Entries: Fortnightly Competition #70 - Leading Lines


Link Posted 21/06/2011 - 05:01
Stacked Railway Ties

Focal Length 40mm
F Number f5/6
ISO 200
Lens used 18-55mm
Handheld....no flash
Uploaded from Picasa Web album
Taken Today 2011:06: 22:36


Link Posted 21/06/2011 - 06:48
Elscotto Leaps from the Leading Lines

Elscotto and I searched for our leading lines competion entries, when he had the great idea of leaping off the deck while Nan laid underneath to capture the shot....HERE IT IS

Date: June 20th
Camera K10d
Lens wide angle.....at 18mm
ISO 200



Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 16:12
Pont de Dognon:

Last week sometime
K5, 12-24
Can't remember the rest.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined

karma mechanic

Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 18:20
This is a hard one to judge, since there are images using leading lines in all sorts of ways in a variety of styles. I'll try to give my impression of how the compositional use of lines works, plus a more general impression of the image in other respects. If I say something isn't working I mean it isn't working for me I sometimes have funny ideas especially about clutter

Hyram Leading Lights
The lines of ceiling lights give the shot a centre, while the bulk of the red engine (James?) sits nicely on the right and balances the smaller harder cylinder unit on the left. The lines are used for balance rather than to lead the eye to a specific subject, it works well in this case. For the industrial grittyness of it I wonder whether boosting the detail would give more punch? I have no problem with the workshop clutter by the way it tells the story.

Belinda B. - Leading (Railway) Lines
The trackside concrete leads to the signal, which points the way to the curve in the line, and the trees carry it round. The engine though is a bit lost, in that it is a dark bulk but the track takes the eye away to the route of the engine. Clutter alert - the photographers are a bit distracting, I think it would be tidier if they were cloned out. Is one of them Hyram?

i-Berg Table for 20
I like the general lines, but for me the out-of-focus glasses are a bit too dominant. I'd find a crop which is straighter with a bit less foreground preferable.

geordie01 INFINITY
Ah symmetry! Each swoop downwards of the main swoopy bits leads the eye down to the bridge deck, which is nicely centred. If the eye does wander off the central more distant swoopy bit leads it back down again or the side rails catch it. Straight lines and swoopy curves together!

sandinista Camara Municipal
A nicely balanced shot with a more subtle use of the paving to accentuate the subject. The left edge of the paving and the line of the road also takes the eye to the tower with its lighter patch of sky, while the pillar brings the eye down and back into the picture. The tiny bit of foliage on the left is a slight distraction, I'd probably clone some of that lovely sky onto that bit. If I was to change anything else I'd probably move a few feet closer so that the pillar has just a little bit more separation from the tower putting it about half way between the edge of the tower and the corner of the roof, but now I'm being picky.

davidtrout Lifelines
I like the composition, although I don't feel that the various lines in the composition are strong elements to lead the eye, the workers stand out for other reasons. The top of the roof line does take the eye across and down to the men though.

Karl The Pier at Whitby
The pier boards and the rails take the eye to the life ring, then the pier itself goes off to the right but in a mysterious way rather than a distracting way. The single cloud works well too. I'd prefer a level horizon, and the piece of foreground before the boards start is a bit distracting for me.

JamieT Appeirances can be deceiving
Lots of impact from the viewpoint and the fisheye treatment. Perhaps some of that impact comes from the fact that the 'pier' is a sloping ramp, while at first glance the mind expects it to go out to a horizon. Well observed and good use of the fisheye.

GlynM Along the Wire at Dawn
Good use of the fence and the lighting to take the eye into the distance, where there is even more satisfying lighting. The trees on the right do seem to crowd it though, with a relatively empty right side it would feel more balanced for me. Getting up early is sometimes necessary.

snappychappy untitled 300mm shot
This gets marks for subtlety, the ploughed lines being sharp anchor the image and lead up to the house and the house roof leads on to the chimney. The chimney itself isn't quite vertical so maybe the whole shot needs to be rotated slightly, depending on whether there is room for the inevitable crop.

aliengrove Venice in Plastic
Lots of lines here, rooflines, railings and the bendy canal sides leading to a bridge. The left side of the canal is the dominant line and is exactly where it works best. The gondola also points to the bridge under the mysterious plastic sky. A very effective image.

Frogherder The Straight and Narrow
The fence, path and the fragment of sky all lead to the centre here, but I'd find it more interesting if there was something there to make that composition have more purpose.

pnjmcc Linear Shadows
Strong lines indeed, chrome and shadows alike. As you might have guessed by now I'm going to suggest that the image is rotated to get the posts vertical, a nice stable square crop like this needs straightness as well. With such strong lines the trees and the people on the right don't seem to live up to the promise, I don't get a strong enough subject. Perhaps that's my aversion to clutter. I'd like to see that view with no people at all, or a suitably chosen single person roughly where the woman with the buggy is.

darkskies Dark Sky
Nicely composed and good use of the curve of the first tree to point back into the body of the image. The harvester tracks are a useful second line. Subject-wise the first three trees work really well, but for me the larger clump and those further right become slightly awkward. I know that's how it was, but if the only trees were the first three it would lift it completely. I crudely replaced the trees to the right of number 3 with clouds to explore the effect and it worked for me, your mileage may vary

elscotto Stacked Railway Ties
The principle of this one is good with the edges of the ties leading in to the end of the central one, but for me the out of focus nearer wood is a bit distracting. For me out of focus backgrounds can be very effective, and those with both foreground and background out of focus, but I find it less effective with just the foreground out of focus (same for i-Berg's cafe shot above). This is also a textural image, perhaps some work on the sharpening could give it more punch. It may also be that stopping the lens down would have given sharp wood grain on the ties at the sides to enhance the overall effect. Being called upon to leap off things must impede the creative process too

JudithAnn Elscotto Leaps from the Leading Lines
A lovely capture here, the 'wings' are perfect and the simplicity of the shot works for me. I'm going to make one suggestion though for me in terms of 'reading' the image it works better if rotated 90 degrees clockwise so that Scott is jumping upwards. I think that's just because it brings the deck rails into a more prominent 'leading' role in the composition, but it stands on its own as a symbolic bird picture in either orientation. If I was to declutter it I'd clone out the table and the straggly hem on the jeans

DrOrloff Pont de Dognon
Bridges seem to bring out the symmetry, and like geordie01's this one has the swooping lines. This bridge image has a darker feel compared to the more exuberant lines in the first one, perhaps because the destination appears to be the nothing but forest. The criss-cross shadows are quite a large part of the image, those lines take the eye to the edge but the sides of the bridge bring it back in towards the end. A strong image.

So, the verdict.

JudithAnn's jump shot is a fine picture and well executed by the Canadian team, but the leading lines element of it isn't as crucial so a runner-up.
aliengrove's Venice too, plenty of leading lines but I liked the bridges best

I kept trying to decide between the two bridges - DrOrloff's and geordie01's are both fine images. In the end I'm going to declare geordie01's bridge the winner simply because it has the most unusual lines, with DrOrloff's another runner-up.

Everyone produced worthwhile images - choosing a winner was hard!

Coming back to my comments on some of the other images, I hope you don't mind me having a quick bash at illustrating what I meant.

Here's Hyram's engine shed with extra punch to the detail:

Maybe I've overdone it a bit, this is for illustrative purposes!

Here's Karl's pier straightened and cropped a little:

And here's i-Berg's restaurant table with some cropping to straighten and lose the most out of focus parts:

Thanks everyone, and over to geordie01 for the next episode!
My own website is www.richardgaddphotography.com

Also on 500px
Last Edited by karma mechanic on 22/06/2011 - 18:49


Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 18:49
Wow, well done for getting the comp judged and results up so quickly KM. A very enjoyable comment and critique of my image which I have got a lot from, thankyou.

So onto the congratulations for Geordie on winning, a cracking shot, and also to runners up et al. Finally thanks for setting the comp and providing an interesting subject. Onto the next...
Great simplicity is only won by an intense moment or by years of intelligent effort. T.S Eliot

Gear Not enough!!

My not so new website


Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 19:33
Thanks KM. Congrats to Geordie and the runners up.

KM, thanks for adjusting my shot, I faffed around with it for ages trying to get it to look right in terms of being level and something with the perspective of the railings kept throwing me out.
As daft as this may sound I just needed to set the horizon level and leave the rest alone - which you did, so thanks for that.
The foreground bit I took out......then put back in. Personal taste.

Thanks again for the quick judging.


Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 19:35
Many thanks for a great subject, good reviews and excellent, although I guess very difficult, judging. It was also brilliant to see the results come in so quickly.

Congratulations to geordie01 for a fantastic wining image and everyone else for an excellent set of broad interpretations.

Hopefully for the next subject I will not have to get up so early .



Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 19:36
Thanks for the critique- all noted
Congratulations to Geordie - a well deserved win.

Hint hint - pick something I can win will you


karma mechanic

Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 19:39
I'm always a bit wary about changing somebody else's shot. I put up a grid in PS and aligned the actual horizon line where I could see it, the railing does give a misleading cue. The foreground surface could give a boundary to the boards, but I cropped it 'cos it looked simpler without - I can see where you are coming from though
My own website is www.richardgaddphotography.com

Also on 500px


Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 19:51
Congratulations to geordie01 for the winning entry and to the other podium places.

An excellent competition and judging and I have to agree with karma mechanic's improved version.

I was going to submit a railway line shot taken at very low level but as Belinda B. was planning on using a 'line' shot, I opted for the railway shed.

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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Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 20:02
Well done Geordie, my favourite too, and to JA. Thanks Karma, good comp and good judging. I'm always delighted with 2nd, although I didn't much like my shot, I thought some others were much worthier.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
Last Edited by DrOrloff on 22/06/2011 - 20:03


Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 20:45
Well done Geordie and thank you Karma for a subject which brought out some very good images and for giving us your expert comments.
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout


Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 21:47
Thanks, Karma. Well judged.

"darkskies Dark Sky
Subject-wise the first three trees work really well, but for me the larger clump and those further right become slightly awkward. I know that's how it was, but if the only trees were the first three it would lift it completely."

Yes, I see what you mean. I'm not one to reshape a landscape to make a shot better, so I'm just happy to have made it as it is. C'est la vie!

Congrats to Geordie. One of a nice pair of bridges.
This space deliberately left blank.

karma mechanic

Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 22:26
darkskies wrote:

Yes, I see what you mean. I'm not one to reshape a landscape to make a shot better, so I'm just happy to have made it as it is. C'est la vie!

And it is still good - the version with only three trees isn't in this universe but if you saw it you'd know it
My own website is www.richardgaddphotography.com

Also on 500px

karma mechanic

Link Posted 22/06/2011 - 22:29
davidtrout wrote:
Well done Geordie and thank you Karma for a subject which brought out some very good images and for giving us your expert comments.

I dunno about 'expert comments', I make it up as I go along
My own website is www.richardgaddphotography.com

Also on 500px
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