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Weekly Competition #65 Desktop Backdrop Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 05/10/2008
Judge: GlynM

I want to see pictures that you would use as a backdrop on you desktop. I think it needs to be something that you would be happy to see day after day and not clash too much with any clutter that you might also have on the desktop. I am looking forward to judging my first competition. Good luck, Glyn
Competition Entries
Peter Bargh
Posted 29/09/2008 - 10:32 Link
That's a great idea for a theme. We have a download feature on ePHOTOzine one of the sections encourages members to upload wallpapers (the Internet name for screen backdrops)And it's surprising how many are uploaded that just would not work. Will be good to see what Pentax User members come up with.
Posted 02/10/2008 - 08:33 Link
Can you advise rules regarding number of submissions to each competition?
K10D + battery grip: 16-50mm DA* F2.8 :35mm F2.8 LTD Macro: 70mm F2.4 LTD ,Pentax DA 50-200 F4-5.6, 18-55 DA, AF 360-FGZ
Posted 02/10/2008 - 10:46 Link
One submission per competition has always been the accepted rule.
Joining the Q
Posted 02/10/2008 - 11:10 Link
hefty1 wrote:
One submission per competition has always been the accepted rule.

K10D + battery grip: 16-50mm DA* F2.8 :35mm F2.8 LTD Macro: 70mm F2.4 LTD ,Pentax DA 50-200 F4-5.6, 18-55 DA, AF 360-FGZ
Posted 06/10/2008 - 00:26 Link
Thank you all very much for your submissions. Within some subjective constraints I think they would all work as backdrops which is a terrific achievement and reflects on the skill and commitment of the group.

Choosing a winner is very hard. However I have had lots of fun looking at these photos and writing the comments as images have appeared throughout the week.

At the start of this competition I put some thought into what I expect to get out of a good backdrop example. Traditionally I thought that the desktop backdrop should be calming, not too distracting but be pleasing to look at. It also needs to cope with the collection of icons I have on my desktop in that the backdrop should not detract from easily finding a particular icon. This could be achieved with an area of plain colour or just a little softening or defocus around part, or all, of the perimeter.

The subject matter is probably dependant on our personal environments and tastes. Certainly I had different approaches between work and home. In a window-less or urban environment you probably want a dose of wide open spaces. Landscapes and skies meet these sort of requirements. Nature seems to play a big part and natural textures, patterns, flowers, plants and water all appear to work well. Additionally I think simple, but soft, abstract patterns are very good. Man-made objects or part of objects, viewed from unexpected angles can also be made to work.

Having previously looked at the desktops of my colleges I saw that there were also other objectives in play. Many had reminders of their family, a holiday, special event or an achievement.

I like to see some detail around the edges, even if it has been softened or defocused. I think this can give a hint or reminder when the backdrop is peeking around the edges of open windows or panels. After all for a lot of the time we are doing something on our desktops and much of the backdrop is obscured.

I think all these entries largely work as backdrops and therefore meet the requirements of the theme. This makes judging very hard and becomes my personal taste. If I have not picked your submission for a winner then it is my failing rather than yours. They are all brilliant.

I decided that I would choose one from each broad categories of landscape/buildings/skies, man-made objects plus people (including the Dalek!) and plants/flowers/creatures then pick the overall winner from these.

On this basis my winners are:

1st - lenscape for Red Sky

2nd - womble for Doronicum

3rd - cabstar for Ebony Bones performs at Bingley

Highly commended goes to:

Ericp for field
Prieni for Baltic Calm
Deccy for Desktop Backdrop
missmarple for My desk top
beakynet for Autumn Leaves

I have placed a comment with each picture. I will also post the complete set in the forum thread for this competition for those that like to have all the comments in one place.

As a summary my comments for the winning and commended entries are repeated below:

Red Sky lenscape
This is very clever. It is a minimalist sky-landscape that works really well. The rays of light link the whole screen to the illuminated clouds. I would love to have this on my work desktop. It would create an awakening each day when I start my computer up.

No problems with the placement of icons and enough detail around the edges for some hints/reminders to peek around the edge of open windows.

Doronicum womble
I have been waiting all week for some flowers and this image is absolutely stunning. For the purposes of a backdrop the framing of this shot is excellent. It has a wonderful bokeh. It will brighten anybodies day.

There is a purpose designed space for some icons and loads of detail around the edges for reminders/hints to peek around open windows.

Ebony Bones performs at Bingley cabstar
This obviously would work very well as a backdrop. It is bright, colourful and oozes a sense of fun. I guess you would have to have been there, or be a fan, to have this on your desktop but within that framework it is brilliant.

There is stacks of safe space for some icons and enough detail for hints/reminders to peek around open windows.

field ericp
I think this image has impact! My eye races along the ridge expecting to fly off the end. I think this creates a landscape backdrop with attitude. I like the way that the foreground is in focus and they way the slope in the foreground gently twists out to the horizon. The sky is very nice and the view to the horizon is very good. The colours feel very pleasing as well.

There is just a little something creeping into the right had side of the frame that I would want to crop or clone out.

Some care will be needed with the placing of my icons but the upper left or right would be fine. There is lots of detail for some hints/reminders to peek around the edge of open windows.

Baltic calm - Prieni
This is lovely. The fantastic sky and gentle, almost ripple like, waves that smooth out toward the horizon create a very calm and peaceful image. I think it is a very simple concept and should work exceptionally well as a backdrop.

No problems finding space to site some icons although I think this image might make me re-think my icon usage to see if I could live without them so as not to spoil the view. Enough details around the edges to peek around the edge of open windows.

Desktop Backdrop Deecy
I agree, Im sure this image would improve productivity if used on a workplace desktop. The piercing eyes and slight tilt of the head create a Im watching you effect. I think it is a very well presented image. The focal depth covers the entire beast and the background bokeh is terrific. This image would create a very good backdrop. Like Neilrs tiger Im sure the photographer must be very proud of this work.

There is a little loop of thread in the fur on the right hand side and it makes me wonder what this animal was doing before it turned its concentration onto us.

I would have no problems placing some icons down the left hand side and there is plenty of detail around the edges for hints/reminders to peek around open windows.

My desktop - missmarple
This was another image that I was really pleased to see. This is obviously the nose of a loved soft toy and falls into my man-made objects at an unusual angle category. I think it works very well. I like the lighting that comes from above and that the nose is the point of shallow focus.

It feels very familiar. My family has a large collection of bears which are very similar to you dog and we would love this as a backdrop.

The dark left hand side provides plenty of space for some icons and there are lots of details for some hints/reminders to peek around the edge of open windows.

Autumn Leaves beakynet
When I set this competition I thought we would see a lot of natural textures, particularly leaves. Also looking at the backdrops of my colleagues at work I saw that some had pictures of their families and wondered if we would see any of these. Here we are nearly at the close of this competition and you have scored a first for both.

I think this is a fantastic image and I congratulate you for posting it. As a backdrop it obviously only works for close family but within that constraint it is brilliant.

I would have to put my icons across the top where there is a nice soft area for them so no problem there. There is also a huge amount of detail for hints/reminders to peek around open windows.
Posted 06/10/2008 - 00:53 Link
Excellent judging and a great selection this week - good subject!

Well done to all the winners and especially Lenscape, looking forward to the next one.
Joining the Q
Posted 06/10/2008 - 01:20 Link
Thannks for the great judging and the highly commended! I did hesitate with this image as it is very busy, however, it is the backdrop of my mother-in-law's PC! It was taken in Greenwich park in November, it was just a great place to let the boys run about playing in leaves, I got some of my favourite shots that day!

Congratulations to Lenscape!
Bodies: K5IIs, K7, MZ5n, LX, MV
Lenses: DA*16-50, DA18-55WR, DA18-135, DAL35, M50 F2, A50 f1.4, FA50 f1.4, DA*50-135, DA55-300, Tamron 70-300, DFA 100 WR Macro, M135 f3.5, Sigma 120-400 APO DG HSM, Tokina 500 f8.0
Flash: Metz 58, Metz 48
Accessories: BG4, Pentax right angle finder, Pentax mirror adaptor lens, O-ME53 Viewfinder Loupe
Auto 110 System: Auto 110, Winder, 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70mm, 20-40mm, AF100P, 1.7x telecon
Posted 06/10/2008 - 01:43 Link
Good grief!

Thanks very much. I'm dead chuffed.

I nearly didn't enter when I saw some of the earlier entrants. Some very appealing desktops there.

Congratulations to the runners up.

I'll post a subject shortly.
K20D, K10D, K-m, MZ3, Metz 58-AF1, Optio MX4 & Linux.(No Windows)
(Gone: *istD, ME Super, Super-A)
Posted 06/10/2008 - 09:27 Link
Thanks for judging Glyn, excellent write up of comments. Congrats to Lenscape from a very high quality of images.
Peter Bargh
Posted 06/10/2008 - 10:06 Link
good choice, it's the one I would have picked too. Very clean, easy to use.
Posted 06/10/2008 - 10:08 Link
Great competition, Thanks Glyn.
Cracking pictures. Well done everyone.
Posted 06/10/2008 - 16:21 Link
Thanks for judging Glyn, I nearly didn't enter having seen the images on show already, pleased I did now.

Congrats to Lenscape, a worthy winner

PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released
Posted 06/10/2008 - 23:12 Link
Glyn, well done for setting a brilliant competition subject. Comments were precise and available in all appropriate forum areas and so quick too! Thanks for all the hard work.

Well done Lenscape, good choice of new competition subject.

Posted 07/10/2008 - 00:55 Link
Thanks Glyn, Judging all those images could not have been an easy task.

Congratualtions to Lenscape on a great image and a worthy winner.

All cameras are equal but.....
Some are more equal than others
Dr. Mhuni
Posted 07/10/2008 - 12:14 Link
Many thanks for the comprehensive judging Glyn - and congrats to the winners. Glad you liked the picture and I concur with your judgment about its usefulness (or not, rather) as a backdrop. It is rather busy but I ve been restricted to recently taken pictures for entries since my hard drive went a few weeks ago, so dont have much to choose from (currently trying to resurrect my archive).

Posted 07/10/2008 - 16:05 Link
I would just like to say thank you for all your kind remarks about my judging.

I had a lot of fun looking at the submissions and writing the comments throughout the week. I felt it a real privilege to be allowed to review such a brilliant set of high quality pictures.

Now having participated in these competitions from both directions I can't emphasize enough the importance I think this competition forum has on our community.

Best regards


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