Weekly Competition #74 - Brewing Up A Storm Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 07/12/2008
Judge: davidtrout

The obvious choice of images would be of moody landscapes with bad weather looming and they can make very dramatic and appealing pictures. But it sometimes pays to 'think outside the box.' A storm brewing could also mean something awful is about to happen, the proverbial is about to hit the fan. Over to you creative souls and the best of luck,rndavid
Competition Entries


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 07:12
Predictably, after my comments when I set the competition, the entries came in two types. The majority were the straightforward landscape interpretations which showed brewing storms and then there was the smaller group of pictures displaying lateral thought. All of these showed imagination but didn't all work out as interesting pictures.
My final choice was a traditional landscape by Lenscape, so well done it had to be my winner, although the second and third placed shots ran it close. Congratulations and over to you for the next subject Lenscape.

1st: Lenscape.
2nd: Beginner.
3rd: Grahamwalton.
HCs: Tony O; Dr Mhuni; NeilR; Womble

My comments are in the order the pictures were posted:

Kacsoisti: A very moody shot with a dramatic sky. For a picture of a brewing storm I'm not convinced that the overall blueness, which I find a bit overdone, packs enough menace. I like the serated ridge of distant peaks.

beebee: I like letter box crops for many photos when the situation demands it but here I find the crop a little too severe. However the content of the picture certainly fulfills the requirements of this competition, there is a storm on the way. The central area of the image is wonderful. Those sharp trails of clouds make a powerful statement. A considerable crop from each side would make this an easier picture to view and also bring up the drama in the middle of the picture. The photo is sharp enough to sustain quite a big enlargement.

Dr Mhuni: Another photo with tremendous drama in the clouds. Again there is a blueness in the sky but it is balanced by the subdued warmer tones in the lower part of the picture. The shore line with the little jetty adds interest to a good quality shot. HC.

IKRNR: I like the silkiness of the sea and the thin line of a jetty or some sort of mooring device across the horizon. The sky is certainly menacing but I would like it better if the magenta cast was toned down. A tiny bit less exposure across the whole image would add more impact.

Josh: Josh is one of those who 'thought outside the box' and created a picture rather than just photographed what was before him. I like the thinking behind this shot, the glass is falling so a storm must be on the way. Whether it works as a stand alone picture is open for debate.

Tony O: Another original idea and one that I think works pictorially as well. The Typhoon Tea is an inspired touch and the elegant tea pot makes an interesting picture. HC.

NeilR: There is certainly a storm brewing here - the facial expression is tremendous. I remember this picture from the recent kids' expression competition but there's nothing in the rules to say you can't enter the same image in more than one competition. This picture is more tightly cropped than the earlier version and I think it works much better. It's a delightful shot. HC.

EricP: A happy scene of people enjoying themselves at an outdoor event. But look at that sky, the fun is about to be washed out. This is a good interpretation of the subject.

Mille19: Is it a quality photo? Yes. Does it fulfil the aim of this competition? Up to a point. The quality of light and detail in the hillside are pure delight but darker tones in the sky would make it a more menacing picture. A tighter crop across the bottom would shore up the composition.

Beakynet: Another original thinker here. Give the tea a quick stir and use a long exposure to catch it swirling round to depict a storm in a tea cup. Full marks for a good idea but the final image doesn't quite sustain long term interest.

Taluca: I think the storm brewing is more symbolic than visual. The sky doesn't look scary enough and the large grassy area in the forground weakens the composition. But what drama and storms have gone on in this building - John F Kennedy and the Cuban Crisis, Richard Nixon and Watergate, Bill Clinton and his antics.... What storms await in the future?

Ganners: In many ways this is a similar shot to Taluca's. The scene itself doesn't look particlarly stormy but is there symbolism framed by the London Eye? My geographical knowledge of London is not that good but I'm assuming the building framed by the Eye is something in Whitehall or the Bank of England or something significant in these dodgy financial times.

Steve Chasey: There's a good sky with super colour but I'm not convinced it looks stormy enough. The rainbow gives a benign look and the heavy palm on the right is too dominant. The picture is slewed and needs levelling to improve the image.

Bill_and: This is one of the stormiest skies in the whole competiton and oozes menace and drama. You know you are going to get wet. The sky and skyline of the hill and mast are great, but the forground buildings are less interesting.

John Riley: Its a beautifully framed picture with good composition, wonderful reflections in the water and the couple providing a focal point. But is that sky dramatic enough for the subject of this competition? I feel it needs more impact.

Beginner: Corsenside Church reminds me of a very similar church right on top of the ridge at Grey Mare Hill near the border of Northumberland and Co Durham, between Hexham and Consett where I grew up. In this competition we have many stormy skies and others with with good forgrounds but relatively few with both these important elements in the same shot. This is a great landscape Ken and the particular joy of this is the rain storm in the clouds. 2nd.

Belinda B: The sky is terrific and threatening. The forground band of what looks like grass on sand dunes balances it very well. I like the black and white conversion but I can't help feeling you've overdone the contrast a little too much.

Cheslea Blue: At first I thought this was lacking contrast but I grew to believe this was perhaps due to the start of a sandstorm which is beginning to obliterate the landscape. The light tones are to be expected in a desert. I'm not convinced the sky, like some others in this competition, is enough of a threat.

Prieni: This is like a football match, it's a game of two halves. The left has a slight tendancy to burn out while the right half is more controlled and visually appealing but lacks the drama. The bit in the middle (half time) is terrific . I like the distant downpour going on in this section. Overall its a good seascape.

ale-K200: I would hesitate to call this banal as all the material is there to make it a very good landscape. The skyline is wonderful with the solitary tree on the right balancing the little hill with trees and buildings on the left. But there is too much forground for my taste and a crop would improve it. I'm sure a bit more work on the sky might turn it into something really dramatic as there is a lot of detail up there waiting to be brought out.

Hefty-1: A promising sunset here Hefty and then - Whammo- look at the menace in those clouds overhead. The lower half and sides of the picture have a lot of black and featureless area but the cars hurrying home help to break this up.

HowardJ: I'm intrigued Howard, did you start a forest fire then hire a helicopter just to get an entry in this competition? Whatever, it's an eye grabbing shot and one that stands out in a crowd. Perhaps there's just too much smoke, or storm cloud, and not enough secondary interest to give this shot scale, but it's certainly different.

Lenscape: This is a quality photo, beautifully presented. So much for technique - what about artistry? It scores here as well. There is a beauty in this picture that is hard to match anywhere else in the competition. Consider those delicate tones in the water. the light glinting on the distant boats and the rain laden clouds blowing over the top of the hills. Enjoy. 1st

Giving Tree: You don't get a better storm than a tornado. Here a menacing cloud passes over the homes standing in a darkened street. The lights are on and add to the feeling of impending doom. I'm not quite so keen on the white areas in the sky. Hope the storm didn't damage your home Emily.

Hyram: A bit off the wall, you said it Hyram but for me its an intriguing shot posing questions like what the hell is it. Could be fireworks. Whatever its dramatic and eyecatching and certainly says Firestorm to me.

Graham Walton: Oh what a super seascape. Those pastel colours in the sky say wet weather is on the way and there's the downpour starting in the central area just above the island. Super scene. 3rd

Ben76: The sky definately says rain on the way but is it powerful enough to suggest a storm? Pictorially it's a very competent landscape Ben with all the right elements in place including the clump of tree and the tractor lines through the crops. I just wish the sky was a bit more dominant.

Viewfinder: That's a wodnerful weather front. I like the way the sunlight preceeds the threatening cloud across the hillside. It's well caught. If the dark clouds had been a touch darker it would have packed more impact but it is a very good landscape and one to enjoy.

Womble: I like the subdued sunset colours very much with the sunlight fanning up from the bottom right helped by the shape of the clouds. The heavier band of clouds along the horizon provides the weather warning. The thin base line with its silhouetted trees fits just nicely. HC.
Last Edited by davidtrout on 08/12/2008 - 09:18

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 10:26
Many thanks for the judging David(and for the HC), and congrats to the winners.



Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 10:50
Excellent judging David and congratulations to all the winners, especially lenscape.
Joining the Q


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 14:28
HowardJ: I'm intrigued Howard, did you start a forest fire then hire a helicopter just to get an entry in this competition? Whatever, it's an eye grabbing shot and one that stands out in a crowd. Perhaps there's just too much smoke, or storm cloud, and not enough secondary interest to give this shot scale, but it's certainly different.

No. The clouds, that's what they are, started off as white fluffy ones I took out of the aircraft window as we flew home from Malta last September. I then applied Filter/Adjustment/Inverse in PSE3. I've never tried anything like that before. I had thought of calling it "Over the top" - which I thought it was

Thanks for the comments- understood and agreed.

Congratulations to everybody.

Cymru Am Byth


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 14:42
Lenscape definitely brought a powerful photo to the comp, well done.

Great judging David, I would expect no less from you!
"Just put your eye to the camera and push the button-thingy."
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Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 14:59
Worthy winner and thanks David for your in depth reviews


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 16:33
Thanks for the comments David - this is stitch of 7 images, maybe I should have used less and knocked the two end images off. I felt the blue bits to each side showed the power of the storm, there was lightening in those clouds and I had to run along the cliff top to get back into the car before it hit. Will have a go at cropping the panoramic to see if it improves the overall feel. Thanks again.
Everything is possible - just not today.
K7, K100d, 18-55mm kit, 50-200mm, Sigma 70-300mm, 50mm f1.4, 16-45mm f4.0, 50-135mm f2.8


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 16:46
Gosh! I hadn't looked to check the results.

I'll have a new competition up shortly.

Thanks and well done everyone else. I really hadn't expected this.

K20D, K10D, K-m, MZ3, Metz 58-AF1, Optio MX4 & Linux.(No Windows)
(Gone: *istD, ME Super, Super-A)


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 18:27
Thanks very much for the 2nd place David !,I'm over the moon!. I've won 3 Photo of the week's on Photographyblog, but this is different as it is against "Real!" photographers..........thanks again, Ken
K20D...ist DS ,DA18/55,DA16/45.DA* 50/135,"A"1.7 50MM..."A" 70/210..M 50mm f2...Tamron 90mm macro,28/300 Tamron,200/500 Tamron 6.9....A Pentax DA*300... Sigma10/20,FA31mm 1.8 Ltd*********,FA 77mm Ltd!


Link Posted 08/12/2008 - 19:41
Congratulations lenscape and thank you David for the judging.

Bodies: K20D (2), K10D, Super A, ME Super, Auto 110 SLR, X70, Optio P70
Pentax Glass: DA* 300, DA* 60-250, DA* 50-135, DA* 16-50, DA 70 Ltd, FA 31 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA 18-55 (2), DA 12-24, DA 10-17, M 200, A 35-70, M 40, M 28, Converter-A 2X-S, 1.4X-S, AF 1.7, Pentax-110 50, Pentax-110 24
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