Weekly Competition #84 - A Face Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 15/02/2009
Judge: Galoot

Your face, a friends face, her 'indoors' face, him 'indoors' face, the kids face, the Postman's face, . . . . well you get the idea.rnrnA human face, not the dog's face or a clock face rnrnColour or B&W are fine, no objection to Photoshop'd images, just make it jump out of the screen at me.
Competition Entries


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 18:23
Sorry for the delay, here goes,

I’m not an expert judge, so my opinion should not be considered as absolute. We all have different ideas on what we like to see, and the descriptions attached to the photo-graphs are based on the theme that was set, the visual impact of the picture, the technical execution, ( exposure, focus etc. ), and lastly, what appeals to me!

I have downloaded all pictures, viewed the exif data, where available and made the comments as I viewed the full size picture in front of me. All pictures were viewed on the same screen, so comments about colours, and / or, contrast, are made in comparison with all pictures.

There are some pictures not taken on Pentax camera’s, and although there has been some discussion on this, I have decided to comment on them, but not include them in the competition, anyone not happy with this, is free to enter next weeks competition using a Pentax camera.

aGinger Him K10D
I keep waiting for the ash to drop off the cigar! Good picture, I don’t see the warm tones as a problem, but I do find the background a little distracting. A plain background and maybe mono would work well.

bigcog Matriach K10D
Thought this was Margaret Rutherford when I first saw it. Detail in the shadows is well defined, maybe a little more contrast would suit, but that is a personal taste, and it may show the wrinkles more, not very flattering. I would also like to see some more room on the left hand side, to give her something to look into.

Hyram A W-T K10D
Could pass as a publicity shot, green of the trees complementing the green of the shirt. I’m sure A W-T would be happy with it. Not as sharp as it could be, so I suspect a sever crop was necessary.

nathanever82 A Face … K10D

‘A Face …’, and what a face. Exposure is spot on, contrast is good, blacks right through to whites. Signs of flash, but no harsh shadows. The expression on the face is intriguing, were you brandishing a baseball bat ? The hand at the bottom adds to the surreal feel of the image.

johnriley The-Dissolution-of-Adam ?

Another surreal image from Mr. Riley, is it Tom Cruise? Maybe not.
Possibly a bit too surreal even for my tastes. I can see it as an album cover for KING CRIMSON, in the 70’s, or as an image from Dr. WHO.

Daniel Bridge That's close enough K10D

If this picture doesn’t make you smile, you need therapy. A wide angle study of a happy chappy .It would be nice to see a little sparkle in an open eye ?

Tony-O Eye Contact K200D
Definite ‘Eye Contact’, this could scare children !!! Tight crop on the face, I might even take a bit more from the top, it seems to focus more on the eyes. Noise showing in places, but for me this just adds to the picture. Sharp where it should be, a very graphic image.

mr. Mellow Bryce K10D
Bryce, rubbing his hand in anticipation of his tea. The Macro lens certainly brings out a lot of detail. The focus seems to on the ‘far’eye, and hands. The hands also ap-pear to be detached from the body, so it looks like there are two photographs here.

Giving Tree ‘Me’ K100D Super
‘Me’, and a nice Me it is too. Not much left of the original here, black, some white and a little grey. Maybe just too much of a tight crop, if the whole face had been included, surrounded by the black , it would be more pleasing to the eye. Seems ripe for the addition of deep red lips and baby blue eyes.

HowardJ Kneeling Monk ?
Seems a bit ‘Stone Faced’ to me! Pleasing image, but there is something lacking for me. Could be a good candidate for mono treatment.

Jerome_toole Beth K100D
Beth, looking very ‘Hollywood’ here. Would prefer to see her looking into the cam-era, she looks a bit distracted in this picture. I would also be tempted to crop a bit from the heavy dark are at the top. The focus seems to be behind the face, the detail in the pillow, appears sharper than the eyes.

beakynet Lemon Face K10D
I can almost taste the lemon myself. This picture seems a little dark to me, and could stand some cropping at the sides. I don’t think it’s my monitor that makes it look dark, as I comparing it to all the other pictures in the competition, which, so far, seem ok. I did have a little play with the image, and a crop and a small lift in levels, does make a difference.

PentaxAngel eyes K200D
Petra, good B&W image, but seems a little busy around the edges. It is dark on one side and light on the other, so my eyes keep going from left to right. I did try a tight crop on the face, and for me, it seemed to work a bit better.

Diatribe KEL Fujifilm FinePix F40fd
So cute, and you can feel the uncertainty, in the picture. The focus seems to be behind the face, with nothing really sharp. The exif data tells it was shot on a Fuji, but it is a nice photograph, and I can understand why you would enter it.

Rapala Igor K110D
Igor, having a little laugh. Lovely big eyes and a nice smile. Maybe, just missed the focus on the eyes, but I like the out of focus background. I might be tempted to crop a little from the left hand side, to get rid of the light part of the image in the bottom corner.

Aiki a birthday present K10D
I can see why a little girl would love this as a birthday present. For me the face is lacking in contrast compared to the flowers, so the flowers dominate the picture. I would like to see the face dominating. I might also make the flowers appear slightly out of focus, again to give the face more attention. Fantastic eyes, definitely a good model for photography.

Malo1961 My Own Face With A Twist ..... K10D
Yep, that’s a face. You have some fantastic ideas for pictures and unlike most of us, you can actually bring these ideas to fruition. It’s sharp where it should be, black where it should be and white where it should be. Good range of tones, that complement the subject.

Coriander Anonymous K100D
Although you may have lightened it, the image still appears very dark, the focus seems to be on the far side of the face. The heavy dark line in the background is also a bit distracting. Might liked to see a bit more of the face.

PentaxKid37 Wind Swept K10D
A wind swept friend, some how the face looks familiar to me, must be my imagina-tion. I would be tempted to crop from the right, to remove the dark area of the bush, and leave the background having the same tonal range. I would also be inclined to up the contrast on the ‘friend’, which would lift her from the almost monotone background.

JPC1970 Jessica ????
A picture any parent would be happy with. I like the warm colouring, and the vi-gnette effect. I would probably crop a bit from the top and bottom of the image, to direct attention to the baby’s face. I would keep the colour scheme, and the vignette effect. I might also rotate the picture slightly, as I’m tilting my head to view it. But all in all a good photograph.

davidtrout Face of a Goth K10D
Good Goth !!! The youth these day’s eh ? At least it gives photographers some-thing to shoot. I would crop a bit on the right to get rid of the white bits in the top corner, and de-saturate the green, this would give less distraction away from the face. The Sigma worked very well here.

brindlerainbow Clive Nikon Coolpix P80
The picture seems to lack a little contrast, it looks as though someone breathed on the lens before the picture was taken. The exif data say’s it was taken on a Nikon, so maybe that is the problem ? Cloning the tree out and converting to a high tone mono, improves it a little.

pentaxboyo Stop K10D
I get the same attitude. Sharp where it should be, around the dominant eye, hand slightly out of focus, which allows us to look through the fingers to the face. A bit dark and heavy at the top of the image, cropping this to near the top of the forehead, seems to balance the picture, and makes it more pleasing to the eye.

ericp Carnival K10D
Carnival, I feel the bright blue background is a bit distracting, I would probably lower the saturation on the blue channel, to make the face stand out a bit more. I also think the hands in this picture are a bit distracting.

Yve Happy K100D Super
Happy, she certainly seems to be!!! Good well exposed image, I can see detail in the ‘whites’, the skin tone looks natural, and there is detail in the shadows around the eyes. When I first saw the picture, I thought the girl had chewing gum in her mouth, but I think it is just good teeth !

lenscape Chloe *ist D
I was going to disqualify this entry at first, them I realized there was a face here, took me quite a while to notice it !!! Good, image of a very attractive girl. A bit of nu-dity, but not too much to offend anyone I would think. Obviously some post processing, but high class glamour shot.

cardiff_gareth Self Portrait *ist D
A well executed self portrait. Tried this a couple of times myself, never achieved anything near as good as this. Very dramatic. Skin tones seem natural, and I like the green highlight in the eye. I won’t ask how many tries you had at this.

josh Slurp K10D
I’m hearing the slurping josh, but not much else appeals to me. The background seems more in focus that the woman.

Bob and his Pentax Fiddler on the roof
This picture looks a bit ’muddy’ on my screen. There are no definite blacks here, and I think the subject needs it. I do like the definition in the beard and face. The hand does add to the picture on this occasion, but I might crop to half way down the hat.

Jackitec Jennifer K200D
A natural model here. Good looking girl dressed up for a photograph. I might crop the bottom of the picture to the bracelet and eliminate the ‘stripey thing’. I would also be inclined to lighten the girl and darken the background a bit.

PeteWelshPhotography Paloma Water Theme K10D
I wasn’t sure what to make of this photograph when I first saw it, but it is growing on me. Exposure is spot on, lighting is great, it is sharp everywhere, you can see the detail in all parts of the portrait. Very well done.

terje-l Hi, I'm new around here . . . . K200D
Good portrait, the family would be happy with it. But I think that is the limit of it, a baby portrait for the family.

gartmore impotentspider FUJI PHOTO FILM CO. Camera Model = SP-3 Pentax 645
Seems to be a conflict with the exif data, suggesting the picture was taken on a Fuji, or am I reading it wrong? Good portrait, and good range of tones. The B&W format suits the subject well. I would probably clone out the dark outline on the upper left of the picture, but that is just me.

haygnw Mark ????
Good B&W portrait. Seems sharp where it should be. Good range of tones, from black through to white. Might be tempted to crop a little off the RHS, to take the face off-centre.

bforbes Smiler K100D
Certainly smiling, a little unsharp overall. Skin tone seems quite natural. This photo might suit the B&W treatment.

MarkD Homework Snapshot K20D
The first entry from a K20D I think. Nothing really sharp, camera or model movement? But this doesn’t detract too much from a good capture. Bright highlights do catch the eye though.

Dr Mhuni Findlay ( being Findlay ) K10D
Lovely clear image, the majority of the face is in sharp focus, certainly all the im-portant bits. Glad to see the boy had blown his nose before the picture was taken, how many kids pictures have I taken, only to see snot in the final image. I like the woman in the background over-seeing the events and the little girl ignoring everything.

cobra333 the Guard ????
A little too much ‘Bear Skin’ and not enough face. Idon’t really like the blade cutting the guys face in half. I know it isn’t always possible, but a couple of steps to the right, and a tighter crop might have worked better.

Comstadcity HID in the cold ????
Nice image , I would be tempted to crop off a bit on the left, possibly right up to the hood, and close in on the face, we don’t need to much background, it’s the good looking face we want to see.

Father Ted Sheepish *ist DL
Again I would get rid of hood and background, and get closer in on the face. The look on the face is worth showing off.

Prieni Mr.Symmetry Yrtemmys ????
Almost looks natural !!! Good idea. The area around the eyes seems a bit muddy though, lightened up a bit ?

Nimitz Julie – Soft focus ????
I like the effect you have here, but some area’s in the picture are sharper than oth-ers. The lower lip and parts in the hair are sharp, which I wouldn’t expect from a soft focus image. If any bit is sharp, I think it should be the eyes.

Rob Bruce ????
A face and a landscape in one. I like the tight crop, might even have cropped to the top of the glasses.

Thanks for all the entries, there were no ‘bad’ ones, just some stood out more than others, anyway,

First Place to nathanever82, I really liked this, well composed, excellent tones, and it just jumped out at me.

Second Place to PeteWelshPhotography, Well composed, good colours and very eye-catching.

Third Place to Dr. Mhuni, a fun picture, well caught, lots of interest. Nice and sharp, I like the 18-55mm too.

There were near the top of the list too,


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 18:51
Thanks John, for the much appreciated commended, this week. Boy....did you have me cornered. Lucky for me you provided an escape route by allowing self portraits. Now face the dilemma of a man how is scared sh*tl*ss of doing portraits, and hates being photographed himself.
Anyway...Congrats to Nathan, for a well deserved First place, and to yourself, for a excellent piece of judging, and holding the new entrie record, I think.

Best regards,


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

Father Ted

Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 19:08
Thanks for the excellent and thorough judging! Congratulations to Nathan!

I had cropped the image tighter, but wasn't sure, so I re-did it to includ more of the hood...doh!!!

FWIW, I like the idea of showing the camera type with your comments
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

Pentax K10d, *istDL, Kit lens ( 18-55mm ), 50mm f1.7 lens, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Prinzflex 70-162 manual lens, Various old flashes.


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 19:19
Well done, John! Only one question: What took you so long?

You certainly had your work cut out with this one and you didn't shy away. Good range of entries and many a winner amongst them.
I left my entry to late, would have needed a reshoot, but looking at the number of entries I'm starting to be glad everytime I don't win...

Nice side effect: Martin has a new Avatar! Martin, I like it, it's a great shot. You should overcome your angst more often
I might as well change mine...

How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. - Arthur C. Clarke
Prieni's PPG page


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 19:22
Congratulations to Nathan and a big thank you to Galoot.

As Galoot suggest, mine was a severe crop but I am happy with the thought that it might pass as a publicity shot.

My aim in submitting, was an image that the subject might be happy with

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
Other Glass: Sigma 105 macro, Sigma-A APO 75-300
Flash: Metz 58 AF-1 P, Pentax AF160FC ringflash, Pentax AF280T


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 19:35
Excellent judging, well done.

One note on the EXIF data though. Film scanners often put their details into the EXIF data so a picture taken on a Pentax film camera may well end up with another make in the EXIF data. Perhaps entrants should make this clear when they submit their photos if this is the case.

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 19:44
Congratulations to winner !

Thanks, Galoot, for beeing nice - my first attempt here in forum

Its true about the background being too intensive. That can be explained by the purpos of the pic - puzzle. It would be difficult for a child to put it together with a plain background.

I should have done some additional work for the competition

Pentax K20D; SMC DA 18-55mm II kit; Sigma AF 70-300/4-5.6 APO DG MACRO
GIMP Flickr


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 19:52
I did not envy you having to judge all of these pictures. A job well done ... good job you had an extra day
Pentax K7 and K5 and several black tubey things with magnifying glass in that twist around and move in and out - to be honest I am not sure exactly what I have. Will list the proper names one day..


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 20:03
Well done John, a smart piece of judging when you had a tight work schedule. Because you chose such a good subject you had a difficult task with all the entries.
And congrats to Nathan on a worthy winner.
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 22:03
Congratulations to Nathan! Thanks for some thoughtful judging, Galoot.

I tried something radically different from anything else I've done.

My eyes are actually brown as mud. Sorry to disappoint, everone will have to use their imagination for some baby blues.
"Just put your eye to the camera and push the button-thingy."
Flickr page:


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 22:34

Spot on with the judging. Agree with your comments, they are exactly what I would have said if I were objectively judging my own. Good job, well done...
K10D with Grip, 28mm,50mm,135mm,18-55,18-200,70-300mm, Meade 2000mm catadioptric, dodgy tripod and luck


Link Posted 16/02/2009 - 23:00
Tough one to judge and the winner would certainly have been my choice. Well done to Galoot and everyone else

On EXIF data, I said that it was shot on film, didn't you believe me?

I think Fuji make pro film scanners too.

“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Last Edited by gartmore on 16/02/2009 - 23:02

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 17/02/2009 - 05:08
Great job of judging, John. Must have been a tough one - there were many contenders this week. Of which Nathan's was definitely one. So congrats to him. And thanks for my third.

Hope you had fun in Orkney.



Link Posted 17/02/2009 - 20:07
Didn't think there would be so many entries this week, and last minute work commitments certainly put a spanner in the works.

I thought it might be helpful to include the exif data to let people see what cameras the pictures were shot on, and therefore judge the features of each. For example, a lot of people suggest the DA18-55mm is a dog, but Dr Mhuni's picture with the K10 + 18-55 is as sharp as a tack. The K10D seems to be a favourite, but as the photographs show, the K100's K110's, K200's etc., are all excellent cameras.

Gartmore, ( Ken), no I didn't doubt you, just copied and pasted the exif data, then saw your other data later, by that time I didn't know what planet I was on


Link Posted 17/02/2009 - 21:38

THank you so very much Galoot for your comments, and for awarding my picture!

Its actually the first time I enter a photo, so I'm absolutely stunned by this, thank you sooo much!

There were some great photographs for this competition, as there always are on this great forum, so thank you very much for the honour of winning a challenge.

I will think of some new challenge, and hope to be half as thorough as Galoot has been in judging each effort.

THank you again,

'Between the lights there is always a shadow'

www.nathanservi.com & PPG


Link Posted 17/02/2009 - 21:40
BTW - Just on a technical note

The photo was taken together with a homemade DIY ring flash - which really works amazingly -

The info on how to build one are on the flash forum -

'Between the lights there is always a shadow'

www.nathanservi.com & PPG


Link Posted 18/02/2009 - 03:24
Congrats Winner, and Thanks the judge!


Link Posted 19/02/2009 - 11:57
Thank you John, it was taken with my little f40fd on the fly. Not what you would term a technically proficient shot by any means, but had some redeeming aspects.

I don't own a Pentax yet, but am about to remedy that poor situation very shortly!
K20D and a substantial user manual to wade through
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