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Weekly Challenge WINNERS - WEEKLY CHALLENGE # 354 - "Resolute Nature"
Posted By: Tamia, 06-24-2016, 12:50 PM

Thanks to Simon/simon_199, I had the honor of choosing a subject for and hosting the 354th edition of the venerable Weekly Challenge. The theme was Naturam, or Resolute Nature, and your challenge was to depict determined wild animals, birds, insects, vegetation, etc., that have adapted to human presence and who thrive. Every one of the fourteen entries meets the criteria admirably and this makes choosing winners very difficult. In the end, after short-listing the finalists, I had to fall back on my emotional reaction to the photos combined with the usual technical aspects that makes for a great image. Thanks to you all for your entries. I enjoyed each one. To see every entry, visit the thread here.

Now first a few comments, and then the winners...

Tim/atupdate The first entrant and a wonderful example of what I was hoping to see, this mixed flock of waterfowl certainly have adjusted to the human footprint. That they show wariness but refuse to be deterred by the lawns and infrastructure is testament to their determination to live their lives. Great start to kick off the contest.

Bruce Clark A fine photo and excellent choice for the theme. Making a nest in the depression of a hewn beam shows how determined and resourceful gulls can be. This family portrait is poignant as well as visually appealing, with the superb rendition of textures and colors. I especially like how you managed to prevent the adult's white feathers from being a bright featureless blob. Very good photo all round.

Susan/slowpez I love the determination of trees, and your photo is a prime example of their resilience. A beautiful tree in a lovely setting that's managed by people but where it's clear that nature maintains a solid foothold. Beautiful.

Sealonsf A building constructed from earth materials is abandoned and being reclaimed by the land and vegetation, and no doubt, the animals, birds, and insects who live there. This has a very European flavor, and in addition to it being a fitting example of the theme, I just love the textures and colors here. Your photo has an almost painterly feel to it that makes me want to break out my watercolors. Nice job.

Tess/tessfully A brilliant example of the subject, with the crumbling manmade concrete due to nature's influences, along with grasses and that magnificent tree digging in and holding tight. An optimist, the tree plays the long game and if allowed to do so, will be nourished by the concrete's breakdown, thriving and growing tall. Lovely portrait.

Assa1 You wrote, ... no borders for nature. I couldn't have said it better. I just love how the tree has been undeterred in growth simply because a chain-link fence is in the way. Instead, the tree has absorbed the metal framework into its flesh, integrating the manmade into the natural. Excellent depiction of the theme.

Tom/ramseybuckeye Exactly the kind of scene I was thinking of with this theme. If let alone, the vegetation will break down and/or overwhelm the manmade elements in nature's irresolute march for survival. Composition, texture, and colors all contribute to a very successful photo and depiction of the theme.

Arnold Another wonderful example of vegetation growing on and over the manmade substrate, and I can well imagine that beyond the building's open door there are other plants and also animals making homes for themselves. Even the rust on the metal is an example of how nature recycles what we've discarded. Nice job.

Stu/smf I really like this photo and how you've captured the nestling's demands for food from the parent sparrow. The nest has been cleverly built in a secure, sheltered location and obviously the birds are able to find enough to sustain themselves and the next generation, who will go on to thrive in the human landscape. Well done.

Noel/noelcmn A wonderful photo of how bird flight transcends human barriers, and with such a fearsome spiked fence, the urban weaver is unbothered by risks associated with crossing from side to side. Your explanation of how the weaver has adapted to encroachment into its formally wild territory is not just educational but also moving and inspiring.

Don/djb47 The lone spruce is determined to live in an area where people go for recreation, steadfast in its determination to make a living where lichens and mosses are the dominate vegetative cover. This reminds me of areas near my where off-roaders have churned away the delicate, thin soil but despite that, pine tree saplings have taken root here and there. I like this a lot.

Kyle/SpecialK If it's tough to take root in thin soil, it's even tougher to grow in solid rock, but the fissure and, no doubt, erosional materials within have given this plant what it needs to survive. Amazing colors and a lovely photo of a spectacular scene.

Charlie/charliezap Well I hope some folks put something out for these hungry turkeys in that post-nor'easter rigor. The rare one legged turkey variant, not to mention the amazing headless fowl, really makes me even more impressed by how the flock has survived in the suburban environment. A great shot.

Jason/jcdoss Clearly this flock of pigeons has set up housekeeping in the ruins of an abandoned building, and are quite at home as they sleep, relax, and go about the business of being a pigeon. They're adapted admirably to the environment where they find themselves, and though reviled by many, I find pigeons to be a remarkable bird precisely because they aren't easily muscled aside. Well chosen photo for the theme. Oh, and that legacy lens on the new full frame body produced a fine image. The photographer did his bit, too.

Drum rolls, please, as we move to the winners's section, beginning with...

Honorable Mentions All who aren't on the podium deserve to be in this category. Really, I can't pick just two or three.

Third Place Jason/jcdoss

Second Place Tom/ramseybuckeye

First Place & Next Week's Host Bruce Clark, the baton is handed on to you, because this one moves me most.

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06-24-2016, 04:24 PM   #2
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Thanks Tamia for a wonderful contest. I appreciate your thoughtful comments on the photos as I trust does every other entrant. There were some great entries there and I an indeed honoured to be selected. Congratulations also to Tom and Jason. Now for the hard part selecting a new theme. I shall give it some thought and post a theme shortly.
06-24-2016, 05:11 PM   #3
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Bruce that is a fantastic image! Congrats on your win!! Also kudos to Tom and Jason for your relevant and thought provoking shots. Thank you Tamia, I always appreciate your themes and comments.
06-24-2016, 06:25 PM   #4
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Fantastic Bruce! Well done, and I love that pic Jason, the pigeons are quite content in their "slum". Tamia, great challenge, thanks for the honor, and I really agree with the HM, superb entries!

06-24-2016, 06:41 PM   #5
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Congrats Bruce and Tom! Excellent images especially given the challenging theme. Thanks Tamia for judging, which is a chore I never ever want. Thanks everyone for participating and see you all next week!
06-24-2016, 06:58 PM   #6
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Congratulations to all, and thanks to Tamia.
06-25-2016, 02:08 AM   #7
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Congrats to all on the podium and for you Tamia for comments. Always appreciated.
06-25-2016, 04:49 AM   #8

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Congratulations Bruce, Tom, and Jason. Thanks for hosting Tamia and for the kind words.


06-25-2016, 04:55 AM   #9
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Excellent image Bruce. Congratulations Tom and Jason. Thanks for the feedback Tamia and hosting.
06-25-2016, 05:58 AM   #10
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Some great images all, and a great theme.
I had nothing to offer, (except possibly the weeds in my garden, and it has been too wet to get down low to capture them [or pull them out!])
06-25-2016, 06:21 AM   #11
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Thanks Tamia for a wonderful challenge and for commenting on all the entries. Bruce, that was a wonderful image and, as Tamia said, a moving one. Congrats also to Tom and Jason for their entries. Looking forward to the next challenge.
06-26-2016, 04:35 AM   #12
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Fantastic winning image-man! the camouflage on the chick is incredible! Great photographers eye. Congrats Bruce. and extended to Tom and Jason. Thanks Tamia, a wonderful challenge, with top notch entries here. and for the judging and commenting exercise- always appreciated.

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