Weekly Competition #87 - This Modern World Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 08/03/2009
Judge: davidtrout

Anything that illustrates the world we live in now and the way we live in it. This can be environmental such as architecture, mass transport, or the way we treat our environment, vandalism, cluttter etc. Or it can be a social comment, showing wealth or poverty extremes. The remit is wide to appeal to all types of photography, its up to you.
Photo has been deleted
Competition Entries


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 00:59
I expected a few more photos in this competition but I wasn't disappointed by the quality of the entries. The overall standard was very high and one or two of the pictures certainly had that wow factor. I shall comment on each entry in the order it was posted and then identify my awards afterwards.
So here goes and please remember I don't believe its possible for anyone to say which is the BEST picture as we all have different taste. I can only nominate the one I like most.

JOHN RILEY: This makes a very good contrast between the past and present. In the background there is the modern motorway network with traffic hurtling past. And the foreground is taken up with a neglected resource, the canal. John makes a valid commentary on this wasted resource and the picture questions whether we have our priorities right. The modern day image is completed by the grafitti and rubbish strewn on the banks of the canal.

FATHER TED: This picture sums up This Modern World very aptly and in an exciting way. The colours of the city at night are stunning even if
some people find them garish. The bustle is all there complete with flashes and light trails. I do wonder though whether the picture needs a main focal point to stop the eye dashing around the scene.

CORIANDER: These cranes are still in use and they make an attractive scene. In my North East we are used to seeing them standing derelict. Coriander says he snatched this in a drive past which impressesd me because the composition is very good. The three cranes, resembling giant Triffids, are all at different angles which give the picture impact. Its a pity the first crane has the top lopped off.

BEAKYNET: Yes, I can see exactly where you were coming from. There's no sign at all of the old London as the new buildings crowd the scene in a dramatic manner. I like the reflections in the shiny surface of the building on the right but think the dark forground might have been lightened just a little. That apart, the overall feeling of the picture is that its just a little washed out and could have benefited from slightly less exposure or more contrast.

CLAUDE: More dockyard cranes - and there are more still to come. I like the way this modern world has swamped the past with the industrial complex completely dominating what was once an idyllic rural scene. There's even a horse down there in front of the old building. The use of a long lens has compressed the perspective to give the image a really powerful impact.

MALO: I have one big problem with this photograph that upsets me a lot -it wasn't taken by me. This is one of those photos I'm so envious about, I just wish it was mine. I seem to remember a colour version of this that I think was in the Gallery about the time I joined PU last summer and I was well impressed then. I like the mono version equally well because it not only fulfills the rules of this competiton to the letter, it does it in an artistic way with an eye grabbing image that is a pure delight to view.

JEAN CLAUDE PHILIPPE: It seems the wrecked phone installation is not unknown even in a beautfiful location in a quiet corner of Greece. The handywork of the vandals has been well spotted and recorded here in a nice piece of photo-journalism.

NATHANEVER82: This is a beautiful picture of one of my favourite subjects, modern architecture. I'm beginning to warm to HDR after initially disliking it because the early exponents of it often overdid the effect and produced unrealistic colours. Here the colours are stunning but restrained just enough to give a right balance. The glass buildings tell you this is exactly the modern world while the lovely reflections in the dock water add artistry to the scene. I love those dark looming clouds gathering above the buildings - a portent of the world financial crisis that is hitting us.

TONY O: A simple image that I'm sure wasn't so simple to set up. The use of the alun keys definately says This Modern World because they are an essential tool in so many areas whether its do-it-yourself assembly of flat pack furniture or in the professional workshops. This is a very pleasing graphic image.

GLYN M: Another graphic shot with an eye catching content that accurately sums up the subject of this modern world. The workings of the computer look like modern architecture complete with tower blocks and deep avenues of streets running between them. A very futuristic scene and one that has impact.

CHELSEABLUE: While some of the photographers have used modern scenes to portray the competition subject others, like Chelseablue, have used them to make a social commentary. Here the boarded up pub is given added poignency by being photographed through an ugly security fence which adds even more depression to the sad scene.

JOSH: Josh is having a laugh with his entry - or perhaps he's not really joking. The comment on modern bankers, I think he said bankers, is a very serious one and the idea is shared by millions of people who have lost out through the greed of these guys. A telling piece of photo-journalism.

HYRAM: I find pictures that portray modern industry in all its forms very exciting and this one from Hyram is no exception. Yet more dockyard cranes dominate the scene and the majesty of the bows of the big freighter add up to a powerful picture which packs a big punch. The dominant colours of blue and red make this an attractive as well as an exciting scene.

GARTMORE: I keep returning to this picture because I find it mysterious and intriguing. The clever juxtapositon of the Mercedes and the large picture of the Middle Eastern woman suggest to me a scene outside a London mosque. Is the car a symbol of the wealth of a modern Muslim in a Western culture? Does the image of the woman really suggest that she's supressed, somehow I don't think she is. Sometime soon I hope to get to the bottom of what's going on here.

PRIENI: Well Ralf you certainly come up with graphic images and this is well up to your usual standard. It's so simple but in photography the simple images are often the most powerful. Of course it's on two levels just as one would expect from yourself. First there is the modernity of the tools and plans but then there's the fact that these are used on your professional website - and you can't get much more modern than that. By the way if you had entered your last week's picture this week many might have asked how is a near-600-year-old book This Modern world. I would have said it illustrated the subject perfectly. Surely the invention of printing back in Renaissance times heralded the birth of the modern world. The truth is when I was looking for this week's subject I was partly influenced by your picture of the historic book which was the first example of IT. Gosh I'm getting into this too deep.

PSC: Yes it's this modern world alright but this time from a completely fresh angle. A straight forward rural scene with what looks like a farm in the foreground. But then there are the overhead power lines, the modern tractor, and away in the distance a huge communications dish of the type you see at Jodrel Bank for looking into space. The black and white treatment adds poingancy as it underlines the old and the new themes which run right through this picture.

DR MHUNI: This is a modern scene variations of which crop up all over the world. A new concrete building under construction but work seems to have come to a halt. A makeshift fence covers the front and posters have been stuck on. Its all a bit depressing but its an accurate portrayal of a scene we've all witnessed elsewhere.

BFORBES: Barry asks if it's modern art. Well yes it is and it's become a symbol of Tyneside along with the The Tyne Bridge and the new Millenium Bridge which links Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides. Its certainly an example of this modern world where public art of all forms seems to be very popular. Barry's picture is a competent shot of this familiar landmark but it doesn't really add anything new to the growing collection of pictures of the Angel of the North.

MARKD: A commentary on the way we live now with a picture of the controversial use of pubic surveillance. It's an accurate portrayal of the subject but pictorially it doesn't quite come off for me. I'm not sure if the colour cast is accurate or whether its because of artificial lighting and the image appears to be slightly skewed and could do with straightening up.

MIKEW: Mike seems to enjoy modern architecture and graphic abstracts - a photgrapher after my own heart. This is a deceptively simple image but one with impact. the strength of the picture lies in its simplicity. It eloquently describes the building with its stark roof line set against an attractive blue sky and reflected colours in the wall. The architect must take credit for the building but full marks to Mike for his selective use of the viewpoint.

LUIBACSI: This is a very attractive picture of a smithy at work. I like the warm glow of the furnace against which his figure is set. The clutter of a blacksmith's workshop it well captured. But I do wonder if this is really this modern world - it's an age-old scene that could have been 100,200 or 300 years ago just as much as today.

ERICP: The Coloseum appears to have an alarming lean to the right in this shot. However the contrast between the ancient and the new is well caught. That looks like work on a new Metro on the right.

1, Malo 1961.
2, Nathanever82.
3, MikeW.
HC: Prieni; Gartmore; TonyO
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout
Last Edited by davidtrout on 09/03/2009 - 01:13


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 06:08
Thank's David for a good judging session.Congratulations to Martin for the win, and a great b/w image. I also thought Nathan's entry was brill.As for my pic.I was wanting to put across the qausi religous power of style in the modern world.It was set up on an Ikea twin level glass top table.Alun keys on top and Ikea catalogue lettering underneath.Bit of fiddling to get the angles right,PS7 to add the colouring(swedish)and clone out some reflections. I was very pleased with commended. Thanks for that.Tony.
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.
Last Edited by Tony-O on 09/03/2009 - 06:23


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 07:02
Great piece of judging David, well done! I almost wasn't going to bother entering this week once Malo1961 had posted his entry - well done to you 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 -


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 07:24
Ehhhh,Wow!!! Thanks David for the nice words and honouring me with the first place. There were some great entries this week.
Personally I liked Father Ted's, Gartmore's and Nathan's entries very much.
And of course congrats to you for a very good and detailed piece of judging.
I shall now start to think about a inspiring new theme. And will post it, early this evening.

Best regards,


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 07:25
Good swift marking and an excellent winner. I too nearly didn't bother to enter but it's good to support the competition and I got third which is always nice!

I had terrible moire pattern at 800 width from the original crop and had to compromise the crop to avoid the moire basically creating a 1024 image and cropping that!


You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.

Father Ted

Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 08:47
Thanks for the really swift judging and your comments.

Congratulations Martin!!

I had taken this shot the day before the competition was set, just to try and get a car trail shot ( I've been envious of some I've seen on here ). You are right, of course, about lack of focal point. I was too busy looking at the trails.
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 09/03/2009 - 09:03
Congratulations to Martin for his winning entry.

Like others, I nearly did not enter once I had seen his entry

Many thanks to David for his swift and careful 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
Other Glass: Sigma 105 macro, Sigma-A APO 75-300
Flash: Metz 58 AF-1 P, Pentax AF160FC ringflash, Pentax AF280T


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 09:17
Chapeau David for swift and thoughtful judging! Congratulations to Martin, a striking image, love it!
Lots of good entries again this round. Well done everybody!

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


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 09:57
Well done indeed David, great judging. Malo superb image fits the theme and powerful. Some very good entries overall.


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 10:01
Thank you David for comment and judging. I agree with you in the results. Congratulations to Martin.

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 10:24
Congrats to Martin and the others, and thanks for the thorough judging David.



Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 10:33
Well Done Martin. I'm not normally a fan of Mono, but this is a stunning photograph. Thank you David for your rapid judging an comments. Back to the drawing board for me.
Too Old To Die Young



Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 11:59
Great stuff, well done everyone and David for the very well thought out commentary.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 09/03/2009 - 13:15
Well done Martin....super image.

My Flickr page
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.