Weekly Competition #657 A favourite topic Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 01/03/2020
Judge: davidtrout

Weekly competitions have been low in entries of late so I wondered if each photographer was allowed to pick their own subject it might encourage more people to take part. We have so many fine photographers on PUF, all of whom have their own favourite subjects at which they excel. I wondered if each and everyone picked a favourite shot from their own specific photographic skills. anything from table top to landscapes, transport to wildlife, abstract to architecture, for instance, we might get more entries. So for one week only its time to pick your own and give me sleepless nights trying to distinguish between the respective merits of a wide range of entries.
Other than that the usual weekly competition rules apply: your image must be shot on a Pentax or closely related clone and entries close midnight Sunday March 1 British time.
Competition Entries


Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 00:07
Pentax Weekly Comp #657 'A Favourite Subject'

Not a massive entry but one with some quality work and a fairly wide range of subject matter including people, natural history, architecture and sport.

Geese in flight by Perspicador
A good sharp colourful picture uncluttered by extraneous detail this satisfying image does what it says on the tin. A 300mm lens, relatively high ISO of 800 and an aperture of f16 was was quite enough to freeze the birds in flight and retain sharpness.

What the shell's that bright light by davidwozhere
Very nicely done macro shot, sharp where it should be and defused where it shouldn't. Care has obvously gone into the choice of shutter speed and aperture to create this attactive and well crafted image. My reservation is the highlight which provides an excuse for a punny title. It could be addressed within a few seconds in PS by cloning out the two oblong shaped highlights on the left to merge them into the bokeh, but then you'd have to come up with another title. Life's a bitch.

Worn by Nigelk
So you don't consider yourself a portrait photographer Nigel? You could have fooled me. A portrait gave you POTW not so long ago and your portfolio has some excellent examples. This gritty mono is full of character, atmosphere and exquisite detail. Above all his bright shining eyes are sharp.

I know you by Pipinmels
Faces in a crowd are a great favourite subject for photographers with many street events to choose from to provide willing models. Among them re enactments, the Whitby Goths and Edinburgh Fringe to name just a few. This colourful image is a great example with close up detail and above all terrific eye contact.

Staines Police Station by Aitch53
Steve has expertly captured the new nick, using the blue lamp from the old one to good effect as a foreground feature. I like the colour match between the dark patch of blue sky, the blue architectural feature and the dark blue of the lamp. Puirists might quible over a detail like the converging verticals but in an image like this, taken from an acute angle, they could hardly be corrected.

Film Noir lighting. Now better known as Neo Noir by Vic Cross.
Dark deeds afoot here. Cards on the table, some tokens, a bottle of something potent and, to misquote Lady Bracknell, A HANDGUN? The blinds are drawn to prevent prying eyes although one has been twisted suggesting someone in the room tried to peer out. So after Film Noir we now have Neo Noir... then came Nordic Noir (Wallander) while in British TV drama we've had Jock Noir (Rebus, Taggart and Sheltand) , Geordie Noir (Vera), Oh dear, it'll all end in tears. Thanks Vic for our trip into dark places - and the longest title in this competition.

An Urban Landscape by Paulb531
I love urban landscapes every bit as much as the open countryside, perhaps even more so. Sheffield was my father's birthplace and I have happy memories of visiting grandparents there as a small boy. Paul's picture shows a different world from my early years although I can recognise the railway station and assume this picture was taken from the hill next to it where there used to be a massive housing complex, perhaps still is. Its a well defined mono showing the new tower blocks, including Hallam University and my eye scans across the city centre picking out many styles of modern architecture. Love it.

Behind the shed by GlynM
An old wheel barrow stacked next to a green plastic waterbut and a rustic shed standing in a shady corner on a canal bankside, so simple yet so restful. I've always found canals in rural surroundings extremely peaceful, unlike those in urban and industrial areas with old prams and shopping trollies tipped in. Glyn is a master of still life photgraphy and his skills in arranging perfect composition have been put to excellent use here. Colouful but not garish, wonderful reflections in the still water, the shed overdue a fresh paint job, sheer delight.

Stormy out there by Drofmit
Tim's canary cornered thorn in close detail makes a wonderful natural history contribution to this week's 'pick your own subject' competition. The careful framing and positioning concentrates on the colourful head of this wee beast which rich in colour and detail in sharp contrast to the main body and wings of the moth.

High Beech Church, Epping Forest by JAK
Country churches make good subjects for architectural photographers and all rounder JAK has produced this example. Framed by trees and with foreground interest in the gravestones this fine image of the church is enhanced by an interesting sky, happily not over worked in PS as so many skies often are. I like the added framing which makes an interesting presentation.

Common Blue Butterfly by Retsoor
Lovely colour contrast in this, the green out of focus background making the beautiful blue of the butterfly really stand out. The brown of the out of focus branch cutting diagonally across the images does distract a little, could it be cloned out effectively to merge it into the bokeh?

Leaf hopper by Noelcmn
Great close up and just two colours. The brown of the insect is offset perfectly by the green bokeh and the the sharply rendered blade of grass. The insect stands out briliantly against all this grenery.

Give me the ball by Snakey
Good sharp action up close. The determination on the players' faces is dramatic and the depth of field perfect to throw the background out of focus. I'm impressed that with just 800 ISO you got /1250 of a second shutter speed at F11, Everything that needs to be sharp is sharp. I would have played safe and upped the ISO quite a bit for this but you got away with it. Well done.

1: NigelK
2: GlynM
3: Vic Cross
The remainder of the entries were each and everyone worthy of being highly commended.
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout
Last Edited by davidtrout on 02/03/2020 - 00:26


Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 01:22
Well, Vic's 'trying it for a bit of fun' paid off. Glynn's 'opportunistic' composition is very well considered but Nigel's portrait knocked them all for six - as it did when he first showed it. Great stuff guys. And thanks to David for the careful critiques.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

vic cross

Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 09:23
Well as I said that was a bit of fun. Thanks for 3rd. place and congrats to NigelK and GlyynM.
So come on Nigel what do you have in store for us?.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.


Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 10:17
Thank you for the competition and my top spot David. Congratulations to my fellow podium places and the HC's.
This weeks competition is live and ready for entrants.
Please do have a go and enter.


Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 11:56
Excellent challenge, worthy winner there Nigel. Gritty emotive portrait, and ever so nice in B/W. Congrats. End extended to GlynM and Vic Cross. Thanks to our Judge for the challenge, C&C's. much appreciated.


Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 15:54
Many thanks David for another excellent competition subject and your extensive comments. While I thought that the open subject was a very good choice I worried that it would make your task somewhat harder. However Nigel's image was an undoubtedly a knock-out win .

Thanks also for the second place .

Congratulations to Nigel, fellow podium member Vic and everyone else for rising to the challenge with such a fantastic set of images.



Link Posted 03/03/2020 - 12:26
I seem to recall that Nigel won a weekly competition with that image three years ago. Well done Nigel anyhow.
John K
Link Posted 03/03/2020 - 15:12
Thanks to David for the freestyle competition and comments. Congratulations to Nigel for a stunning portrait. Well done to Glynn and Vic for 2nd and 3rd spots both with great pics.


Link Posted 06/03/2020 - 12:11
JAK wrote:
I seem to recall that Nigel won a weekly competition with that image three years ago. Well done Nigel anyhow.

I won a camera bag (which I still use thank you Pentaxuser) in the 500th weekly competition with "Crazy Man" in 2017. Different image to the one presented here. The above image is in my portfolio.
Last Edited by Nigelk on 06/03/2020 - 12:13
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