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Entries for Fortnightly Competition # 38 - Genius Loci

Posted 01/04/2010 - 00:03 Link
Although it's not necessary to comment on each photo in the fortnightly comp, notes were necessary for my memory, so thought I might as well post them, for what they are worth.

i-Berg: "All my love lies buried here"
Graveyards – one of my favourite haunts (oops, ignore pun), due to their atmosphere. I like the detail of the granite, and the crisp inscription. At first I thought I'd like to see more of the atmosphere of the graveyard as opposed to the grave, or maybe a gravestone that was in a local stone rather than a polished granite, or an inscription pertaining to the person/place. But the placing of a great lump of dark granite, as opposed to the sunny background with white gravestones, speaks volumes - it grew on me. Even more so as the usual depiction would be a graveyard in mist (for us in the UK climate, anyway!)

Hyram: "Do this in remembrance of me"
Stained glass, another of my favourite things, and you have the lighting wonderfully done, the colours ringing out without being over-enhanced. It looks like the central tableaux has shiny mosaic so would be difficult to light up much, but the l/h/s of it is a little dark. Although it is full of meaning in itself, I don't personally get a feeling of the essence of the place for the 'genius loci' brief, although I know I would do if I were there.

Alun: "Kingswear, Devon"
Love the way that you have caught the muted colours of the buildings in that misty estuary light, and the way the bare woodland behind is reflected in the foreground driftwood, which in turn reminds one of the power of the sea and that although the estuary is now man's playground, it's also a natural place. The driftwood makes it, for me, although it could have been a little sharper. No EXIF info provided!

pnjmcc: "Sydney Botanical Gardens"
Looks a wonderful place, vibrant flowers, sculpture of someone examining his foot (sorry, contemplating life), and some very interesting rock in the foreground. Gives the feeling of warmth, but with quite a breeze judging by the water; I get a physical sense of the place, but not an emotional one. A viewpoint from slightly to the right might have eliminated the path and moved the statue further from the quayside and the lamppost, if it were possible. The distant view seems quite out of focus for the amount that fills the pic, might work better heavily cropped?

JudithAnn: "In the womb of my mother"
Beautifully lit portrait, I like the smile on the mother's face, very unposed and natural. It's subject means that it can't give the viewer a feeling of genius loci, but a very different twist on the meaning! And a lovely memento for mother and yet-to-be-born, the soft lighting and focus make a tender pic.

TOZZA27: Liverpool
Lovely atmospheric shot of the Liver Birds, the shot from the seaward side with all foreground details gives a great sense of Liverpool's history as a major port. Looks very pinky on my screen, presume it's sepia? Could be a very 'hard' picture if it was oversharp, with all those angular buildings, so I like the softness you've created, suggesting a misty water environment and olden times, and an almost grimy and workaday feel to the place (that's not a put down on Liverpool! But you've shown that it's a working place, rather than a picture showing off a grand building). Shame there's not anything going on in the sky, but we've had a fortnight of awful weather!

Hefty1: "Genius loci of my garden"
Hmmm, pushing it indeed! Fairies in photographs, didn't think that had been done since the Victorians on their laudanum. The fairy has lit up the l/h/s nicely, but it does leave the r/h/s looking rather dark in comparison, with half the pheasant breast in shadow. I don't get a sense of the atmosphere of your garden, I'm afraid!

Darlene: "A Child's Easter"
Gosh, a huge bunny. Shame there's not a more inspiring background, and it seems to beg for some children around to make the scene more jolly and lively in keeping with the jolly colours and fun nature of the inflatable. Not quite what I had in mind for 'genius loci', which is to impart a feeling of the uniqueness of a place – not that I've ever seen a bunny like this in the UK!

Whelmed: Pantheon in Rome [This was posted, but seems now to have been removed?! Shame, I liked it!]

Bob and his Pentax: "The road along which we all travel to meet our maker"
I like the humour, and get the point. The red door, blue road sign and greenery liven up the image, but the stonework seems a little washed out on my screen, with the church sign illegible. Nice and sharp though. It's a great statement, but personally I don't gain any atmosphere from the shot - it looks like a Bristol church, especially with that wall, but could also be in many other British cities – and it doesn't inform me of anything (except your eye for a shot). Couldn't find the EXIF info…

Aliengrove: "Petrodollars: Doha by night"
Very atmospheric. The dark foreground and sky show just how humans have impacted here, what a hideous amount of light pollution coming off that. Like the way it feels as though it's been taken from a dark quiet place looking at a vibrant bright place, which again fades into dark and quiet. Even though we see no details, and I know nothing about the place, I can imagine Doha thronging with people, sounds, frenetic activity, and money-making. I like the way the lights tail off to the right of the picture, back into darkness again. Wonderful shot. Personally I think I'd prefer losing the l/h/s just to the left of the windmill-type lights, as these buildings do not add much interest or colour, and the lights on the waterfront are extremely bright, seems to break the photo up, but just my opinion. Wonderful shot, I'd love to see it in better resolution than this comp allows. Thanks for posting the EXIF info, superb stitching!

Mikew: Underground car park
What an awful image – congrats for being the only one to show a hideous sense of place. Like the juxtaposition of what looks an immaculate car (rather over-clean, like advertising photos) and a filthy looking wall. Shame there wasn't some really interesting graffiti, but maybe that's the point, there is no redeemable quality in this place (except the car to escape in). Yuk, brings to mind the stink of underground car parks, you've succeeded in your aim!

Dr Mhudi: "Stupa offering"
Lovely photo, you have such a good eye. The red in the foreground and green in the background perfectly complement the white shrine. Obviously there is a religious aspect here, but for me it imparts the 'genius loci' through the two figures, oblivious to the photographer - you can almost sense in their stance a peace and reverence, and imagine that they are speaking gently before the shrine, if at all. And it brings meaning to the shrine – this is a place very much in use. The lighting and perspective with the zigzag of railings - perfect.

Thoughton: "Chinese Opera"
Another wonderful photo – the lighting is superb, catching the colourful embroidered gowns, and the facial expressions perfect. Catching the performer mid-song brings the photo alive, especially with their gesticulations. I like the simple background too, yet with that Chinese screen and furniture on the l/h/s. I have never seen a Chinese opera, but imagine that it's possible to see in many countries, therefore although it is an excellent depiction of the operatic characters, I don't think it quite fits the genius loci brief, in that the only place we see is the stage - and the stage, as we all know, is one big act!

Sorry for the delay in judging, blame the latecomers, as I'd fairly made my mind up and had to rethink! I've based my final decision on fulfilling the brief 'genius loci' to me personally.

1st place – I-berg "All my love lies here". This picture has not only grown on me, I love it, very emotive, and well shot. It's a clear winner for me under the genius loci category.
Really difficult to pick 2nd & 3rd, in fact I can't, I'd need longer, so I'll do joint 2nd:
Dr Mhudi "Stupa offering", the little girls just made the pic for me.
aliengrove "Petrodollars", spoke volumes.

HCs to mikew for the very different aspect to genius loci (thanks for filling my evening with the stink of urine in underground carparks), and Tozza27 and Alun for shwoing the atmosphere of Liverpool and Kingswear respectively, all very much in the running.

Thank you to all contributors, I really enjoyed looking at them in more detail than normal in order to do justice to them in judging. I think I've learnt a fair bit .

Over to I-Berg…

Dr. Mhuni
Posted 01/04/2010 - 03:13 Link
Congrats to i-Berg for his winning shot. Many thanks for the considered judging Jo, and for the joint second!

Edited by Dr. Mhuni: 01/04/2010 - 03:16
Posted 01/04/2010 - 03:58 Link
Good constructive comments Jo well judged.

Congratualtions to i-Berg for the win and Dr Mhuni and aliengrove for the joint second.

Looking forward to i-Bergs' subject now

All cameras are equal but.....
Some are more equal than others
Posted 01/04/2010 - 04:05 Link
Congrats to i-berg, thanks for the comments (on all the pics) and the joint second place!
Posted 01/04/2010 - 07:17 Link
Well done Jo and i-berg. The judging was very well thought out and expressed and i-berg's shot put down a marker as soon as I saw it saying better this if you can.


You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.
Posted 01/04/2010 - 08:41 Link
Congratulations to i-Berg and thanks to Jo for the competition and judging.

I decided that I would much rather be in aliengrove's Doha than in mikew's car park

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Posted 01/04/2010 - 09:34 Link
Great fun Jo, thanks and well done i-Berg - reminds us all of our fragility.

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Posted 01/04/2010 - 09:51 Link
Well done on the judging Jo and congratulations to i-Berg for a deserved win.
Joining the Q
Posted 01/04/2010 - 10:44 Link

Thank you for the No 1 spot - a humbling experience, given the talent here. Well done to Doc M and Alien Grove; to Mike, Tozza and Alun for the HCs, and everyone that took the time and made the effort to enter.

Thanks everyone for your kind words also.

I'm about to find out what I've let myself in for here, so on the with the show - jump across to the new thread!
Posted 01/04/2010 - 16:13 Link
Top marks to Jo on fine judging and to i-Berg on a fine win. And congratulatiosn to the other award winners and everyone who entered, there was some first class work. I had to sit this one out because too much going on at domestic level this week.
Posted 01/04/2010 - 16:18 Link

Just tried cropping my pic as suggested and you are right, it does look better. Thanks for the suggestion,!
Posted 01/04/2010 - 16:24 Link
Thanks for the excellent comments and judging Jo! Also congratz to i-Berg, Dr M, and Aliengrove, three great shots

PS Fantastic fairy, Hefty! Also liked Hyram's shot a lot.
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Edited by thoughton: 01/04/2010 - 16:26
Posted 01/04/2010 - 19:00 Link
Congratulation I-Berg...I guess I didn't really get the "genius loci" thing. Great shots though.
Posted 01/04/2010 - 23:07 Link
Thanks again for the kind words everyone.
Posted 02/04/2010 - 00:57 Link
Hi Jo, I am sorry that I missed the my reasoning was that the womb was a "place"....of spirit...of protection. I did look up the meaning, thought that the womb picture might work. I must conclude that I am still clueless to what it is???

No worries, I have always enjoyed the competitions, and I would have been totally overwhelmed if I had of won this...after last weeks cometition work, AND the baby in the womb has now arrived, and I am beyond busy

Just for the enjoyment of it is the new addition..a girl!


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