Weekly Competition No.27 'Abstract Plant in MONO'


Link Posted 12/01/2008 - 22:57

K100D Pentax 50-200 @ 115mm, 1/250s @ f/8 ISO 200
Lots of Elements 5


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 09:22
The web site has been unavailable since late Sunday afternoon so this is a late entry.........


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 09:32
comp now closed, will post up results asap..

Pentax: K20D; FA50mm 1.4; FA135mm 2.8; FA 17-28mm; FA 80-320mm; AF360FGZ
Sigma: 30mm F1.4EXDC; 10-20mmEXDC ..... LENSBABY 'Composer' ,


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 11:38

I know that the judges decision is final in all cases but, seeing that the website has been down for so long over Sunday and today, would you entertain any late entries?



Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 12:32
AdrianP wrote:

I know that the judges decision is final in all cases but, seeing that the website has been down for so long over Sunday and today, would you entertain any late entries?


Pretty please - see my photo elsewhere on the forum.


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 13:31

I do like the dynamic shapes in this, the diagonals, contrasting droplets and DOF …but is a bit heavy in tones and a little soft.

John Riley: a very unusual subject and a graphic gritty contrasty image, nicely cropped for impact, a limited tonal range but I presume that was the effect you were after.

Hefty1: a very nicely cropped flower head for impact, I think it could have been improved by increasing the tonal range with levels a little to create more depth; my eye has trouble hunting for the main point of focus which leads me to believe the centre is a little soft, but I like the pattern.

Iceblinker: I like this very much and love the way you have applied the rule of thirds here, DOF is very effective, I like the way the background leaf mirrors the foreground, the foreground has a lot of interest, a great image. FIRST PLACE

Promhandicam: I suspect an unusual exotic flower from Ghana, it almost looks like a magnified DNA cell by the way you have isolated the flower from its background, too much white space suspends in space and the angle is odd, I find the point of focus difficult to locate.

Daniel Bridge: very dark and brooding image, reminds me of something from Star Wars, I like the dark background to this amazing shape but I find the out of focus blob at top distracting.

Ernie: not what I would class as an abstract really, it is a silhouette and lacking in tonal range to make it interesting to look at, I would clone out the distracting foliage top left.

AJ: I find the exposure of this to be overly heavy and the diffuse lighting not to fall in the right places to hold my attention.

Amilner: a lovely well orchestrated shot, the DOF allows the eye to fall directly on the droplet of nectar or water on the stamen, but after you see the droplet the top middle petal becomes dominant and drags the eye away.

McBrian: the most extreme abstract and it works, gives the impression of a stainless steel cast petals, I suspect ‘chrome filter’ here? nicely cropped.

The Pup: well done, I do like this, you have produced an image with sensitivity and class, the goldfish is just small enough to add point of interest but I think the fish detracts from the idea of plant abstract, well cropped and beautifully toned image. HIGHLY COMMENDED

Clarky: I think this Iris/Lily had great potential for an abstract but 2 things bother me I think there is too much black space around it, as you know by now, I am not keen on isolating the image from its true background as I think it becomes more like a specimen. The left petal I feel is a bit hot and unbalances the image.

Gartmore: this is interesting an artistic approach and has a Japanese painterly effect and I am quite intrigued how you created this, I could imagine it on a huge canvas. I like the pale to mid grey tones and the crop.

Stevejcoe: one of only 6, that have been toned and although the choice of color is OK I feel you may have been a bit heavy with it. If you used duotone, you can adjust the curve of whatever tonal color/s you applied to perhaps bring the flower up from the background and to a more enhancing exposure. I do quite like the silky back drop which gives it a real 30’s film like quality to it.

Utopia Poppy: beautifully framed, I cannot fault the composition but I find the colour too much in my face, I understand you wanting to keep the red rose theme but, I would like to have seen it de-saturated, I played around with it by reducing sat by -60 and it IMHO it became more pleasing to the eye, I did also notice pixilation?

Pnjmcc: firstly, has potential (part apple, part leaves) but not cropped enough for abstract, you could have gone in by a half at least, a more shallow DOF and focussed on the apple and I would have adjusted the levels for a more interesting tonal range.

Prieni: I am so pleased it didn’t cause you too much grief, it is a lovely image that we always come to expect from you, but I have one criticism, I think you cropped it incorrectly, rule of thirds applies with this image, I would have the top left part of the leaf more dominant than the very pale right bottom side which is drawing my eye out of the picture, if you had taken an inch or so away from the RHS and give it to the LHS it would be perfect.

MikeW: a dripping ice cave of vegetable foliage that is technically OK, I don’t think the heavy black canvas frame does it any favours, as when I look at the image I see black framing competing with the image, I am sorry, does not really give me a wow factor.

Galoot: not quite sure what to make of this, all shapes, diagonals competing for each other, for me it does not work and the black hole of the seed head gives me a sinking feeling, sorry not this time Galoot.

Malo1961: I like this Martin, like the black background and the way you have taken it side on, the stem grounds the shot, I like the juxtaposition of the seed heads reversed – very quirky, well exposed, good choice of DOF and good lighting. SECOND PLACE

Dirk1000: an arty graphic image, it almost has a solarized look about it, an image that has transmogrified from a photograph into an impressionist style painting, although a little too over-cooked for my personal taste it is original.

Don: the first thing that hits me in the eye is the wonky horizon, just rotating the image 2 degrees CW and recropping tighter improves the overall look no end, plus I would burn in a bit more of the brush on the horizon to draw the eye in. Nice cool tones.

Amoringello: an unusual choice of tonal color that gives the impression of an aquarium plant, a very unusual looking plant that is somehow lost in the overall coloring, a softer choice of color look would for me had been better, I would have cloned out that black decaying stamen at about 2 o’clock.

HowardJ: this rather phallic pallid plant really does need a more punchy background to it to bring out the textures of its build, I think the lighting is too harsh and the shadow is a distracting quality.

Nimitz: admire your resourcefulness in using an artificial flower (apologies if wrong) too much of a good thing for abstract impact, I would have cropped in much tighter taking in three quarters of the flower and some of the netting.

Karma mechanic: this is lovely, I like the translucence of the petals, the fluidity of movement, the full range of tones playing with each other and that little beam of light in the centre that draws you in wondering where this plant begins and ends and the mystery of what plant this is. THIRD PLACE

Niblue: a lovely sweet pea that is unusual to see in mono, the droplets of water are incredibly well spaced, almost too perfect, well exposed, nice DOF, sharp where it counts only crit' I would have would be that I would have cropped it tight up from the bottom also trimming a bit of the bottom part of the sweet pea off to get a rectangular format.

Fretobe: A nice range of tones and dynamic shapes here, I like the shapes on the left hand side of the image, the right hand side though is a little messy and distracting so I would have cropped appx. a third off this side. Cropping an image is an important part of the process and something that can make or break an image. I always keep a white envelope by my monitor to hold up to the screen to see how an image can be improved by cropping.

Browngo1: a solid heavy abstract but has finesse in it fine grain detail, technically OK but does not really sing to me.

Ronniebchristian: not quite sure how to address this, I do like the tone and the crop and as you say quite heavily photo shopped, a little too much for my personal taste to place.

Sussexsurfer: very delicate, love the depth of field and your choice of subject, however, overall the mid tones are very dominant, not enough dark and highlight tones to make it sing out. I opened the image and adjusted the levels bringing in the dark and highlight sliders and it really did bring it to life.

Thank you for a very interesting array of entries, I enjoyed judging this very much. Although it was probably one of the hardest I have had to do, it was hard enough getting down to my favourite six let alone the top three! I got a lot out of it – hope you all have too.

Cheers Lilly

Pentax: K20D; FA50mm 1.4; FA135mm 2.8; FA 17-28mm; FA 80-320mm; AF360FGZ
Sigma: 30mm F1.4EXDC; 10-20mmEXDC ..... LENSBABY 'Composer' ,


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 13:50
Thanks for your swift judgement. I certainly learn a lot from the competitions. I will see if I can accommodate your suggestions (depends a bit on what the full frame looks like). Interesting selection of pictures again.

Congratulations to Malo1961, you hit the jackpot, fame and honour without needing to judge the next competition.

Commiserations to iceblinker, you nearly got the much coveted 2nd place. Maybe next time (i.e. in two weeks time). I'm looking forward to this weeks theme...
How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. - Arthur C. Clarke
Prieni's PPG page


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 14:01
Well judged Lilly and congratulations to Iceblinker


Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 14:03
Lilly wrote:
Daniel Bridge: very dark and brooding image, reminds me of something from Star Wars, I like the dark background to this amazing shape but I find the out of focus blob at top distracting.

Yes, I did think about photoshopping this out, but it seemed like too much hard work. It's the stem of the teasal head, and in the colour version it's not as prominent. Oh well, never mind. The dead head I have in the garden awaiting a frost has been carefully arranged to avoid an OoF stem.

Congratulations Iceblinker, and again, well judged Lilly.

K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 14:06
Congrats Iceblinker and well judged again Lilly
Pentax Lenses:|DA12-24/f4 ED AL|DA35Ltd Macro|FA31Ltd|FA77Ltd|FA50/1.4|F70-210|FA20-35 f4/AL|A*200/f4 Macro ED|A50/1.7|A50 Macro f2.8|1.7xAF adapter|
Voigtlander|125/f2.5SL Macro APO Lanthar|
Sigma Lenses:|EX DG 100-300 f4|2X & 1.4X TC|
Flashes:|AF540FGZx2|RingFlash AF160FC|


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 14:51
Congrats Iceblinker, your turn to set the theme and so it's over to you...

Thanks for the judging, Lilly!
Best regards, John


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 14:54
Congratulations Iceblinker, a very well deserved First Place! (also my election).

Thanks Lilly for your highly teaching judgment!

Best regards.
K10D+ Sigma 18-50 1:2.8 DC Lens.
Image counter: 4538


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 15:48
Thanks Lilly for good and helpful judging - quick too!



Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 16:22
Thanks Lilly, more than you know....... This again showed the high quality of the Pentax forum members. Very good judging on your part, again. And congrats to all the other winners.
Best regards,


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.


Link Posted 14/01/2008 - 16:41
Blimey, I really wasn't expecting that as I was so impressed by the beauty of many of the other pictures. Thanks very much indeed.

I will set the next comp later this evening. I'm sure I will find the judging and writing-up just as challenging as any photography. (I've never done anything like this before). Cheers.
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