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#422 - WINNERS - Rural Landscape
Posted By: Hattifnatt, 05-25-2018, 05:21 AM

Thanks to all of you who entered this challenge, below are my comments for each entry. My apologies in advance for any obvious, tedious or pointless comments or bad jokes, and please keep in mind that the nature of this challenge is heavily influenced by personal feelings and tastes. Also, I am an engineer, so don't expect that much when it comes to commenting on pictures and art

Also, just woke up and haven't finished my first coffee yet, so expect me to be merciless.

Bruce Clark: That's your typical rural landscape right there with some clever framing. I like the juxtaposition of the trees in this picture, the one on the left also providing some kind of framing for the one in the middle. My only criticism is towards the light, at 3:00 PM light is too harsh in my experience. I would love to revisit this scene again at sunset or dawn.

aaacb: I noticed the distinctive look of this picture and then realized it was shot on film, nice! Although I like the mood quite a lot, I will try to be super picky about that road towards the right of the frame which can't decide if it wants in or out. Perhaps out is the best choice, and a little cropping with solve the problem?

Rglasel: What I like about this one are the colors. The soft green contrasting with the lighter nuances of trees are just perfect. What I don't like is that you have too many things in your frame so it feels a little bit crowded. I realize that often that's a difficult problem to overcome and depicting a true-to-life rural landscape perhaps has its cost on the aesthetics of the image.

rod_grant: This picture is exactly what I asked for and could have been a winner, but it lacks a clear subject. I have difficulties focusing my attention on something in particular. Somehow it just screams to me it has to be a better angle there somewhere... the trees, those hill shapes, the intersection of the fences...

SpecialK: I tried so hard to come up with something wrong about this pic but failed. So I'll just hit next on my playlist: No hesitation, no delay / You come on just like special K

ramseybuckeye / Tom: Perfect framing and the light is just wonderful, you caught the sun at exactly the right moment. I like the subtle hints of country life, those houses just peeking out behind the trees.

Vaskebjorn / Richard: Very nice atmosphere and wonderful reflections. In my thread view the picture appears rotated, I saved it on my PC and opened it with my viewer and it appears normal, so I guess the rotation wasn't intentional?

atupdate / Tim: Nice winter scene, I like the house in the upper right and I would have liked to see it play a more important role in your picture. I'm not sure about the framing of the bridge. Perhaps it could have worked, unfortunately there is a tree trunk right behind it which I don't like that much. If I were there, perhaps I would have dropped the bridge entirely, come a bit closer to that house and concentrate on it. Also it seems to me a little underexposed, I can see that you were struggling to get 1/125 at 1600 ISO for the required depth of field, so lightning conditions must have been difficult.

sealonsf: A somehow minimalist approach with some nice color contrast between the foreground and the sky which I enjoy. Also, nice composition making good use of those silos.

dlneubec / Dan: Great shot of a rural winter scene, I like the shadows of the trees as they make the foreground more interesting and also the deep blues of the sky. Warning: you might have a spot on your sensor, a little bit up and right from the house. Make sure to clone that out before printing this

dwalker19: Nice transition from the fence in the foreground towards the mountains and the sky in the background. To me, this one needs just a little bit more to be a great picture but I cannot quite put my finger on what's missing. Perhaps better light?

(Just finished the first coffee. Things should run more smoothly now.)

gump / Andy: That's just too funny! including that fence in the lower left corner was a good choice, I think it adds a bit of anchoring in the foreground. But.. Viva la resolution! Something went wrong with exporting or is just heavily cropped?

SpecialK: Great mood and nice framing, rule of the thirds is well served here. Again, that path really complements the foreground well... wait a minute, this is your second entry? Get through this night, there are no second chances / This time I might / To ask the sea for answers.

Photojj: That's a pleasant surprise, a rural landscape from a different part of the world. It fits the theme pretty well, but after some "reflection", there is something about the composition and framing of this shot which seems a little bit contrived. Maybe zoom in on that small hut and the boat in front of it? but then you lose the big picture. I don't exactly know what to suggest but I would really want to see more shots from your trip.

SpecialK: Nice separation between the foreground and the background and nice colors. 4 7 2 3 9 8 5 - I gotta breathe to stay alive / and 1 4 2 9 7 8 - feels like I'm gonna suffocate

lukulele / Lou: Another atmospheric shot, nice angle and I guess going (almost) monochrome at processing was a good choice. My only criticism is that the tree at the right side of the picture should have been completely included in the frame, but I still like it as it is.

noelcmn / Noel: Nice framing with those lines of trees providing landmarks for the composition. But I am not a fan of the processing in this case, I would have pulled the shadows a bit more and maybe added a digital GND.

Quartermaster James: Such a nice shot! Composition, light, the colors, that pipe drawing your eyes into the frame, the mountains in the background... everything is just perfect. Wonderful view.

jacamar / Steven: Excellent composition, apparently simple yet when I spend more time looking at it subtle details come out. Colors are perfect, subject is clear yet it does not forcefully take over the whole frame, those cranes in the lower right corner really make the image more interesting.

jchorst / Christoph: Another strong composition which fits the theme perfectly. This one could have been a very strong contender, the only downside that I see is again the processing which makes it look a bit unnatural in my opinion, but perhaps this was intentional. I would have gone for something with less contrast, with softer shades. I don't know if this is possible though, lighting conditions seemed difficult and camera's dynamic range was stretched to the maximum, even underexposing for 1,5 steps was not quite enough to protect the highlights.

(Just had a power loss right before the last entry. Firefox was nice and my comments were preserved, but the effect of the coffee has now been dispelled. Sorry Tamia.)

Tamia: Welcome back, hoping that your foot is fine. Interesting take with your entry, but why did you go for monochrome? I understand it adds to the atmosphere, but... based on some mist that I see in your picture, I'm thinking that maybe this was shot at dawn so the colors could have been interesting, I'm curious to see how that looks. Now that I dig a little bit deeper, there seems to be something weird. The terrain in the foreground seems to be perfectly flat, yet you have some hills (or even mountains) in the background. Is there some thrusting going on here? I'd love to investigate more.

Now for the hard part. There were a lot of images which I liked in this challenge, but three of them spoke more clearly to me and between them I had to decide based on feelings and personal preferences, it would be difficult for me to say why is one better than the other. So here goes...

Honorable mentions: SpecialK (I did consider only your first entry for this challenge), sealonsf, dlneubec, jchorst

3rd Place: jacamar

2nd Place: ramseybuckeye

1st Place and host of the next challenge: Quartermaster James

Congratulations and thanks everybody for this wonderful challenge! James, you're up next!
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05-29-2018, 11:23 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tamia Quote
I should have read your initial entry carefully. An impressive photo. Handheld?
Thanks Tamia. Good to see you back, and looking forward to more of your images.
I usually shoot handheld with this combination but in this case I used a tripod since the cranes (the Whooping Cranes are rare and were the main object of our trip) were so far away and I wanted as sharp an image as possible.

06-04-2018, 05:04 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jacamar Quote
Thanks Tamia. Good to see you back, and looking forward to more of your images.
I usually shoot handheld with this combination but in this case I used a tripod since the cranes (the Whooping Cranes are rare and were the main object of our trip) were so far away and I wanted as sharp an image as possible.
Thanks for the good wishes, Steven, and for the description of how you photographed the beautiful shot of the cranes. Wildlife shown in context is always appealing.

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