ABBEY CAMERA CLUB WEEKLY COMPETITION  Camera Section

WEEK 15 – SUBJECT -   “WATER”

JUDGE’S COMMENTARY

I have been really impressed by the innovative ideas that have been used to produce some cracking images of “Water” and have really enjoyed my judging session.

 

A Watery Grave for Mufasa - 17

Not sure that I totally understand this image and how it was achieved but I like the palette of colours within the photograph they are all very complimentary to each other. The blue “face” provides a focal point. The curve in the bottom left hand corner is distracting, I presume that it is part of a dish but once noticed I kept wondering what it was, I would certainly have cropped it out. An interesting image which verges on the abstract and well done to the author but I think that there are stronger images in the group.

Cargen Rapids - 17

I do like the shutter speed used in capturing this image, it has slowed the water down and yet the bubbles are clear enough to form a lead in line towards the falls. The exposure has been handled well with no blown highlights. The lighting is however flat and as such I do think working on the contrast/levels would enhance the image. I also think that I would crop the image coming in from the right had side towards the tree. This would help focus the attention more on the falls and the lead in line created by the bubbles.

Chilled with Ice please - 17

Another interesting concept which also includes two forms of water, liquid and frozen. The inclusion of the straw injects a bit of colour into the basically monochrome image. Whilst the straw and the two glasses create the desired odd number of objects I wonder if the image would have been stronger with say a bottle being included as well. Glass is tricky to light and I think the author has done well but I would have darkened down the highlights around the ice slightly. Overall an good attempt but the final result is spoiled slightly as the image is slightly soft.

Droplets of Life - 16

I have tried to take similar images many times so I do understand the problems faced i.e. trying to get both the droplets and the leaves in focus. The author has framed the leaves nicely in the frame with the attractive curve taking you from left to right and the background suits the subject. Sadly the image is quite soft which spoils the overall effect. There is another image in the set which is considerably stronger and I think that has been achieved by focusing on one droplet of water. This type of image works better with less then more, certainly something to try again.

 

Garden in the Rain - 18

Again a different approach and I like the way the author has used the out of focus garden as a background to the raindrops om the glass. The muted colours are also reflected in the water droplets which gives them further interest. The droplets are sharp and there is much to like in this image. I think however that it is a bit flat and would benefit from an increase in contrast and/or levels to make it all stand out slightly more. Also I may have removed the tiny droplets and wee marks to create a cleaner image. Overall still a very nice image.

Go with the Flow - 16

The second waterfall in the selection and again the shutter speed selected has helped add some character to the water and the exposure has avoided any burnt-out highlights. The inclusion of the bridge has added another element to the story. Unfortunately the light is quite flat and as such I think the image needs something extra to pep it up a little, some gentle HDR perhaps. Whilst the foliage in the top right hand quarter provides plenty of detail  I do wonder if it is a bit overpowering. It maybe that a portrait crop on the left hand side would strengthen the image as you would have more defined layers, the bridge, the falls and the water at the front. Certainly a place to revisit.

I’ll hide First - 15

I like the idea and with the swans feeding it brings a different approach to the normal swans on the water image. The reflections add further detail as do the ripples created by the swans. Unfortunately the light is very poor and this has resulted in the water being dark and fairly featureless allied to which I suspect the author has underexposed to avoid burnt out highlights on the swans. However there are burnt out highlights on the left hand swan. This is an image which would also benefit from a third swan as there is quite a bit of negative space between the two. Overall the image does not work as well as it could if tried on a different day.

Raindrops – 19

Lots to like about this image, the curves within the main leaf which act as perfect lead in lines, the strong colours and the treatment which has brought out the texture of the leaves very well. There is good depth of focus throughout the image with the water droplets showing up well. This is a strong image and  was in consideration as my winner.

Refraction - 20

When I first looked through the images this one stood out as my winner. It is sharp, the colours are complementary, the light has been handled well and the arrangement makes it appear as if there is an odd number i.e. three but the symmetry also appeals. I thought about cropping out the white arrow head shaped area at the top as it does catch your eye but it is pointing into the image so I can live with it although I may have tried to tone it down a little. A very well constructed image and a worthy winner, well done to the author.

 

Sparkling not Still - 17

Another super idea and I like the concept of using the grass as the background as doing so results in nice reflections in the water both on top and through the glass. I do wonder if including the top of the glass would strengthen the image as it would give more definition and would have placed the nice top reflection on more of a third.  I would probably have reduced the stem of the glass slightly as it has created quite a bright area which does catch your eye. Maybe also take out the seed heads on the left and increase the contrast/tweak the levels to make the glass and the water stand out a bit more. I really like the concept and would encourage the author to try again.

States of Matter - 19

A very well thought out panel showing the three different aspects of water and the monochrome approach works well. I particularly like the water drops in the middle image they add a nice touch and the fact that the background is white. I would maybe have preferred a continuous background for the middle one as it would have tied in better with the other two backgrounds. Overall three good images which combine well as a panel, well done.

Surf in a Bubble - 18

A well spotted and executed image and I like the title which emphasises the detail of the light reflected at the front of the water droplet. The key areas of the image are well in focus although I may have been tempted to crop further to remove some of the right hand side and the bottom. The colour suits and I like the reflections on the top of the water droplet. It would have been nice to have an uninterrupted view of the water droplet but the other aspects of the image may not have been as strong from a different viewpoint. Overall a very nice image.

Water Boarding - 18

A totally different take on the theme of water and an image which immediately tells a story, the operator is obviously listening for the sound of water. Well done to the author for spotting the opportunity. There is a good depth of focus throughout the image and the blue van and yellow walls complement each other. The device, the operator and his shadow create a very dynamic triangle.  I would have liked to have had the walls truly straight as they slope slightly to the left. Also I might have been tempted to us a portrait crop from the left which would have increased the focus on the strongest part of the image.

 

Water Drop - 17

Another innovative approach to the subject, so much so that I am not sure how it was achieved but well done for getting the image you did. The shape of the colours in the droplet almost suggest to me that the droplet is enclosing a ring of some sort which on further examination appears to be suspended from a piece of string, I may be totally wrong and would be interested to know what it actually is. Sharpness is a slight issue as the image is a little soft and I am not sure the author has chosen the right combination of colours, the strong yellow background, in my opinion, totally overwhelms key points of interest. Well done for your innovation.

Water on Glass - 17

This is another innovative image, water covered glass over marbles maybe? The water has certainly created a nice effect on the source of the colours and a nice abstract has been created. Sharpness is slightly variable with the bottom left hand area a bit softer than the rest of the image. However I think the weakness in this image is the fact that there are only four areas of colour with a blank area in the bottom right corner. Odd numbers generally work better than even numbers in most photographs and certainly in this one the lack of a fifth colour has quite an effect. A very interesting image never the less and a subject that can be revisited and worked on. Well done for the idea.

Phone Section

Bubbles

Loved this one, took a minute to decipher but brilliant idea.

 

Reflection

Dramatic photo with lovely lines

 

After the Rain

Beautiful green leaves, could practically smell that smell you get after a heavy shower on a hot day.

 

Tranquility

Completely catches the sheer relaxation of just sitting beside the river. I think you could sell this to the local tourist board.

 

Clear Blue Water

Loads of movement and sparkle, I can hear this water rushing.

 

The Cairn Repeated

Very clever idea. But I found it a wee bit much. I think less images might have been easier on the eye.

 

Bathbomb

Interesting image. I struggled to understand it at first. Looks like a planet exploding. Lovely colours

 

Walking on Water

Great title and idea but I felt the fisherman was a wee bit far away and out of focus but I suppose you would have had to get in for a paddle to improve on that!