Results: Mini Challenge #332 Sky

LexingtonAlarmLexingtonAlarm Toby Sackton PhotographyLexington, MA 02421Registered Users Posts: 38 Big grins

This was the first mini-challenge I have run, so I want to thank everyone who submitted photos. Originally I was thinking about sky as negative space and balance, but as the submissions came in, it was the drama of the photos that I think was very effective.

Some comments:

@grandmaR both Yorktown and Smith Point Lighthouse have an openness and expansive feeling.

@slpollett Nice sunset photos.. I know you may have been thinking of other photos to submit as well.

@pegelli Both your geese and clouds were great photos. The clouds in particular has a nice composition.

@jwear Your first cloud picture is very nice. The cloud itself dwarfs the tree in the foreground.

@sarasphotos HM to summer sky over fields. The balance between the road, fields and sky is very nice in this photo.

@GSPeP Also HM for the San Diego photo. The light shafts over the flat ocean are very effective.

Also HM for GrandmaR's black and white tree. This was one of my favorites as well.

Now for the finalists:

3rd Place to @sarasphotos for The Village of La Morra. The village on the hill top, orderly fields, and expansive distance of the sky and clouds really compliment each other and the grapevines in the foreground are a nice touch. All around a very satisfying photo.

2nd Place to @pegelli for Isle of Skye (extra points for the pun). The way the curve of the mountain range compliments the curve of the clouds is excellent, and the capture of the atmospheric light beams is really good. Again a very good photo, with the stream in the foreground also adding interest.

1st place to @Cavalier for Threatening Sky in Colorado. This is a very dramatic and intense photo, with everything framed perfectly to focus on the lightning. I visited your smugmug site to see other examples from this shoot and I think it is wonderful how you actually captured the strike itself.

I now hand over to you the next challenge.

Thanks very much for all who entered.

Toby Sackton
https://tobysackton.smugmug.com/

Tagged:

Comments

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,811 moderator

    Congrats to all!

    @Cavalier I look forward to seeing your new challenge.

  • sarasphotossarasphotos Major grins Augsburg, GermanyRegistered Users Posts: 3,439 Major grins

    @LexingtonAlarm Toby, thanks for the HM and 3rd and for running a good mini. Congrats to @pegelli and @Cavalier for the 2nd and 1st place. Jo, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  • LexingtonAlarmLexingtonAlarm Toby Sackton Photography Lexington, MA 02421Registered Users Posts: 38 Big grins

    @pegelli @sarasphotos @denisegoldberg @Cavalier I have an update to the challenge results. Cavalier messaged me to say that the winning photo of the lightening strike had the lightening added to the photo after the fact. I still think it is a great composition, but I was judging partly on the difficulty of waiting and getting the perfect shot. Cavalier graciously suggested that for that reason, I may want to reconsider the results. I agree with him, that this calls for a reconsideration.

    I have done so, and I think the the first place would go to @pegelli for the Isle of Skye photo. I hope, Peter, you are up for running another challenge within a few months of your previous one.

  • pegellipegelli Major grins BelgiumRegistered Users Posts: 7,857 Major grins
    edited March 10, 2022

    Wow, that's a surprise. First of all congrats to @Cavalier for the initial win (it is a great picture wether or not it's a composite or not) and now @sarasphotos for her initial 3rd and now 2nd place.

    I'll organise the next challenge, that's not the problem, but I still have mixed feelings on the procedure. First of all I am a firm believer photo's should be judged on their end result and not on the effort it would take to make them, and if composites or other digital tools like sky replacement, adding sunbeams etc. etc. (very easy these days with many programs/raw converters) are not allowed we should state this in the rules. And the current rules even state the contrary: "4. Any amount of post-processing is allowed.".

    So before posting the next mini I would like to get some clarity on this subject and maybe the the moderators can confer behind the scenes and try to get some better wording in this rule 4 so it's clear what is allowed and what not. After that I'll be more than happy to run the next mini.

    Pieter, aka pegelli
    My SmugMug
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,811 moderator

    @LexingtonAlarm @Cavalier @pegelli @sarasphotos

    I just took a look at the mini challenge rules at https://dgrin.com/discussion/248032/mini-challenge-un-official-rules, and as @pegelli notes the rules explicitly state that:

    1. Any amount of post-processing is allowed.

    I don't think the fact that @Cavalier 's image is a composite should disqualify it but it appears that @LexingtonAlarm feels differently. Do you want to rethink the results?

  • LexingtonAlarmLexingtonAlarm Toby Sackton Photography Lexington, MA 02421Registered Users Posts: 38 Big grins

    Hi Peter.. this may have been partly because I am new. However, in my view, post processing means adjusting elements that are there in the photo, and I would extend that to removals to emphasize something in the photo, but the idea of wholesale adding a feature that was not in the original, and then making it central to the photo, seems to be more than just post-processing. I am grateful to @Cavalier for explaining the process, but I know I as the judge in this case I would have considered the photos differently if I had known that important elements were added. It was obvious that other photos had post-processing, which I had no issue with. It was the added element that was so central that changed things for me.

  • CavalierCavalier Life is a Bokeh Foresthill, CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 2,896 Major grins

    Hi folks. As soon as Toby posted the results, my Irish Catholic Guilt took over and I feel I didn't deserve the win based on how the shot was judged. The lightning strike was a big part of how it was judged, and I think Toby is right - and I should have at least declared the composite added in post processing.

    Pieter and Sara deserve the first and second place!

  • pegellipegelli Major grins BelgiumRegistered Users Posts: 7,857 Major grins
    edited March 10, 2022

    @LexingtonAlarm : Let's start with agreeing that "Any amount of post-processing is allowed" is too vague.
    For some that just means globally and locally adjusting colours and brightness, for others it includes cloning out small distractions and for others it involves the standard tools that for instance Luminar gives (sky replacement/sunbeams/lightning bolts...) and you could say that making composites is also included.

    Since you were the judge we'll have to go with your definition of what you consider post-processing which as far as I understand the first two of my examples would be allowed and not te latter. What I would like (to avoid more discussion on this in the future) is some additional clarity around what is allowed and what not. Maybe we should make it something like "Any amount of post processing is allowed as long as nothing is added to the photo that wasn't there at the time of exposure", which is probably close to your definition. If we follow Denise's definition it could for instance read "Any amount of post processing is allowed, including making composites as long as everthing you put in the photo is taken from a photo made by yourself" (so that would exclude the automated replacements/additions by certain processing programs, which I would indeed support to not allow).

    I'm OK with any better definition as long as it's clear what is meant. Personally I have a slight preferece for my second definition (for the future) because then the resulting image is still a result of the photographers own creative process and not unduly enhanced by elements which are added automatically or taken from photos made by others. However if the majority (or the moderators) wants it to be more restricted I'm fine with that as well.

    So, how do we make that choice? Voting? Or do we ask the dGrin team to decide?

    Pieter, aka pegelli
    My SmugMug
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,811 moderator

    @pegelli @LexingtonAlarm
    I like your definition:

    "Any amount of post processing is allowed, including making composites as long as everthing you put in the photo is taken from a photo made by yourself"

    Does that work for you @LexingtonAlarm ?

    I can edit the mini challenge rules once we decide on the change.

  • LexingtonAlarmLexingtonAlarm Toby Sackton Photography Lexington, MA 02421Registered Users Posts: 38 Big grins

    That works fine for me.. I don’t have any issue so long as the understandings are clear cut. In my own work, it never would occur to me to add something to an image from another photo.. I tend to focus on getting the image I want in the camera, and if that doesn’t work well enough, I try again.

    But..and this is important.. I have no desire to impose my preferences elsewhere. I am happy with the definition from @pegelli and @denisegoldberg if that become our ground rule.. Again.. I did not have a wide enough perspective on this.. it never occurred to me to think of composite photos..and I think Cavalier is right.. it did effect how I did the judging, so in that respect i feel he and I made the right decision. Going forward I am happy to participate in a group that welcomes all photographic efforts.. including composites etc..I just know better what the situation is. This is what happens when you photograph for more than 20 years but only now start participating in public photo groups..

  • pegellipegelli Major grins BelgiumRegistered Users Posts: 7,857 Major grins

    @LexingtonAlarm Thanks for your efforts and feedback. I fully understand where you're coming from and I would always mention if a photo I submit in a challenge is a composite (or a focus stack or HDR for that matter). Your definition of "Any amount of post-processing is allowed" is as valid as any other definition.

    @denisegoldberg Thanks for the help and, as expected, I think the addition you propose for the rules is perfectly fine with me.

    Pieter, aka pegelli
    My SmugMug
  • sarasphotossarasphotos Major grins Augsburg, GermanyRegistered Users Posts: 3,439 Major grins

    @denisegoldberg said:
    @pegelli @LexingtonAlarm
    I like your definition:

    "Any amount of post processing is allowed, including making composites as long as everthing you put in the photo is taken from a photo made by yourself"

    Does that work for you @LexingtonAlarm ?

    I can edit the mini challenge rules once we decide on the change.

    What an interesting discussion we're having here! I find the definition good although I think that the person running the mini should be able to specify their judging criterion, i.e. "please no HDR or composites or stitching, etc." But of course there is no guarantee that the entrants will thoroughly read/follow the criteria!

    But in the end I'm happy to see ANY entries to a mini these days and am happy to see some new faces entering and winning!

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,811 moderator

    @LexingtonAlarm @pegelli @sarasphotos

    Thanks for the discussion!

    I have made the change to the rules that I proposed yesterday.

    I think that as Sara mentioned it should be OK for the person running the challenge to overrule and specify when they announce the challenge: "please no HDR or composites or stitching".

  • sapphire73sapphire73 Major grins PennsylvaniaRegistered Users Posts: 1,772 Major grins

    Wow! Late to the discussion, grateful for the way it was discussed, and fine with the change in the rules.

    Also want to thank @LexingtonAlarm for running this mini and the thoughtful comments. And congrats to all on the fine entries!

    Hoping to get back to participating more at some point but enjoy looking at the entries in the meantime.

  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Registered Users Posts: 1,868 Major grins

    I've been on a trip an missed this whole discussion. I wondered what happened to the mini.

    I have to say that from the start I thought what was wanted was the sky as negative space and so that was how I picked my photos. It is (for me anyway) harder to pick a photo where the sky is primarily blank. Clouds are much easier. Twice before I have thought that the parameters of the mini called for something specific and people submitted beautiful photos which did not meet those parameters. The other time was when silhouettes were asked for and we got a lot of sunsets.

    In any case - this was a very interesting mini and a very interesting discussion afterward - I want to thank LexingtonAlarm for running it so well.

    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
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