Weekly competitition #697 - Winter Solstice Cheer Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 27/12/2020
Judge: drofmit

I'm feeling rather low at the moment.... and it doesn't feel much like Christmas with the pandemic and lockdown....
yet this is normally a time of celebration and family togetherness....
We've just had the Jewish Hanuka....
the pagan Winter Solstice is on the 21st...
Chrismas Day the 25th....
here in France it is Old Years Night that is the big celebration with a Feast for La Saint-sylvestre of 24 courses and it takes all night.....
and for the Discworld readers amongst us... it is Hogswatch!
So warm me up, fill me with cheer.... light, colour, warmth, sparkles, smiles and all that makes it a time to remember....

Usual rules apply.... Pentax and associated cameras only....
and, as it is the weekly, you can trawl the archives!!

Edit: End date extended to give everyone a chance to enter. Good luck, JR!
Competition Entries


Link Posted 28/12/2020 - 21:18
Weekly competitition #697 - Winter Solstice Cheer

Thanks to the ten of you who entered.... and an interesting and difficult selection to judge.... so here I go!

After the Christmas Dinner by johnriley
Nice, made me smile.... flat out in full recovery mode... except for someone who would rather be outside or playing with what's new. He'snice and alert looking at the camera.... nice photo for starters. Shame you didn't drape a bit of tinsel across the sleepers!

Yule by Perspicador
A cheerful Christmas tree.... everything is nice about the tree with its twinkling lights, baubles and tinsel... but you need to watch the background... the daylight coming in on the righthand side is a big distraction and it is quite "busy"... if you can move around to the right and get all wall behind a subject like this it will be better... failing that, momentarily draw the curtain across so that the tone becomes more even and there is less to distract.

Sovereign Harbour by garethparkes
Nice, very cheery with all those lights... but nothing to say it is the solstice, although it is this years decorations! [Got that from the EXIF]
The colours in the water are so strong in this that you could happily "chop the top".... crop a quarter of the depth at the top of the picture to just above the big building on the right.... there is not much of interest on the left and all the leftmost windows are leaving the picture and my eye with them, so a crop inward on that side to between the two lower gable ends will throw all that colour to the fore.

Doctors Orders? by Noelcmn
A nice cheery still life... perhaps cropped square to the edge of the mantlepiece and decorations and the same the other side. At the moment, everytime my eye reaches the lefthand end of the mantlepiece... it falls onto the floor. The upright at the edge of mantlepiece will have the same effect, but you can clone a chunk of plain mantlepiece across that before you crop the picture.... and only you would know the difference!

The light WILL return by davidwozhere
A cracking shot... lovely simple catchlights with the two dewdrops beautifully framed... and everything in and around them sharp and clear.

Christmas Tree Lights by johnwnjr
Our Seasonal decorations are just one group of fairylights and I decided to do some ICM with them.... mine are quite symetrical when compared with this crackingingly cheery abstract... Jackson Pollock would have envied this and I could live with it on the wall at 3ft by 5!
Is this all one shot or a blend of shots because the main colour has a square shape at the bottom but the background is evenly curved.... or is it an in-camera multi exposure. Whatever, it works for me!

Boxing Day Madness by Nigelk
Thank the gawds for cheerful nutters.... lovely bit of documentary photography... the shutterspeed has shown enough motion from the "volunteers".... but frozen the water.... very nice, especially as it is something where you can't yell "Sorry... didn't get that... could you do it again?" The girl next to Santa looks as if she's already regretting it..... and enough of the sea visible, showing that they've still got a way to run before the water!!

Wintery Diorama by PRYorkshire
Nice picture... lit by the diorama itself by the look of it.
Nice idea, too. Possibly add some starburst to the lights to compliment the twinkle in the snow. And possibly a hand torch to light the very top.

December Sunset by JAK
Very nice tree-heavy sunset.... there is a ghost of detail in the very front which I am finding distracting... perhaps darkening it further would help... or taking the bottom off, making a stronger letterbox shape and puting the sin on the 1/3rd line.... which also brightens the picture.

The Small Boy Challenge by GlynM
OK, he didn't pose quite as you wanted for that perfect shot.... but I think this is much better.... especially shot 4... "Full Guffaw!"
The great thing about these is you have captured his real reaction....
especially the middle one, bottom row... "Grandad, have you finished yet, I'm a little bored!" / "Was that meant to be a joke, Grandad?"
The fact that the background repeats from shot to shot also, imo, allows the viewer to concentrate on the movement and expressions of the subject.

Well, this has been a very difficult one to pick a winner from all of these, but I am going with:
Christmas Tree Lights by johnwnjr in pole position because it is bright, colourful, cheering and I could live with it all year around!
The light WILL return by davidwozhere in second because it is technically the best shot... but not quite as cheery as John's
The Small Boy Challenge by GlynM also second equal....because it is a wonderful collage capturing something happy out of this "annus horribilis"
And HCs to everyone else!

So, over to johnwnjr to bring in 2021!!


Link Posted 28/12/2020 - 23:45
I love Glyn's compilation for all the reasons given above plus the hope for a brighter future that is inherent in children generally. Congratulations on winning it John - super idea that is most successful and thank you for my second ! Thanks for a challenging contest Tim and for your excellent critiques.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link


Link Posted 29/12/2020 - 09:27
Many thanks Tim for a competition that I thought did well to inspire in these difficult times.

Thanks also for the joint second place. I am really pleased to see that both you and David thought it was fun .

Congratulations to John for the lovely winning image, my fellow podium member David for such a well observed and crafted water drop image and everyone else for rising to the challenge in this difficult period with such an excellent set of images.

Last Edited by GlynM on 29/12/2020 - 09:28


Link Posted 29/12/2020 - 14:07
Thank you for placing me first. As you query if it a multi-shot I must say it is not. I simply and deliberately used a slow shutter speed and intentionally moved the camera whilst taking the shot. John


Link Posted 29/12/2020 - 20:18
Excellent light painting shot, worthy winner! Congrats Johnwnjr. And extended to davidwozhere and GlynM. also like Glyn's image, it lovely! Thanks drofmit, for the challenge and the judging exercise. Always appreciated!


Link Posted 31/12/2020 - 06:57
Johnwnjr wrote:
Thank you for placing me first. As you query if it a multi-shot I must say it is not. I simply and deliberately used a slow shutter speed and intentionally moved the camera whilst taking the shot. John

Thanks, John.... I was just trying to get my head around the curve at the bottom and the squarer lines.
I have been trying others since.... as we are no longer restricted to 36 exposures that might be wasted I now have around 400 exposures to play with!!
And that's just with the WG6.... I am going to use the K1 tonight.... I have far more control of exposure time, etc. with that.

Ackles & Pollock..... sorry, Jackson Pollock would have been proud of your shot had he managed that with his paint-dribble canvases!
Can I have your permission, please, to download it as a screensaver on my iPad?
Never be afraid to talk about your techniques...
"Give a thousand photographers...
the same camera, lens and scene...
and you'll always get a thousand different takes!!"
Last Edited by drofmit on 31/12/2020 - 07:00
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