View Full Version : Results: April 08 Photo Contest - "Bliss"

05-19-2008, 02:22 PM
I'm glad to announce the results for the April 2008 photo contest with the theme "Bliss":

1st place, with 93 points, goes to
zbahu for the photograph "Ice Cream with a friend":

[/URL]http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/287648303_v9Rbv-L.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/287648303_v9Rbv-L.jpg)
Conhgratulations! http://www.birdforum.net/images/smilies/appl.gif (http://www.birdforum.net/images/smilies/appl.gif)http://www.birdforum.net/images/smilies/appl.gif (http://www.birdforum.net/images/smilies/appl.gif)http://www.birdforum.net/images/smilies/appl.gif (http://www.birdforum.net/images/smilies/appl.gif) A very nice shot!

Second place, with 62 points, goes to:
Savyhilton99 for "A new mothers love":
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/283063361_4DBcN-L-2.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/283063361_4DBcN-L-2.jpg)

Congratulations to you too!

The lucky runner-ups are:
CRussell with "Fishing at Sunrise" (23 p.):
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/274617683_MD5j8-L-2.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/274617683_MD5j8-L-2.jpg)

bg2b with "Hammock Happiness":
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/287029370_tjwDR-L.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/287029370_tjwDR-L.jpg)

#1 and #2 win either Silkypix 3.0 or a 1 year Pro account at SmugMug (send your choice to Tony in a PM). All four have qualified to the final POTY 2008 at the end of the year.

[U]Now follow the comments by the judges

"Ice Cream with a friend":
Subject: Girls and chocolate ice-cream, what more needs to be said about bliss. Creativity: Really catches the mood of the struggle with chocolate, whether posed or as it happened, very well recorded. Composition: Nicely composed and balanced, with emphasis on one of the subjects only, rather than trying for excessive depth of field to catch both. If anything, the slightly unevenly set eyelids of the girl on the left are a little distracting. Lighting: Nitpicking, but a little harsh on the left side. Technical: Good exposure and focus, background nicely subdued to eliminate distractions.

Comment: Real happiness there - no doubt! I like the image very much but it does not grab me enough to give full score on creativity. Composition is perfect but it is a bit low in exposure. I would have given it a lighter tone to reflect the theme somehow.

Subject: Love their expressions. Creativity: A great concept done with a non distracting background. Composition: Nice and balanced. Lighting: Well done with the faces emphasized.

Henk Peter:
Subject: Happiness in a can of ice cream. Creativity: Captured the right moment. Composition: Nice close to the action, cut-off limbs do not bother me here. Lighting: Excellent on the faces, less in the lower left. Technical: Sharpness and dof are very good.

"A new mothers love"
Comment: A true moment of "bliss" in my oppinion and the image is almost perfectly executed. The white linen and the diaper together with the soft light gives it an almost high key impression which works beautifully for this subject. My only little nitpick would be the blurred baby's right hand which is cut in half by the crop - a little bit distracting but what can one do with such models?

Subject:A perfect moment between mom and baby. Composition: well done following rule of thirds and emphasizing their faces. Technical: Good exposure and focus, background nicely subdued to eliminate distractions. Lighting: A few hot spots on the baby, but overall a nice high key setup.

Henk Peter:
Subject: Who needs this explained? Composition: Could have been tighter from the right, the diaper and neckline do not add to the composition for me. Lighting: Flash pointed at ceiling? gives acceptable soft light but a bit too heavy shadow of the mother's head. Technical: Focus on the right place, exposure just straight could have been more creative like high key.

"Fishing at Sunrise"
Subject: Beautiful sunset with fishermen. Creativity: Nice catch with the warm golden tones of a sunset. Lighting: good exposure of the sun/shadows. Technical: Nice use of shadow and sunlight. Composition fits the rules of thirds nicely.

"Hammock Happiness"
Henk Peter:
Subject: I would be happy in that hammock too.:smile: Creativity: The image contains just enough elements to convey the message. Composition: The diagonal composition is enhanced by the direction of the kid's gaze. Lighting: Nice natural light. Technical: Well exposed and sharp.

Special mentions goes to the following photographs:

"Chilling in Mud" by srf4real:
Subject: What better than a Rhino wallowing in mud to express bliss. Creativity: It may have been an easy subject to capture, as the subject certainly wasn’t an active one, but then sometimes a simple thing just works. Composition: Would have preferred perhaps an angle that reduced the harsh shadow on the right and this would have exposed more of the Rhino’s profile. Maybe even cropping in tighter from the side would have emphasised the bliss being experienced. Lighting: The strong lighting highlights the texture of the skin and brings out the tawny colours. Technical: Looks well focussed and colours appear natural.

"Going for a Spin" by Hudsonhites
Comment: A child on a merry-go-around... can it be more "blissy"? Good theme and a lovely pose of the girl and happy mother(?) but I can't see that creativity has flowed more than average here. The photograph looks very much like a snap-shot and I'm sure it is more interesting to those who know the girl and woman. Composition wise, I would have preferred to have the framing with the girl and woman in the left part of the frame which, in addition to showing more of the horse, would have given them some space in front of them to 'move into'. Using available light is always OK and, considering the trade-off needed with respect to noise, motion blur, and DOF, I think the technique is OK.

"Dancing in the Streets" by Assafx
Comment: For a person in a wheelchair, being able to dance must be one of the real desires in life so I would like to honour this image with some points even though it will not score high. While the subject matter is well chosen, and I think it is a smile I see of the lady in the wheelchair, she doesn't look hillariously happy - I would have liked to see that. The image has a snap-shot aura over it which is OK but it doesn't reflect any greater creativity in camera angle etc. The composition is also not the best with a distracting background and a human body part sticking into the frame from the right. The natural low light is OK and the small amount of motion blur gives a feel of actual motion. I would personally have loved to see an even longer exposure panned along the dancers as the move.

Now, it is high time to hget on with May's contest (http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/showthread.php?t=36767) on "Lines and Curves"... see you there!

Cheers, Jens.

05-19-2008, 06:48 PM
Good job winners! Nicely done! I'm particularly fond of the 1st place image. <typing this as I'm eating a big bowl of chocolate ice cream> :p

05-19-2008, 08:52 PM
Congrats to the winners !
those were my exec choices for this contest winners.

i was a snap shot and i thought it might fit the contest :)


05-19-2008, 10:40 PM
Congrats to the winners and all who entered. My favorite was the fishing shot, but I'm biased! Love to fish!

05-20-2008, 09:07 AM
I really appreciate the detailed feedback from the judges; it really does help as I am hopeless at critiquing my own images

Some background for anybody that might be interested:

The girls were posed and were fairly demure at first, but very quickly began to start giggling when trying to feed each other - we had to stop a couple of times so chocolate could be wiped off faces, hands and floor. :). I was lucky enough to capture a moment when they had forgotton about the camera and were just having fun.

On the technical side, I used an FL-50 bounced off the ceiling/wall to the left with a length of black material for the background and placed the subjects about 1m in front of this.

I'd agree high key might of suited the image better, I'II have to figure out how to do that soon!