Weekly Competition #85 - Italy Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 22/02/2009
Judge: nathanever82

I was born and raised in Italy, and although I haven't lived there for the last 7 years, I am still very attached to my home country.rnrnAnything Italian, or to do with Italian influence... Buona Fortuna!!!
Competition Entries


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 00:18
Hello everybody!

First of all, thank you all so much for entering the competition, your photographs are absolutely great!

I am writing some comments for each one, so please be patient, I have a lot of work to do, and will not be able to finish before tomorrow night. Hope this is ok.

Well done to all, in the meantime
'Between the lights there is always a shadow'

www.nathanservi.com & PPG


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 14:06
Hello everybody!

Right, to start I’d like to say that I am not a professional judge, and although I have tried to be as objective as possible in my comments, the vast variety of photographs submitted makes it very VERY hard to come to a conclusion.

Having all these different types of photography in one single competition, means that the mere technical aspects of the photos are really not as important as the composition, imagination, creative production, and thought behind each photograph. Therefore, as much as I would love to be able to only comment on the technical details of each entry, I will have to comment on all the other aspects as well, and choose a winner in the same manner. I really hope not to offend anybody with my judgment, but remember I’m Italian, and we always manage to offend somebody!!!

Thank you all for your amazing photographs, and lets get commenting.

Gartmore – Firenze
This is a really good photograph, capturing the true essence of Firenze (My home town btw). The contraposition between the (then) modern Italian car, and the statue, makes the photograph interesting, and the TRI-X film gives an effect that is long forgotten in digital times. I would think that the composition could have been a bit stronger, and the half plaque on the left side disturbs the eye slightly. Yet very good photograph.

Davidtrout – Taffia Town
I love the fact that you thought of something local which has been created through Italian influence. This is exactly what I was expecting from the competition. Very nice photograph, beautiful colours, interesting composition. The photograph is intended to be an architecture photograph, and the eye gets a bit lost in the composition, not finding a strong focus point.

Prieni – Gondolas
This is definitely one of my favourites. The composition, light, reflection, colours are evocative of Venice, and look absolutely stunning. The only thing that might have added something to this photograph is a vanishing point, maybe the same subject shot from the front, and the canal in the background. But this is just my opinion, and the photograph is really beautiful.

Father Ted – Portmeirion
As I’ve already mentioned in David’s photograph, I truly appreciate the effort of thinking about something Italian, and the imaginative thought behind this photograph. There are a few glitches that distract from the consistency of the photo, and although it is beautifully exposed, and presents splendid colours, it doesn’t convey enough ‘italianess’.

Flat 4 – Pleasant company
If you refer to the pigeons as being ‘pleasant company’, then you are seriously wrong!!! This photograph is one of my favourites; the composition is almost perfect, although I would have placed the couple even more to the left of the image. Everything else is absolutely perfect; mood, b&w, contrast, what a magnificent photo.

Hefty1 – Cavallino Rampante
Ahhh, another brilliant photograph of one of the most iconic Italian cars. I love the composition, the dark tones, the simplicity of this stunning photograph. No other comments on my behalf, well done!

Bill_And – Vatican at night
The first landscape of the competition, this photograph is a very well executed shot. The composition is great, with lead-in lines from the right side. It is a bit too dark, and I think that a crop on both left and right side would have increased the impact of the San.Pietro cathedral. Beautiful reflections in the river, maybe a tad too hot in colour temperature.

Bob and his Pentax – Italian scouts riding ostriches
Very funny photograph. Technically, the blurring of the background could have been a bit more selective, and the contrast could have been pushed a little.

Gwyn – Pasta!
You should definitely plan a short trip then. With these artistic skills, you would find a true paradise for your photography. Absolutely stunning image, I can only appreciate the effort you’ve gone through to prepare this composition. Very very well executed, and great thought behind the photo. One of my favourites.

Josh – Italian Police
Loved the title, its really very evocative. Very nice street-action-photo, it is a bit busy, and unfortunately we can only imagine the expression of the red gladiator! Technically it would benefit from some selective blurring of the background and lighting up of the action. Very nice shot.

Johnriley – Italianate Architecture at Portmeirion
Very interesting composition, in my opinion this is a little too processed. The colours are gorgeous, and the reflection also very beautiful. I can only think that a lower viewpoint would have added to the strength of the composition.

Malo1961 – Pasta Bolognese
This is a truly incredible image. It actually makes you hungry. Very very very well composed, and executed, it perfectly represents Italy, and shows great imaginative effort. Well done, one of my very favourites.

Coriander – Business Meeting
I shouldn’t like this photograph. Its very simple, plain, not particularly interesting. Yet I absolutely LOVE it. This is the perfect representation of business in Italy, the expression behind the sunglasses make up for 80% of this great great photo, and the ‘I’ on the licence plate is a detail that doesn’t pass un-noticed. The B&W conversion is incredibly appropriate, and the crop is also, essential. Very good photograph.

Tony-O – Death in Bologna!
The colours of Italy, the product of Italy, the knife and passion through the heart of an Italian tomato. This photograph is incredible; the composition is spot on, perfect. The exposure and sharpness, the reflection on the tomato, the colours, the contrast between the natural beauty and the hard stainless blade. Imagination, creativity, technical ability, great shot Tony.

Aiki – Made in Italy
I first looked at this photograph and thought that it was definitely a winner. Great great shot, perfect composition, lines, focal length and depth of field. Incredibly simple, yet strong and imaginative. Very very well done, definitely one of my favourites…. if only you had put the pegs in the right order…. Green White and Red….

Hyram – Gucci
Very nice macro shot. I really like the composition of this, and the exposure and colours are spot on perfect. I am not too keen on the background, which could have been blurred instead of so grainy. It is not too evocative of an image, but technically its very very well executed.

Belinda B. – Ferrari 328 GTB
This is a very nice photograph. The car is beautiful, and the quality of the film makes it very interesting. It would have been a nicer shot if it was a moving car, rather than stationary, and if the viewpoint was a bit different, not so straight.

Pschlute – Italian Food
Nice composition, a great variety of food, and a well built composition. The colours could be a bit more saturated, and the contrast could be slightly stronger. Overall a good photograph.

Mikew – Ascoli Piceno
Very very good cityscape. The colours and composition are stunning, the square looks great and gives a real feel of how pleasant the Town is. I can’t fault this image, and the only thing that comes to my mind is a different point of view, something that would improve foreground interest and allow the eye to slowly move to the church in the background.

Ben76 – Amerigo Vespucci
Great subject, and perfect for the competition! I think that the view of this incredible ship is not entirely represented in the photograph. Perhaps a different perspective, which could show either the whole of the ship, or just a small detail, would have had more impact. The image is also a bit flat, but overall, a good effort.

Ericp – Vespa
I really like this photograph; the colours are incredible, and the composition also works very well. I would have liked it best if the red Vespa was the only subject of the photograph, with the yellow wall in the background. This could have been achieved by shooting from a closer angle, and eliminating the bicycle from the shot. Yet, one of my favourite shots.

Chelseablue – Agrigento Sicily
This is a great panorama, representing one of Italy’s most important treasures. I really like the composition, although it could have included a bit more foreground interest, and the contrast could have been a bit stronger. Also, it looks a bit flat, and a small effort in PP would have rendered it a much stronger image. Great effort anyway, and what a place!

And this is it! It only took me various hours taken from my real job… and its now time to announce what I think is the winner!

I can’t decide on a third place – but these were all of my favourites, which didn’t make it to top 2 only by the slightest margin.

In no particular order –
Prieni – Gondolas
Hefty1 – Cavallino Rampante
Gwyn – Pasta!
Coriander - Business Meeting
Aiki – Made in Italy

Second Place
Flat 4 – Pleasant Company

First place and Competition WINNER!
Tony-O – Death in Bologna
'Between the lights there is always a shadow'

www.nathanservi.com & PPG


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 14:19
Well judged Nathan and congratulations to Tony-O, following in Martin's footsteps by winning the weekly and fortnightly competitions in the same week!

Good to see a high quality set of entries all round once more
Joining the Q


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 14:31
Thank you Nathan. For the time and energy in judging. I am pleased for Tony-O, a great image that delivers. I am also beeming from the comments about my effort.... thanks.
K10D with Grip, 28mm,50mm,135mm,18-55,18-200,70-300mm, Meade 2000mm catadioptric, dodgy tripod and luck

Father Ted

Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 14:36
Thanks for the coments Natahn. I've got to admit it was a "desperation" entry.

Congratulations Tony
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 23/02/2009 - 14:56
Thanks for great judging Nathan, and the kind comments. Italy is on my list, near the top.

Well done Tony-O, a stunning photo.


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 15:04


I was roaming around at my home, looking for sth for the "Everyday" competition. Looked at the clothes-pins through my obye....and suddenly saw "made in Ialy". I had to take away the camera and look with my own eyes. Ant the text was still there!
Until that day I didnt know how close Italy is to me actually!

I know the flag-colours....but the sad point is, that I didnt have a green pin made in Italy. The green one in the back row is a foringer....without the nice text....sry.
If you look carefully, the green one is different.

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


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 16:10
What a delightful competition. Congrats to Nathan on his judging skills -he says he's not a profesional judge but who is anyway? And to TonyO, special congrats an a superbly imaginative photo. I think that one and Prieni's Gondola were my favourites.
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 16:21
WELL!!!!What can i say?? Thanks very much Nathan,two in row,my head is swelling!My original thought was Vendetta,and revenge,of course i needed some blood but no one was willing to donate so the tomatoe sauce had to be second choice After that it was a matter of deciding on the right crop etc.
Thanks to others for the kind comments,and congrats to Flat 4 and the following quintet.Tony.

PS. I will post a new theme shortly.
K7,DA*50-135, 35mmLTD Macro, 21mm Ltd, Voightlaender 58mm 1.4 NOKTON SL,Ricoh GRD,GRX, Zeiss 100mm f2 Makro Planar.Zeiss Ikon ZM,Zeiss f1.5 C Sonnar.

It ain't no sin to take off your skin,and dance around in your bones.Tom Waits.


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 16:28
Congratulations for the winner. Another Double is a fact I wish you luck and as much sleep, you can possibly manage to get. You will need it.

Thanks David, for your nice words. It did taste very good.
A very good judging job, was done here this round. And as expected; again a very high standard of outstanding pictures was submitted.

Now....please, not another "guessing game" this week,OK??

Best regards,


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 18:00
Congratulations to Tony-O and many thanks for the excellent judging from Nathan.

Prieni's and Tony-O's were my two favourites.

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 23/02/2009 - 18:37
Another double! Well done Tony-O (it is an Italian name, isn't it?), great shot. And thanks to Nathan for an excellent judging job. Very good turn-out this week again and a good quality as well.

So it's on to the next theme... the time of this week will fly by...

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


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 19:06
Thanks Martin/Hyram/Prieni,maybe i should change my name to Antonio,get rid of the hyphen.In any event it looks like this coming week is going to be a busy one,good job i'm retired and an early riser!Antonio!
K7,DA*50-135, 35mmLTD Macro, 21mm Ltd, Voightlaender 58mm 1.4 NOKTON SL,Ricoh GRD,GRX, Zeiss 100mm f2 Makro Planar.Zeiss Ikon ZM,Zeiss f1.5 C Sonnar.

It ain't no sin to take off your skin,and dance around in your bones.Tom Waits.


Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 20:18
Well done Nathan for excellent judging, and congratulations to Tony-O for another imaginative and brilliantly executed image.

There were a lot of truly first class images this week and I would not have relished the job of putting space between them. Well done to everyone.

My Flickr page

Belinda B.

Link Posted 23/02/2009 - 21:17
Thanks to Nathan for his considered judging and congratulations to Tony-O for his assassinated tomato shot

Many of the other Ferrari shots taken on that day have more interesting angles (from a photographic viewpoint) but I just love the profile view of that car
Belinda B.
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