OcUK Photo Comp - Season Eight : Round Eight - "Cosmic" RESULTS

Man of Honour
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OcUK Photo Comp - Season Eight : Round Eight - "Cosmic" RESULTS

WINNER: Mark A


20090927-qb66tsymdbqhkb99sdertyahng.jpg


Total scores for the round

Code:
Photographer    Tech    Theme  Impact  Total
--------------------------------------------
Mark A		22	22	23	67
ChroniC		22	21	23	66
SteveOBHave	25	17	23	65
peteruk		21	20	20	61
robertgilbert86	19	21	20	60
ScarySquirrel	21	19	18	58
famas		21	16	21	58
martinturner	20	17	20	57
DJ Switch	19	19	16	54
Kei		19	15	18	52
Punt		18	16	16	50
Steeps		17	18	15	50
Pug		16	19	13	48
TheAlex		18	14	14	46
sid		17	14	15	46
Gaffer		14	17	15	46
Willis		20	9	15	44
Helium_Junkie	18	12	14	44
Wedge		16	13	13	42
jr1104		14	15	12	41
alle		14	13	13	40
peterattheboro	13	11	13	37
MobyDick	13	10	12	35
lucklessloser	10	13	9	32
pabloB		13	8	8	29

Technical marks

Code:
Photographer    Tech    Theme  Impact  Total
-------------------------------------------
SteveOBHave	25	17	23	65
Mark A		22	22	23	67
ChroniC		22	21	23	66
peteruk		21	20	20	61
ScarySquirrel	21	19	18	58
famas		21	16	21	58
martinturner	20	17	20	57
Willis		20	9	15	44
robertgilbert86	19	21	20	60
DJ Switch	19	19	16	54
Kei		19	15	18	52
Punt		18	16	16	50
TheAlex		18	14	14	46
Helium_Junkie	18	12	14	44
Steeps		17	18	15	50
sid		17	14	15	46
Pug		16	19	13	48
Wedge		16	13	13	42
Gaffer		14	17	15	46
jr1104		14	15	12	41
alle		14	13	13	40
peterattheboro	13	11	13	37
MobyDick	13	10	12	35
pabloB		13	8	8	29
lucklessloser	10	13	9	32

Theme marks

Code:
Photographer    Tech    Theme  Impact  Total
---------------------------------------------
Mark A		22	22	23	67
ChroniC		22	21	23	66
robertgilbert86	19	21	20	60
peteruk		21	20	20	61
ScarySquirrel	21	19	18	58
DJ Switch	19	19	16	54
Pug		16	19	13	48
Steeps		17	18	15	50
SteveOBHave	25	17	23	65
martinturner	20	17	20	57
Gaffer		14	17	15	46
famas		21	16	21	58
Punt		18	16	16	50
Kei		19	15	18	52
jr1104		14	15	12	41
TheAlex		18	14	14	46
sid		17	14	15	46
Wedge		16	13	13	42
alle		14	13	13	40
lucklessloser	10	13	9	32
Helium_Junkie	18	12	14	44
peterattheboro	13	11	13	37
MobyDick	13	10	12	35
Willis		20	9	15	44
pabloB		13	8	8	29

Impact marks

Code:
Photographer    Tech    Theme  Impact  Total
--------------------------------------------
SteveOBHave	25	17	23	65
Mark A		22	22	23	67
ChroniC		22	21	23	66
famas		21	16	21	58
peteruk		21	20	20	61
martinturner	20	17	20	57
robertgilbert86	19	21	20	60
ScarySquirrel	21	19	18	58
Kei		19	15	18	52
DJ Switch	19	19	16	54
Punt		18	16	16	50
Willis		20	9	15	44
Steeps		17	18	15	50
sid		17	14	15	46
Gaffer		14	17	15	46
TheAlex		18	14	14	46
Helium_Junkie	18	12	14	44
Pug		16	19	13	48
Wedge		16	13	13	42
alle		14	13	13	40
peterattheboro	13	11	13	37
jr1104		14	15	12	41
MobyDick	13	10	12	35
lucklessloser	10	13	9	32
pabloB		13	8	8	29

Results are sorted in four different ways:
1. Total scores: Total, Technical, Theme
2. Technical scores: Technical, Theme, Impact
3. Theme scores: Theme, Technical, Impact
4. Impact scores: Impact, Technical, Theme
OcUK Photo competition results site http://ocukphotocomp.growse.com/

Congratulations Mark A!
Please forward the new theme to me by email. (hotmail address in trust)
 
Man of Honour
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Alle
I'm afraid this isn't really capturing the spirit of the theme for me - I don't really see how that's anything other than a light trail. The stray light on the left and at the top it also a bit distracting.

A nice idea but it feels a little messy. A little more definition maybe using a single light trail may have helped.

I cant really connect it to the theme, there is some stray light top left that could have been easily edited out.

ChroniC
I find this quite an awkward image to look at due to the difference in brightness of the sky and the foreground scene. As a Photoshop exercise it's quite polished, but it's lacking the second moon reflection.

It's fairly obviously heavily manipulated, but I really like the effect. The range of colour is great and the combination of subjects works really well.

It is a very well processed photo montage that fits the theme.

DJ Switch
I thought we might get one of these, as it was one of the things that occurred to me fairly quickly. However, I think you could have captured more impact with a longer exposure.

This idea has loads of potential within the theme. However, this interpretation is good, but not great. The top right of the image is just too distracting for there to be significant impact.

It is a good subject choice for the theme, but I believe it lends itself to a more exciting exploration.

Famas
Clever idea and I think the image works well. I'm not sure there's a huge amount more to say - I do quite enjoy looking at it.

A great idea very well executed. I'm not sure if it fits great with the theme though, but everything else about this is well done.

Another excellent shot with clear technical ability but it just doesn’t relate to the theme well.

Gaffer
I'm really not sold on the inclusion of the tree in this shot. I think it spoils the impact you're managed to get out of the sky.

A respite from other heavily manipulated images, this feels more natural and still really works. The crop is a little tight for me, it feels like the subject has more to give outside of the frame.

A landscape shot with the processed sky as the main subject would of worked better than the tree silhouette stealing the limelight.

Helium_Junkie
Another that I think has missed the mark on the theme. As a shot it's fine, although it lacks interest and, as before, relevance to the theme.

I really like IR images that are well done, and the composition to this is really nice. It's tied to the theme in a slightly surreal way but the technical elements are spot on here.

Again I cant connect this to the theme! It is a well executed IR even though a mundane subject.

jr1104
It has the potential to be quite a nice photo but the light is a bit overexposed, which spoils it, I think. As a scene it could also perhaps benefit from a touch more interest.

The middle of this is a touch overexposed for me. I feel a little more could be gotten by taking down the exposure a few stops and maybe revealing a bit more star detail. Great effort though.

The over exposed centre has taken away any detail that may have been captured in the sky unfortunately taking any impact with it.

Kei
It's an interesting image, but I think it's a little too far removed from reality to be scoring particularly highly in my books.

Great colouring makes this abstract nice and punchy. I like how it feels a little like an solar oil painting. The ridges on the left are a little distracting, but aside from that, it's all good.

Another well manipulated image which is striking and technically very well done but its lacking in its connection to the theme.

Lucklessloser
I have to say that the fact that the image is out of focus ruins it for me. I can't score this particularly highly in any of the categories because of this, really.

Annoyingly, this is rather out of focus. A tripod may help.

Out of focus

Mark A
Very nice image. I like the idea and I think you've executed it very well.

There's only two things that would improve this image for me: The DOF could be a little wider and the levels could be a little lighter.

A very clever take on the theme and well executed.

Martinturner
A stunning image, but it perhaps lacks a little in the theme department.

A great macro image this, the colouring really adds to the other-worldly effect. Not much to say about improvement.

A really wonderful macro shot but another struggler on theme.

MobyDick
I'm afraid I can't say this image really grabs me. It's another that's a little too far detached from reality to be truly effective.

This is a little bland for me. The colours are interesting, but there's no real subject and just feels gimmicky.

The colours of the bubble are nice to look at, but there is no other interest in the shot after that and no hint of cosmic.

pabloB
I'm afraid I really don't understand the relevance to the theme here. The image lacks a particular focal point and a clear meaning.

I'm not sure what to make of this - it's a reasonably full-moon cloud idea, which a person then seems to be in the middle of for no apparent reason. I just feel a bit confused.

The moon is the obvious connection to the theme even though there is little detail there, but I cannot understand why the portrait has been montaged onto this?

peterattheboro
I'm not sure this works for me at all. I can appreciate the effect you were after, but I don't think you've quite got it just yet.

I think I can see what the idea is behind this (UFOs?) but it's really not doing it for me as a photo. It just doesn't feel that exciting to look at.

I like the idea behind this one reminds me of a scene from the x files where they would use out of focus lights in the sky to give idea of UFO’s but without literally showing a space ship and clever trick of the mind to implant an idea.

peteruk
This is a very interesting image and the more I look at it, the more I can appreciate it. However, I perhaps would have liked you to have made slightly more of the centre.

A really nice contrast in this image between the frame and subject. The framing itself does a great job of highlighting the central subject.

A nice picture cleverly taken to draw the viewer into the image well done.

Pug
Moon shots are difficult to make stand out. I have to say that I've seen a lot, even on these forums alone, and that this ones doesn't grab me as particularly special.

This is a little soft for me. The idea's also a little dull - there's been many moon images shot and most of them show far more detail.

This shot is a little soft, unfortunately as a moon shot it is lacking that crispness and detail that would make it stand out.

Punt
Fun idea and quite an effective image. As with many of the images that are thought up in this way, though, they lack some of the impact factor that the others put over.

It took me a while to figure out what this was. When I saw it, I loved it. Really nice shot, slightly sideways to the theme, but a great image.

A very fun a clever take on the theme but it is missing that wow factor, those robots would never fit in that space ship!

robertgilbert86
Fantastic sky! A lovely image, but my eye is consistently drawn to the orange lights in the bottom right, which is a shame.

A simple but effective idea. It feels a little soft and noisy, but there's great contrast and colour.

A really nice and affective scene the sky is very impacting but I am disappointed that the light to the bottom right wasn’t processed out it distracts the eye.

ScarySquirrel
I like the slightly different take on the standard star trails photo. I think it works well, but I might have preferred something to relate it to - i.e. some foreground or something.

The colour on this is amazing. The straight line contrasts really well with the stars as well, although it'd be great if it was a tiny bit more prominent.

A nice set of star trails with strong impacting colours really like it.

Sid
I love the idea of the Martian landscape that's put across. I think the contrast and exposure of the photo are spot on in this respect, and it makes a very effective image.

I'm not sure this works. It feels a little bland and the overexposure doesn't really work

I think the exposure of this one works really well for the subject but it really doesn’t suit the theme of cosmic.

Steeps
Nice image, but one of the more predictable ones for the theme. As such, it doesn't really shine.

It's a simple and good idea, but I think to really pull off star shots, the stars need to have reasonably long trails or be point lights. Here, they just feel blurry. Nice composition and colour though.

Light trails are a good choice for the theme but these haven’t quite worked out, the trails are too short and they are not in focus making them crisp lines instead they are very soft blurs.

SteveOBHave
And 3, 2, 1 ... JUMP! Yeah, it's a very good image, but along a tried and tested line for you.

Another masterpiece from the school of Steve. Lovely image, and an unusual take on the theme. Like others, I'm sure the correlation is fully there though.

An amazing imagination behind this image and superbly execute.

TheAlex
It's a little too far detached from the original image to score particularly highly in my book. I have to draw the line somewhere, and I'm afraid this falls on the wrong side of it.

An unusual idea. It's easy to get false colouring wrong but this really works in creating an alien effect.

In my eyes the colours produce more of an artists abstract landscape rather than another worldly atmosphere.

Wedge
Nice idea, but I can't say I find Danbo particularly cosmic. Overall, I'd just say that it looks like it's lacking some inspiration.

This feels a bit of a gimmick shot - I like the idea of star-shaped bokeh and the colours, but other than that, it feels a little empty.

An obvious connection to the theme with the stars but as a subject it doesn’t hole my attention.

Willis
I really can't say I understand the image as either an exercise in photography (the vignette spoils a normal model shot) or as an entry for this competition. Sorry.

I'm a little unsure about this one. The foreground seems very clean and detailed and works well, but the background is a little distracting. The sky seems a little false. The composition is great, but also I'm not sure this is as on-theme as I'd like.

A nice fashion shot, but it is very far from the theme. Also the vignette is to strong it has covered the model! Who is surely the focal point of this shot.
 
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Soldato
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Well done Mark A. A stunning image. I personally think the DOF was spot on, any wider and it would've over complicated the image.

Gutted I dropped the ball on the theme tho, that's the risk you take with thinking outside the box :) Thanks again for the hard work on the marking!
 
Soldato
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Thanks guys. I am shocked I won, I really wasn't expecting to. Well done to everyone, there were some really good entries and it was very close.
 
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sid

sid

Soldato
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Well I'm a bit disappointed the judges thought my image wasn't particularly related to the theme. I thought the man walking alone towards the sun on empty beach was an allusion to the emptiness of the cosmos.

Ah well...not sure where the martain landscape idea comes in tbh
 
Soldato
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Well I'm a bit disappointed the judges thought my image wasn't particularly related to the theme. I thought the man walking alone towards the sun on empty beach was an allusion to the emptiness of the cosmos.

Ah well...not sure where the martain landscape idea comes in tbh

I thought yours was a cracking image and my favourite. Seems the the judges comes up with some random answers each month. :confused:
 
Soldato
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I thought yours was a cracking image and my favourite. Seems the the judges comes up with some random answers each month. :confused:

I agree - I think the judges could do with being a little more open minded with thematic interpretation - I also thought that one was fairly well interpreted from a theme perspective.
 
Associate
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Well done Mark A!

Judges - Thank you for your time in judging and critique.

Additionally, the amount of photo manipulated/montaged shots scored very highly, so its nice to have a clearer sense of what is allowed. Well done guys!

:)
 
Soldato
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I agree - I think the judges could do with being a little more open minded with thematic interpretation - I also thought that one was fairly well interpreted from a theme perspective.

Whilst refraining from commenting on individual marks and comments, my view is that the theme score is always going to be highly subjective. This becomes a problem when one judge 'gets' the connection between the image and the theme, either because they're more willing to accept less obvious connections or because they have a different interpretation of the theme.

I feel that if a photographer moves slightly away from an obvious connection to the theme, there's always a risk that more people won't fully understand or appreciate the photographers intentions. Some themes are a lot easier to shoot for than others - 'Yellow' was a particularly memorable theme a couple of years ago because it allowed a huge variety of images without being ambiguous.

This reminds me of a recent entry (can't remember which, sorry) where a lot of time and effort was put into the technicality of the shot, but the end result just looked like a blurry smudge and it scored low for technical. The image is all we have to go on - regardless of what the photographer puts into the image, if it doesn't come across well then it's not going to score well.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to guarantee high scores in the theme, make it obvious. There were some reasonably high-scoring theme entries this time, and I don't think people would dispute that some of these fit much better with the theme than other entries.
 
Soldato
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Whilst refraining from commenting on individual marks and comments, my view is that the theme score is always going to be highly subjective. This becomes a problem when one judge 'gets' the connection between the image and the theme, either because they're more willing to accept less obvious connections or because they have a different interpretation of the theme.

Oh I agree - altho thematically I felt that some of the entries hit the literal spot more than others, there is more to the theme of Cosmic, by definition, than stars and space. I personaly thought Sids entry had a brilliant other world feel to it - kind of like a barran wasteland of a moon or a dead planet type thing. I thought the processing was also spot on and a great example of how High Key can work to the advantage of an image. The Judges explanations were a clearly coming from different perspectives which in the long run is a good thing and needed in this sort of competition but from my own perspective I though it was a pretty obvious image.

I feel that if a photographer moves slightly away from an obvious connection to the theme, there's always a risk that more people won't fully understand or appreciate the photographers intentions. Some themes are a lot easier to shoot for than others - 'Yellow' was a particularly memorable theme a couple of years ago because it allowed a huge variety of images without being ambiguous.

Undoubtedly - it's a risk you take with thinking outside of the box and in doing so you mustn't loose sight of the need to retain both a technical and overall photographic integrity.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to guarantee high scores in the theme, make it obvious. There were some reasonably high-scoring theme entries this time, and I don't think people would dispute that some of these fit much better with the theme than other entries.

It is clearly a point of literal translation and I know for one, I spent quite a long time umming and ahing over how many ways you could translate Cosmic without it a) being a cliche and b) still being recognisable in it's interpretation. It is always going to be a subjective thing, and it's why I am always appreciative of the many hours of work put into the marking process and especially when it comes to the comments - they are extremely valuable when it comes to the understanding of the marking.
 
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Congrats, Mark. Well deserved.


As far as mine went, thanks for the detailed feedback. Had plenty of longer exposure and more visually dynamic shots although opted for that one, even my gf didn't like my choice out of them all. Ah well...you live and learn. I do agree with all that's been said between the 2 of you in retrospect though. The crit was quite helpful for me so thanks for that. :D
 

Pug

Pug

Soldato
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Over there...
I appreciate the feedback on mine and agree whole heartedly. i'd say for me though i dont enter to win, just to push me into trying something different. i couldnt think of a good shot, and one night was looking out the window and saw the full moon. Clichéd, didnt have the kit to do it justice, but i learnt a fair bit about exposure and such in trying to capture - so that makes me a winner! :p
 
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