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WINNERS Weekly Challenge #365 - Tools
Posted By: Tamia, 10-03-2016, 06:34 AM

As the title says, this time around the weekly challenge was "tools." We use them every day, and some animals do also. For myself, I've grown attached to particular tools that become extensions of my own body, like my kitchen knives, and the tools my predecessors passed on to me, like the cast iron Dutch oven my great-grandmother was given by HER mother. Their emotional connections enhance their utility, and I think some photos entered here exhibit that same characteristic nicely.

In judging the entries, I looked for the usual technical proficiencies, but also for something more, that emotional grab that makes tools such a fascinating subject for me (and, no doubt, for others). I'll comment on each entrant's photo before announcing the winners. (To see everyone's entries, visit the contest thread here.)

Michael/Clou: My great-grandfather, who I had the privilege to know until I was five years old, was a machinist "from the old country." He let me "help" in his workshop, and I was fascinated how he could take solid metal stock and shape it into something entirely different. But he never used a forge in my presence, and I always wanted to do blacksmithing, so your photo and explanation were fascinating. Another defining moment in the development of the human species was the recognition of the potential of metals, and then the development of techniques to shape metals. A compelling photo and narrative.

Richard/Vaskebjorn: I love finding this kind of object "in the wild," and your photo is a lovely example of tools that once did plenty of work but are now neglected, rusting away to elemental constituents that will return to the earth to be reformed into new compounds and materials. You well captured the dual nature of strength and fragility, as the heavy metal block which did so much to ease man's burden is now breaking down into fragile flakes. Beautiful capture.

Susan/slowpez: Back when I was taking university biology and anthropology courses, one of the stated defining characteristics distinguishing humans was our ability to recognize the potential of objects that could become tools which would improve our abilities to perform tasks. Well, as anyone who observes wildlife knows, other animals are capable of this as well. I've seen more than one woodpecker carving a hole in a stump which was then used subsequently by him/her and others as a holding place for sunflower seeds as they pound away the husk. Susan, your photo emphasizes animal tool use well with the baboon (?) flossing her teeth. As a side note, I admire the dignity of animals living out their lives in captivity, without privacy and complete freedom, and how they manage to go about their business under the observation of those who do. I like this a lot.

Grygoriy/jumbleview: As someone who struggles to find enough space in my too-small kitchen, I can appreciate the dilemma of finding room for what's needed to prepare food. I like kitchen tools and yours are beautifully displayed and photographed. I find myself returning to look at each tool, and wondering what some of them are used for (such as the bell-shaped one on lower left). The framing you chose for the photo is pleasing, with the pegboard frame inside the photo boundaries, allowing a glimpse of the surroundings. I think this would be an enjoyable kitchen to work in. You and your wife did a great job organizing everything.

JP/LondonWombat: Your narrative brings back childhood memories of living across the road from a rail depot and loading dock in a small town. Being partial to the rails and lamenting the lack of widespread passenger service, I find this photo very compelling. The way the tools are presented, as if workers are just outside the photo ready to grab what's needed, gives this still shot a the sense this is a pause in the action. I really like the muted colors punctuated by a red patch here and there. A vertical format, your choice of composition, and the exposure/pp combine to make this a terrific shot. I'd hang it on my wall.

Noel/noelcmn: Small hand tools make delicate jobs easier and reduce the risks of botching the task. This is particularly important when something as delicate as the eye is the work zone. Ophthalmic tools hold a special importance for me because my husband is struggling to maintain his sight, and this involves periodic injections of medicine into the globe of the eye. So you hit on a tool which has particular appeal for me. I like how you present this, and find the lighting, colors, and exposure to be very appealing. Certainly an little seen tool, as well, so an educational photo into the bargain. Lovely job.

Don/djb47: When I scrolled down the page and saw your photo my first reaction was that I was seeing a clay bird thrower for skeet shooting. I've never seen a "water bird" like this one before, nor from this perspective. An inspired choice of perspective, with a limited depth of field to focus the eye on the sprinkler while providing a tantalizing glimpse of the target zone. Really nice bokeh -- did you use legacy manual lens, by any change? I find myself wondering how the tool works, and examine the device to figure it out. Great job.

Tom/ramseybuckeye: Can anyone have too many tools? It's wonderful to have tools handed down through the family, and to be able to continue using those tools. Picking your everyday tool bag, with some of its occupants in side pockets, carries a significance for any of us who use basic tools frequently, as I do. The wooden handle on the chisel or screwdriver (?) is a bit worn on the palm end, the brand names on pliers handles are fading, and the obviously used pencil make it clear that their owner employs them while he also appreciates them by giving the tools (what seems a relatively new) bag to reside in. You handled the red colors well (mine often are over-saturated), and I like how you cropped the picture. Great job.

Well, the time's come for the podium winners. I won't list honorary mentions because I think everyone did so good a job meeting the contest criteria that those who aren't in the top three would all be mentioned. So I'll get to it with...

Third Place: Grygoriy/jumbleview

Second Place: Michael/Clou

First Place and next week's host: JP/LondonWombat

Thanks again for everyone's participation. I look forward to what JP/LondonWombat comes up with for the next Weekly Challenge.
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10-03-2016, 09:03 AM   #2
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Wow, thank-you Tamia for your kind remarks. It is a great honour when someone tells you that they would hang your art/photo hanging on their wall. And big thanks to the others for the interesting diversity of photos. I'll post the next theme very soon.
JP Faucher
10-03-2016, 12:34 PM   #3
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I would certainly agree with our host on that winning shot, it has great sense of ambiance and anticipation. A real workplace, where you'd expect tools to be be present. Congrats JP, well deserved win. And extended to Clou,for his informative narrative on forging. And Jumbleview, with an image that harks back to days when things were simpler, and no one cared about a where or how your kitchen implements hung. Thanks Tamia for the challenge and the comments, and despite the low number of entries, its was fascinating to see the diversity.
10-03-2016, 03:52 PM   #4
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Congratulations and well done JP, that's a great photo, it's so interesting and well done. Kudos to Michael and Grygoriy too, love the history Clou, good stuff! Great job Tamia, good challenge and you nailed the pics to my tastes!

10-03-2016, 06:42 PM   #5
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Congratulations winners and well done all.

Thanks for the comments Tamia. These sprinklers were at the Tryon Intl Equestrian Center practice rings mounted on six ft poles. I was using a Sigma 55-200mm F4-5.6 DC legacy telephoto.
10-05-2016, 12:54 PM   #6
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Great fun and some really outstanding entries. Haven't been able to keep up regularly as we are on another extended trip but was glad to see Wombat's win and congratulations to jumbleview and clou on their entries. Thanks for all the comments Tamia.
10-15-2016, 10:16 PM   #7
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Tamia - thanks for judging ang congratulations to the winners.
Didn't think I would end up among the first three.


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