Week 12 Camera Comments
I really enjoyed looking at and commenting upon the images submitted this week. I felt that there was a lot of creativity in evidence and that the standard was very high. In addition, I believe many would make very interesting prints. Thanks to all who entered for brightening up a damp and dreich Saturday morning!
A-mazing – Second equal
Though I guess it will be no real comfort to the author, in many weeks this image could easily have won. Brilliantly seen, the panoramic crop works really well emphasising the structural nature of the maze, something emphasised by the colours of the thistle heads. The only very (and I mean very!) slight thing I would point out is that the image is quite low resolution and so a little pixelated. It was obviously a sunny day when taken, so maybe switching to a lower iso would have reduced this effect. This is really splitting hairs however and it is a very fine image.
Basket Case – Third equal
Another photograph which on another day could have easily won. This is an absolutely superb graphic image. The almost monochrome triangular patterns in the centre and on the right contrast really well with the bright yellow pattern on the left-hand side. The only (again very minor) thing I might have changed is to change the crop ratio a wee bit and perhaps remove the darker area in the left hand sixth of the image.
Delightful Dish – Commended
An image with real impact of what, for this theme, is a near perfect subject. I love the conversion to black and white which really emphasise the patterns on the plate and so strengthens the graphic nature of the photograph. The directional lighting actually adds a really interesting extra dimension, but has been just a little too bright. This has caused the centre right of the image to come perilously close to being too bright and losing detail. Similarly, the corresponding area in the left centre is almost too dark. Controlling the light or using a slightly narrower aperture might have solved this. Personally, although I think that the crop works well, I’d liked to have had all four corners the same. I really enjoyed this image, and it would be interesting to see what a series of images of the same plate but with different treatments would look like.
Enter the Cabbage Maze - Commended
What a great idea for an image. The author here has done the hard part in coming up with a fresh (sorry!) take on the theme. The colour in the cabbage is great, the lighting good, the exposure spot on and the glints of moisture suggest that it might just have been cut a matter of moments before. The patterns are intriguing, and although they lie on the border of abstract, I still think that they fit the theme. The difficulty for me here is the presence of the fingers which are a definite distraction. If the cabbage had been laid on a piece of paper and photographed from above or if this image had been cropped in so that only the pattern was showing it would, in my opinion, have been stronger.
Had this just been the pattern on its own then this would have been a nice, if slightly uninteresting image. What lifts it up is the presence of the pencils. I particularly like the fact that they are together and placed at the angle they are. They are just a little tight in the frame and it would have been interesting to see the effect if the image had been given a bit more space around the outside and the pencils placed at a slightly less steep angle. Overall, the image is perhaps just a little underexposed and might have benefited from increasing the brightness and boosting the contrast a little.
Geodome - Commended
This is a really unusual, intriguing image which I spent a long time looking at. So, in terms of keeping my attention the author was hugely successful. I really like the underlying geodesic structure of this image and the way it has been treated. I do wonder however if it would have been even stronger had it simply been black and white. I’m also still not certain about the patterned background. Whilst I understand that the author might have wanted something other than a plain background and to include a pattern which echoed the dome, I’m not sure the diagonal underlay is necessarily successful. Having said all of that there are definite signs of intent here and this was unlike any other image submitted.
A completely different approach to the topic in this image. I really like the textural contrast between the two halves. The smooth textures in the door and the hinge work really well against the rough, worn feel of the stonework. I also really like the patterns and shapes in the hinge. I think that the colour contrast makes the image a little unbalanced as I found my attention constantly returning to the door. I also wonder if shooting the image parallel to the door and thus straightening the lines might have been beneficial.
Geometric Triptych - Commended
Another really interesting take on the topic and the only triptych submitted. First and foremost, I like the balance in the panel. The two coloured image nicely offset what is in effect a monochrome central image. There are also prominent curves in the outside pictures and their backgrounds contrast with what lies between them. All three images are also technically very good. I think that the “Dendritic Triangle Geometrics” might well have been good enough to stand on its own, particularly with a bit more separation between the leaves. I’m not entirely convinced by the inclusion of the text and find the quantity of visual information in the image a wee bit overwhelming. The upper and lower borders may also be a bit too wide. Having said all that, I really enjoyed this image and think it would make an interesting panelled print.
The clear marbles with the coloured inserts make for an absorbing pattern. I like the little bubbles inside the marbles and the way they bounce the light around. I also like the shiny surface they are sitting on and the way that nothing else distracts in the image. The little bright spot in the front right is a little distracting and I would perhaps have liked to see all of the marble at the back centre. It’s also, to my mind, a bit of a pity that the marble in the centre of the image is darker than some of those around it. I suspect by playing around with the arrangement of the marbles and the angle of the camera that a wide variety of potential images could be generated using this set up and this in turn would also produce a variety of lighting results.
Honeycomb - Commended
There is a lot about this image I like. Firstly, the colour. The bronze yellow is a really good background for the dark inserts. Secondly if you stare at it long enough the black inserts and the little bits above them, start to look almost like small tents. You could then be looking at some sort of huge camp! Finally, I found myself starting to look for variations between each of the cells, actually spending a fair amount of time looking at the image overall. So, in terms of keeping my attention, job done! Unfortunately, the area to the right of the image is slightly out of focus and this definitely detracts from the overall effect. That said, this is a courageous entry and one which matches the theme.
Jenga – Third Equal
Yet another image which I really enjoyed looking at, and one which made me think about flooring an area of a room with Jenga! Well thought out, well lit, well exposed, and, to my mind at least, very well cropped. Spending a while looking at this image reveals all the variations in each brick and helps appreciate the way in which the pattern has been constructed. Given that it is the variations in tone and texture which account for much of the interest here, I wonder what the effect of converting it to monochrome would have been. Tonally, it is slightly darker in the far-left hand-side row of bricks and this, along with the strength of competition, is the only reason it did not do even better.
Parallel Lines -Second Equal
It really was hard to pick between this and the winning image as this is an outstanding image in every respect. The vertical and horizontal elements of the composition complement each other perfectly, it’s superbly framed and the crop ratio for me is ideal. Interestingly, this image is, for me, strongest in this orientation. Having rotated it on the computer screen, it definitely works best as it is presented. Of course, what makes this image stand out is the use of colour. The yellowish wood, contrasts wonderfully against the blue background, and the red at the top and bottom of the frame add even more. The grain of the wood also contributes to the overall visual interest. In my opinion, it is a super piece of work and would make a fantastic print. In the end it was just the textural contrasts in the winning image which made the difference.
The author here has done the hard part in identifying an interesting and unusual subject which fits the theme perfectly. The conversion to black and white almost makes the sections look like little silver paper packages and the pattern is very evident. I like these aspects of this image very much. Unfortunately, and this may be down to the transfer between computers, it is out of focus and therefore not sharp at all. Sometimes this is unimportant, but here I feel the image would benefit significantly from being sharper. Had it been more in focus, then I feel that it would have done well.
Plastic waves – Highly Commended
Another exceptional graphic image of what, I have absolutely no idea! I like the conversion to black and white and the way that this gives the material a gritty texture. As with a number of other entries this week, the repetitive elements of the image invite you to look for variations between these elements. Once again, I spent a while looking at variations in tones, angles and textures. Though I do like the way the image recedes, I wonder if the impact is slightly diminished by there being almost a vertical line through the centre. It may be that this might have had greater impact had the gap between the elements been on a diagonal.
Stadium Steelwork - Commended
A few weeks back, the theme was “Everything’s Changing” and I feel that this image would have done very well in that competition. That said, there are some very strong elements relating to this week’s topic in here. I really like the way the blue of the sky and the light greys of the clouds are echoed in the stadium’s structures. These colours in turn contrast very well with the red brick. As for all the steelwork, it, of course, fits this week’s topic perfectly. I just feel that by not changing the angle at which they took the image, or perhaps cropping out extra elements like the road and the building on the left, the author has maybe missed out this time on a very special image.
Wierd Fish – Highly Commended
Though this is right on the boundary between patterns and abstract, I feel that there is enough regularity in the banding for it most definitely to qualify for inclusion this week. Though I don’t think it is actually a fish, I have absolutely no idea what it is! What I do know is that I really like this image. I like the blue colour; I like the banding patterns and I like the unusual textures. It’s a wonderfully creative, artistic image which would make a fine print. The only thing I might change is to clone out the small brown area at the top just to the right of centre. By no means a typical camera club image this is another entry I really enjoyed looking at.
Wood on Wood – First Place
It really was very hard to pick between this and the winning image. I think this is an exceptional piece of work, brilliantly executed and with so much to praise. I love the textures, the colours and the way the image has been cropped to emphasise the graphic aspect of it. Perfectly exposed, the way that you can see detail in each of the 4 layers is another real strength. I don’t know how the author lit it, but however it was achieved they got it right. Just for fun, I ran this image through a variety of presets including monochrome and it looked great in every one. It would make a fine print and along with many others from this week I’d love to see it framed and in an exhibition.
Judge Linda Whitelaw
Title: Woven Rope
Position 1st Equal
Loved the strict geometry of the pattern contrasting with the softness and texture of the yarn. Striking colours.
Title: Sunset Chair
Position 1st Equal
Reminded me of Moorish architecture. Liked the effect of the light through the wicker. The shadow on the left slightly affected the symmetry. An eye catching image.
Title: Drain catcher
A pattern that you walk past every day and maybe not notice. I like the direction and energy. And I wonder what it would look like in black and white?
Title: Tails of the times
Position 3rd equal
Good story and title, with so many shapes and repeat patterns. Would have been even better against a blue sky.
Title: Thistle be interesting
Position 3rd equal
Reminds me of William Morris wallpaper. Beautiful image not as geometric as some.
Title: Where is the fruit?
Gorgeous colours. Really cheerful. Would have liked the orange to be more central and a square print.
Title: Odd one out
It looks like a chemical atom. The fruits look really juicy but it doesn’t quite fill the geometric pattern as much as others.