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Winners: "Lifting The Mundane" (Weekly Challenge 266)
Posted By: smf, 12-06-2013, 10:30 AM

Thank you very much, everyone! I greatly respect your vision, artistry and skill.

I cannot adequately convey how much I admire and appreciate photographs posted in this thread — including photos not listed among the winners and honorable mentions. (It appears that I'm limited to 10 attachments.)

Although I sometimes offer suggestions below, I'm not an expert.

Jessesdad — I agree that "a car aerial is about as mundane as it gets." And I share your appreciation of the blue-grey bokeh you achieved. Nice capture of reflection in the aerial's top. Good choice of aperture to achieve sharp focus for the aerial's top and pleasing blur below.

charliezap — Very pleasing mix of color in the ornament and less intense color in the foliage in the background. Also, I like the reflection of trees at upper left.

SpecialK — Your architectural image is well seen, composed and captured.

Tamia — Expert handling of texture and contrast in this memorable, busy image of "Weathered Discarded Plywood."

lukulele — The spectacular mountainous locale and the furry explorers are a nice combination.

scratch paddy — Excellent choice of aperture and focal point in this delightful, well-composed image of the ducks.

jmschrei — I appreciate your narrative with this very well-titled image ("Moment Between The Clouds and The Buildings"). I'm a big fan of your capture of the cloudy sky's softness. Power lines spoil some images for me, but not this image! Also, I often find natural or created flares and starbursts to be minuses. That's not true here.

Chatmerchant — I like the contrast with the black background and the shadow. I also like the similar color of the bowl and part of the wood, the black scuff marks on the wood, and the point of view. I respect your decision on proportion and cropping. I would have been tempted to crop from the bottom to a point slightly below the scuff mark at lower left.

Neville — I'm very glad you "settled for this humble wicker drawer." Your image is beautifully lit and cropped.

RollsUp —Thanks for showing me frozen seaweed for what I think is the first time. I like the colors and lighting.

rbefly — "Too SleepyTo Notice?" is a treasure. Presentation in black and white is an excellent choice here.

at update — Excellent composition and presentation of this well-titled image, "Sew What?".

slowpez — "Water Weeds" has a very pleasing combination of softness and crispness, green and shades of tan and brown.

Jools — The bubbles and tones are presented very well in "Soaking Forks." I'd enjoy seeing how you might choose to present spoons and knives.

NaClH20 — Thanks very much for your interesting and informative narrative about your capturing of the colors in "Here There Be Fairies." I wonder how many of our favorite photographs are our favorites because of elements we weren't expecting.

casil403 — Excellent presentation of the pergola, including the blue areas' increasing depth and width.

Bill 2849 — I like the backlit "hairs" on the stems and also the out-of-focus purple, yellow and green in the background.

Mareket — Thanks very much for including the ISO information with your image, "Boil." I haven't noticed such paving. I admire your capture of the textures.

fotogaffer — I like your choice of point of view and the presentation of "Candles" in black and white. It would be fun to see color versions of this image, too.

StephenHampshire — "Rust Stripe" perfectly embodies the theme "Lifting The Mundane." The small, red areas to the right of the stripe plus the various shades of blue and bluish-gray are important to my appreciation of the image.

K David — "Teapot, Though Neither Short Nor Stout" is superbly presented via point of view, lighting and choice of aperture. The teapot appears to float. I especially like:
• the narrow area of intense white where the spout emerges from the teapot's body,
• display of contour, and
• the elegance of the darkness and grey at and near the sputa's end.
If the image was mine, I probably would have tried darkening the background atop the teapot's center in an attempt to eliminate the grey, vertical line.

kain — "Getting Up There" is fun. I like your choice of black-and-white presentation.

mecrox — I like the fact that splashes of color appear — and lift from the mundane — in the background of "Rainy Day."
If the image was mine, I might have chosen to crop from the right, eliminating the man and everything else in the image's left portion. And I might also have desaturated or converted to black and white the colors which appear through the rectangular hole in the waste container (the red and the person to the left of that red area).

jacamar — I admire the presentation and tones of "Ranch Boot Closet." Very well seen. The dangling laces and cords are icing on the cake.

sealonsf — "Gina's Window" might be considered mundane. I call it art. Bravo!

vroom_skies — This image has a superb combination of depth, detail and tones. Composition is excellent. Again, bravo!

tessfully — "Hydro Wire At Sunrise" is another excellent example of lifting the mundane. When I first saw a small version of the image — and before I read the title — I thought someone stuck a drinking straw in a piece of lemon meringue pie.

mattb123 — Applause for this excellent image, with the superb texture. I'm having trouble figuring out what was mundane here — unless I use one of the "New Oxford American Dictionary" definitions: "of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one." Thanks very much for this information: "This snow was all covered in these hoar frost crystals which form when temps get low and it hasn't snowed for a few days. This will be come an avalanche hazard once buried under enough snow (weakly bonded layer). But for now it's pretty, sparkly, and good skiing!"

noelcmn — Among your photograph's pleasant features are the reflections in the metal bands and the refraction of the horizontal grout line.

First: K David — "Teapot, Though Neither Short Nor Stout." The mundane object is lifted literally and figuratively by the skilled photographer's presentation.

Second: casil403 (pergola)

Third: Neville (wicker drawer)

Some of my other favorite images are by:







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12-06-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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Well done smf. Great challenge with lots of wonderful images from all the entrants. You did a great job of choosing the subject and reviewing all the entries. Congrats to K David on first place. A wonderful pot to view. Congrats also to casil and Neville on second and third. Congratulations Jools, jacamar, Tamia, sealonsf, Stephen, matt, and vroomskies on the honorable mentions. Looking forward to the next challenge.
12-06-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to comment on all of our entries; we really appreciate your feedback, and there sure were a lot of entries to judge here! Excellent submissions, everyone, and congratulations on a well-deserved win, K David. My ducks didn't stand a chance.
12-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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Congratulations to the winners and HM's. Thanks for running an interesting theme + contest, smf,

12-06-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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Stu - Thanks for the challenge (which again brought out many outstanding entries) and for your comments on each of the entries, and for an outstanding selection of winner, runners-up and other favorites. Well done!
Congratulations to K David for a well-wrought photo of a pot and to Casil, Neville and the other favorites. And thanks to the other entrants for a variety of outstanding images.

12-06-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
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Wow. I definitely did not expect to win this one. I have a theme for next week's challenge picked out and am waiting for some guidance from Stu on how to start the challenge (this will be the first one for me.)
12-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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Thanks! Nice job to everyone. Lots of great images here.

To answer what is mundane about my image is here in the Colorado Mountains we are often inundated with snow. It's everywhere this time of year (usually) and people tire of it. So in a high altitude mountain town just some snow and sky can be mundane. It might be like a photo of some dirt elsewhere.
12-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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Good stuff all. Thank you very much for your excellent judging and well done the winners. What a great subject. I much look forward to the next competition, they are so enjoyable.

12-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
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Wow smf, thanks for your judging! Yeah, on the 'getting up there', I decided to go with B+W due to the fact that the interestingness in the image to me was all in the lines and composition, and not so much in the tone or hue.
12-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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Stu, thanks for all the comments and for judging this tough one, well done! Congratulations K David, Casil403 and Neville and all the honorable mentions. Another very fine selection of images to ponder over a cup of coffee .
And last word to Scratchpaddy- your ducks did'nt stand a chance because they were not all in a row - A straight row at any rate
12-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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Stu, thanks for taking the trouble to comment on all the entries, and glad you liked the cowboy boots. Taken just the way it was with a desert sunrise behind me - after I had picked out my boots and hat for the day's ride!
12-06-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Congratulations K David! Your entry is marvellous!!! Congrats too Casil and Neville as well as the HMs. And special thanks to Stu for an inspiring challenge and awesome judging
12-06-2013, 06:04 PM   #13
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Well done K David on your fabulous photo! And to you, Lisa, and Neville for podium placements on your great shots as well. Congrats to the HMs, and thanks a lot to Stu for thoughtful comments, an inspiring theme, and for placing me among the HMs. Not to go beyond my comfort zone...
12-06-2013, 06:13 PM   #14
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Congrats K David on winning, and to Casil403 and Neville on second and third place finishes, and to all the HM's. Lots of great shots throughout. Thanks for your thoughtful judging and comments smf - great job!
12-06-2013, 10:22 PM   #15
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Thanks Stu for an invigorating theme and placing me along the HMs. Of course thanks for your judging and taking the time to comment. It ain't that easy at times.
Congrats to K David, Lisa and Neville wicked good images. Fabulous pictures from the other HMs and the rest of this great challenge participants. Give yourselves a pat in the back because I really enjoyed viewing all the entries.
Saludos, Julio.

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