Mini-Challenge #186 - It's all about Plants - Results

Alans GrinAlans Grin Major grinsPosts: 346Registered Users Major grins
edited May 15, 2014 in The Dgrin Challenges
Well done everyone, they are all great images and I really appreciated seeing them - thank you.

As ever judging is never easy and actually slightly stressful, and sometimes hairs must be split to choose one image verses another.

In order to facilitate judging I have decided to down select to just 10. Please note that although there were other very high quality images which I enjoyed and hugely respect, the brief was to focus on plant life photographed "in their natural surroundings" and without things that "distract too much from the plant itself".

Here are the 10 that I have chosen as "highly commended"... they are all excellent in my view, but with several close behind -


I am absolutely no expert but I've decided to comment on what are really very, very minor and totally personal observations on a couple of them. In no way I am suggesting I am right, they are just things that caught my eye and I very much doubt I would have done better.


A truly stunning image, for me the lighting, depth of field, exposure and detail in these flowers is perfect. I'm not a flower photographer but I really believe this might be an example to hold up to show how to do it right. They just "pop" with quality but still retain their natural feel in a great uncluttered natural backdrop. A minor suggestion though - I would consider a slight desaturation or other process to decrease the blue/cyan highlights in the top right corner and possibly darken the bottom right a little.


I really love this image, it has a great quality to it and tells "a story" ... for me illustrates the robustness of plants to withstand the harshness of winter. In this instance I am fairly OK with the background going to black, but just a slight hint of natural backdrop might be better for me. I'm comfortable it could have been shot in its natural still frozen surroundings (i.e. within the brief). For me the crop is just slightly too tight with the elements of the plant /ice virtually falling on the edge of the frame. Still stunning and very well captured!


Another very lovely shot and very delicately presented. I am left uncertain though about the "black horizon" intrusion top left - in truth I can't make up my mind about it. But nevertheless, a delightful shot.


For me, this is really stunning - I really like the lighting, the contrasting colours and the obvious harm this plant can do. It has been very well seen and well captured. However, I am not sure clipping the top most spike has helped. I would rather it was shot or cropped to include it inside frame or (and I'm not usually a "shopper") photo shopped to sharpen it to a point just before frame exit or extend the frame a fraction and clone in some additional background. This plant image has quality and a serious punch to it! - and I really, really like it.

Please keep in mind I am worried about offending anyone with these comments - I only comment on these images because I like them so much! The other images are terrific too, its just nothing has "caught my eye" to warrant a comment.

I would have been delighted to have taken any of these shots and they all deserve a "place on the wall"... but alas, choices must be made -

3rd Place - Untitled - CHANDLERJA


I like the effect of the colour pop and love the feel of the leaf holding the drop of water. A great "arty" plant image.

2nd Place - Dare to be Different - kdotaylor


I really like the title and "story" with this image. It was really well seen and very well executed.

1st Place - "Crocus" - lifeinfocus


Despite previous comments., I feel compelled to acknowledge the quality and impact of this shot. A well deserved winner.
Well done Phil (lifeinfocus) and over to you for the next (6th year anniversary) of the Dgrin challenges.



  • lifeinfocuslifeinfocus Phils Imaging Posts: 1,461Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2014
    Alan, thanks so much. I consider it a honor to have won especially considering the many beautiful images submitted to this mini challenge.

    Since it has been a tough winter here in Michigan and Spring has been raining a lot, our flower garden is behind by a few weeks. We only had a few Crosus' this year.

    I have a little something different for the next mini and I hope people submit as many and as great photos as they did for yours.

    The challenge will be posted tomorrow - the 6th anniversary of the Mini Challenge.

    Phil Walenga
    "You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams
  • kentwallerkentwaller No "Try". Do. or Do Not. Posts: 158Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2014
    Thanks for the mentions Alan - lots of really great shots in here. I need to edit the black out of those poppies - cannot believe I didn't see that earlier :)
  • EaracheEarache Unsharp and Oversaturated SO CALPosts: 3,533Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 3, 2014
    Great theme and challenge Alan, and wonderful picks!
    Congrats, superb image Phil... the detail and color are top-notch!
    Purple and yellow look great together here.
    Eric ~ Smugmug
  • shawncshawnc shawnc Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 15, 2014
    Boy, Have I been out of the loop! Congrats Phil on your image. Very nice images all around!
    Alan, Thank you for your kind words about my image.(the Agave and Sedona Red Rock)
    It was a nice surprise, and your criticism is well received.
    Now I need to go back to my original shot to see if that one small point was cropped out or if it was just the way I clicked it.
    Canon 5DII/5D/ 50D/70-200 2.8L IS/ 24-70 2.8L/ 10-22 USM/ 85 1.8/ 50 1.4 / 580ex + II /
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