be the first one I came across.
So thanks for the second placing Tim and well done to Noelcmm and JR for their podium placings and the HCs.
John K


Link Posted 12/12/2017 - 09:38
Many thanks Tim for such an interesting take on a Christmas theme.

Congratulations to Noel for his superb craftsmanship with the well deserved winning image, the other placements and everyone else for a wonderful set of interpretations.



Link Posted 13/12/2017 - 11:28
Congratulations to Noel for his deserved win. Thanks to Tim for the competition and feedback.

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