Last night was the review for the second round of POTY 2020/21 which had 50 images from 27 members with 24 voting
The image needed to show something that was in the process of decaying showing the incredible textures that are created by the various processes of decay.
Surprisingly there was a very wide variety of shots from staged still life’s to railways to close up rust shots through to imaginative interpretations of the subject. The technical quality was largely very good and that mostly a lot of thought had gone into D of F as shown by the very narrow D of F of Sea Chain (44) and really good bokeh.and exposure. Also composition had been considered in most cases. There were only a few images that could be considered simply snaps. It was a strong set of images.
Image 1 (Finished 45) Scored 14.86 2 Stroke Motor, Dave Varnham
This is an OK image it certainly has a lot of texture and shows plenty of rust and decay within it so fits the theme,
but there appears to have been no processing done and as a result lacks impact.
The crop is to tight and the green at the top right is distracting however its the out of focus grey area that dominates as it becomes the
focal point Its out of focus because the depth of field is too narrow. .
Image 2 (Finished 36) Scored 16.1 Abandoned Wreck, Roger Leck
To be fair this is just a record shot. You would expect the colour to give it impact but the white / light vignette detracts.
Also the vignette is covering the subject on the right because the composition hasn’t left enough space on the right.
Image 3 (Finished 45) Scored 14.86 Airfield Beacon, Andy Freeman
It has some impact owing to size of beacon to background and thought has been given to the composition as its on the third.
However I think the sky has been over processed as it has blown highlights and wires ought to have been removed
also the moody sky isn’t showing through the glass. Background lower left is cluttered and distraction.
Maybe try a different angle to avoid the background distraction
Image 4 (Finished 44) Scored 15.05 Beached, Margaret Waterson
Again the colour of the bull dozer should give impact but the light vignettist is over powering and detracts from the image.
would be better as normal vignette or even no vignette
Would have been better to isolate bulldozer from the background either by bleaching the colour from the background or by use of a larger aperture giving narrow depth of field and bluring background.
Image 5 (Finished 17) Scored 18.71 Bonnet Caps, John Denny
This was taken in Sheepy Wood, Burbage in October it is done using stacked from 24 manually focused images in Photoshop,
Post processing in Lightroom classic. It was taken with teh authors new Tamron macro lens with the sole intention of photographing toadstools, having been over the previous few days searching where the best areas were. He hadn’t done focus stacking before so spent the night before practising so would have a better chance of it working. Manually focused the lens throughout, using the live view on magnify as he had learnt at the club. Identified the toadstools using an app called `Shroomify`.
One of the 24 images used
Nice shot (Macro) full of interest, nice lighting love the colours, top corners could do with darkening just a little.
Nicely captured, good dof, although top of front fungus is slight blurred suspect this is because thats extend of stack need to add a coupd of images
in front. Cropping is a little tight at the top.
Image 6 (Finished 23) Scored 17.67 Bow And Remains Of The Huntley, Steve Bexon
Photographed at the Purton ships graveyard on the banks of the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
Interesting but not enough atmosphere/mood also with main section on first third it blocks movement into the rest of the frame
Its Sharp through out foreground, nice use of low angle but again could do with a bit more space at top
Image 7 (Finished 39) Scored 15.86 Brixham Lighthouse, Al Simms
Nice colourful image. lighthouse door appears to be out of focus and the people are a little distracting letting the composition down could have tried to move right a bit for a better angle to avoid them.
The white has given a difficult exposure but its been handled well
Image 8 (Finished 32) Scored 16.67 Broken Window, Andy Freeman
I like this simple shot, processing has brought out the texture in the brick work etc., and colours boosted.
Flat lighting, no decay, record shot, reflection of photographer in it.
Nice colours in bricks. Would a polariset get rid of reflections, which don’t add to image interest.
Image 9 (Finished 21) Scored 17.76 Cabo Santa Maria, Graham Townsend
was taken 18/9/19 in Boa Vista. (Cape Verde) It is a 4-shot pano. The ship was a Spanish cargo ship which ran aground in 1968.
I have also attached one of the original shots for comparison.
nice interesting subject. spoilt by slightly sloping horizon and burnt out waves, Good Colour
record shot horizon not quite horizontal. Breaking waves show how close to shoreline this is.
Reasonable attempt at getting some action from waves from a calm sea.
Image 10 (Finished 25) Scored 17.48 Cast Aside, Isobel Chesterman
Taken in Burbage Woods. I took a piece of black card with me to put behind the scene and placed the lantern in the rotting wood and took several shots. Added more rust to the borrowed lantern and added a bit more fern to the right hand side.
Darkened the outside to make the centre brighter around the lantern. Cropped.
Impact is given by the contrast in subject to background like the squarish crop this helps the composition with the main subject positioned nicely on the third. Love the colours, but could do with a bit more dodging and burning to darken highlights on ferns.
Image 11 (Finished 24) Scored 17.52 Chain, Gary Wood
Taken in church cove on the Lizard in October
Context shown out of focus but red boat draws eye away from subject meaning background is distracting from the subject
I get the sense that people don’t like narrow depth of focus. Perhaps a bit more of chain needs to be in focus.
Bottom very close to edge of frame.
Image 12 (Finished 14) Scored 19.52 Chevrolet Rust Bucket, Steve Bexon
Photographed in a Utah farm field during the early evening golden hour. using a 24mm lens
Impact from the colours and position of the subject but composition has led to clipping of wheel which because its only a little bit makes you think this was done by mistake rather than on purpose. If your going to clip make it obvious. Also the intrusive object half way up on left and also its very tight on right too.
Some feel it would be better without the orange tint which makes it appear over saturated
Very colourful but over processed for me. Too tight a crop, especially on left. Item on left half way up is intrusive.
Building blends in with vehicle.
Image 13 (Finished 31) Scored 16.71 Church Door Furniture, Margaret Waterson
little impact not helped by flat lighting. Needs a bit more processing to bring out textures. Using levels
Image 14 (Finished 33) Scored 16.38 Dereliction, John Smith
This was taken in Earl Shilton on 22nd October to the rear of some shops and is a typical abandoned outside toilet.
I tried processing in colour before switching to silver effex Pro. Eventually I decided the sepia process suited the subject and give an aged look.
good idea and good treatment to make it look like an old photo. But not sure sepia treatment helps. Again crop is too tight and light vignette over subject detract.Better with normal vignette. Others felt Post processing is used too much to try and help the image.
Image 15 Deterioration Bridge – HELD BACK
Image 16 (Finished 40) Scored 15.41 Door, Chantal Cooper
not a lot of interest record shot Flat lighting. More post processing needed to bring out the tectures
Image 17 (Finished 27) Scored 17.41 Encrusted Links, Daniel Wood
I liked the use of narrow depth of field to make you concentrate on the colours and textures of the decay it also means the background is non distracting image looks out of focus. None of the links in focus. Yet general consensus from those who commented is that they don’t like narrow DOF
Image 18 (Finished 11) Scored 19.86 End Of The Line, Ken Chesterman
A small crop and brightened up. Sky changed. Photo taken on a trip to Shackerstone in search of Rust.
good image, like the denaturation to emphasise decay but it does make it appear a bit HDR’ish.
Might have put the saturation back in the vegetation though.
There is something at the back of the bush and the end of the image on the right looks like the sky has not been copied in correctly.
Unfortunately the red carriage is too dominant, needs colour toning down to keep interest in the centre of the image.
Image 19 (Finished 43) Scored 15.09 Failed M.O.T, Md Trigg
good idea. needs background darkening and blurring and green patch bottom left cloning out. focus is soft and to tight on crop Perhaps a candidate to mono everything other than car?
Image 20 Floral Decay – HELD BACK
Image 21 Forgotten Classic – HELD BACK
Image 22 (Finished 19) Scored 18.38 Forgotten Links, Ken Chesterman
Cropped in a lot and blue link moved. Cloned over some of the plastic and brightened up. Again taken on trip to Shackerstone.
Might make a good jigsaw puzzle but possibly needs a tighter crop to reduce business
Also think you can notice the cloning
Image 23 Forgotten – HELD BACK
Image 24 (Finished 18) Scored 18.62 Furgy, Gary Wood
or is it a fordson Taken at Cromer nice wide angle image. background a bit of a distraction,
Image 25 Ghost Town Mine – HELD BACK
Image 26 (Finished 49) Scored 12.48 Grave Neglect ,Chris Dunne
Lacks impact, composition is too central and blast of red lower right.
Technically let down by cross which is burnt out and busy background is distracting.
Image 27 (Finished 22) Scored 17.71 Great Western,Ian Waite
good idea that doesn’t really work as little interest needs work to help the logo and the details in the paint standout more
Peeling paint provides good texture. Some debate on positioning of image
Image 28 Hot Wheels – HELD BACK
Image 29 Janie Seddon Nz – HELD BACK
Image 30 (Finished 38) Scored 16 Langa Township Cape Town, Geoff Whitelocks
This was shot during a small group tour of Lang Township. The township is located outside Cape Town and has it’s own train station to take everybody into Cape Town to work. Many people don’t realise the size of the South African townships.
Langa is home to 1 million people. Over twice the population of Leicester.
Composition two central and bright colourful washing in background distracting. Technically let down by the sky
Image 31 (Finished 28) Scored 17.09 Lock & Chain, Daniel Wood
Good subject for theme. Sky is distracting though. lock out of focus soft, record shot, a bit flat.
Image 32 (Finished 47) Scored 14.14 Old Mower, Dave Varnham
has impact from the bright green, compositionally OK no distraction around edges.
Technically good but edges could do with a vignette.
This image meats the brief it shows the patina of rust and decay the problem is with the title who cares that its a mower
Image 33 (Finished 35) Scored 16.14 On The Rocks,Steve Pears
well spotted but flat it could be an good image but needs some work on the highlights and colouring
composition also needs some work as distracting foreground
Image 34 (Finished 35) Scored 16.05 Players Please, Ian Waite
Has some decay but background is distracting
Image 35 (Finished 29) Scored 16.91 Pulley, Chantal Cooper
Needs do burning to darken parts or adjustment of midtone levels
Image 36 (Finished 20) Scored 17.81 Put Out To Grass, Alan Wardropper
nice image Good Colour which gives impact but poor Comp as crop is too tight and not sure about bottom right corner – spoils the image here.
Technically as the crane as key interest it needs lightening
Image 37 (Finished 13) Scored 19.57 Red Rust In Red Sand, Peter Lawrance
was taken with Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-120 in the depths of the Northern Territory desert area.
As in most of Australia, when something is finished with it is simply discarded and left to rust and decay.
Impact comes from the colour compositionally strong owing to 3/4 view but technically appears over saturated or
possibly HDR Over done as too orange, the shadow would be darker than shown if the sun
was that strong. the front of the truck would be darker.
Image 38 (Finished 48) Scored 13.86 Remains Of New Pier St Ives, Al Simms
Lacks impact, this is an image of the landscape more than that of what was a pier. Out of focus. Too blue
main feature of image too small to be of interest subject insignificant, doesn’t illustrate theme
sky particular over done colour wise
Image 39 (Finished 50) Scored 11.24 Rusted Crossbeam, Chris Dunne
At first glance this appears to a landscape that’s out of focus as the beam isn’t the central subject.
just doesn’t work , angled beam not interesting enough and yet dominates image, subject insignificant
Very soft image.
Image 40 (Finished 42) Scored 15.14 Rusty Dock Gate,Roger Leck
definitely rusted but needs to show what image is. showing in context would be better
Where should I look?
Image 41 (Finished 15) Scored 19.43 Rusty Outpost, Peter Lawrance
again taken with D850 and Nikon 24-120 in the depths of the Northern Territory desert area.
The outpost was a busy cattle station at one point as was simply abandoned when a new station was developed somewhere else.
The eagle had an eerie in the water tower and we were probably the first people to disturb him in several years.
good sky and lighting but that’s the problem is all about the sky which which being bright means you see this first ?
the focus is soft on the buildings. Dark fringing on the left handmade on the trees where the author has darken the sky.
Image 42 (Finished 41) Scored 15.29 Rusty Tug,Graham Townsend
The tractor is an old Muir Hill tractor taken in Cromer,
Title rust and decay so could have just been a photo of the tractor without the boat which is new
Tractor in background distracting move to the left to crop boat and hide blue tractor and make the main tractor larger in frame Horizon not quite level. Need more space on rhs.
Image 43 (Finished 30) Scored 16.67 Rusty Winch, Geoff Whitelocks
Shot in ruins of old warehouse adjacent to landing pier in Funchal Madeira. The building is a wreck but has a preservation order on it by the Madeiran Government.
Overexposed, record type shot, too head on and tightly cropped .
Harsh lighting. Needs more texture.
Image 44 (Finished 16) Scored 18.76 Sea Chain, John Denny
taken in Ilfracombe Harbour, Devon whilst on the lookout for good rust images, I used a very narrow depth of field to pick out the focal point of the link, this also gave a nice bokeh from the reflections on the sea below.
Nice. Different. Good Bokeh, great impact. An intriguing image. Nice use of shallow DOF just a shame that the most important link is out of focus (1st one on the right leading you into the image).
Very good texture but only in a small part of frame
Image 45 St Bruno – Held Back
Image 46 (Finished 11) Scored 19.86 Still Works Though, Paul Steans
this van is owned by someone who lives on the canal in a “pirate” boat, moored at Sutton Cheney wharf.
I did most of my editing in Lightroom, and a bit of cloning in Affinity Photo.
Good low angle and strong presence in frame gives impact. Compositional possibly too tight / over Cropped
tightly cropped but OK. Texture could be brought out a bit more
Image 47 (Finished 33) Scored 16.38 The Old Winch, John Smith
was taken at 1.45 pm on 23rd August in Charlestown Harbour. There were many rusty objects about but this caught my eye.
It was taken at f4.2 – 1/1000 sec and ISO 400. In post processing I cloned out some distant people and did some dodging and burning. It was overcast and decide to leave the sky as taken as I thought this gave a good contrast to the subject.
Impact comes from closeness to subject but compositionally is this over done. Technically the water line is not level but I think the author thought that the winch should be, which does not work. nice bit of processing done .
Flat lighting. Shame harbour wall straight behind it. Perhaps a lower position might have been better
Image 48 The Sheraton At Rest – Held Back
Image 49 (Finished 26) Scored 17.43 Unsafe To Sit, Paul Steans
this bench is on the cliff at Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall. Again most processing in Lightroom and some cloning in Affinity Photo.
background could be more blurred or taken at a different angle to lose
Well seen image but the orange flags are a big distraction from the subject so is the sand.
very cluttered background. Concrete base cropped. Changing the angle of view and cleaning the background up would help
Image 50 Wearing Away – Held Back
Image 48 (Finished 10) Scored 19.95 The Sheraton At Rest, Debbie Lowe
Taken at Hunstanton
people in this case are distract from the subject, image a bit bright from HDR/ bleach bipass filter ?
Very similar tones across the image.
Image 50 (Finished 09) Scored 20.32 Wearing Away, Debbie Lowe
Good image, I would have got rid of the person in the water and made some of the mid tones a little brighter,
My eye goes to the water line where this is a bright spot I would have got rid of that by moving to the left
Good exposure but the wooden groyne is lost in the stones go in closer
Image 15 (Finished 08) Scored 20.48 Deterioration Bridge, Steve Pears
Well seen image love the two birds at the bottom of the bridge. would have darken down the left hand side of the images so that the water was not so distracting from the bridge.
nice photo but needed the colour of metalwork matching on both sides
GOOD LIGHTING PLUS GREAT WET WOODEN PLANKS. ALL SET OFF BY THE TWO symmetrical BIRDS. great perspective
Nice angle but nothing where the eye is taken.
Very good. What good fortune to have two birds, one on each side.
Image 25 (Finished 07) Scored 20.52 Ghost Town Mine, Phil Mallin
Ghost town Mine taken in America. Canon 5D mk2 shutter speed 400, F11 with an ISO of 400 on a 17 to 40mm lens at 17mm.
Impact provide by moody sky, low angle helps composition but bottom of image is very cluttered / busy,
a lot going on find it hard to focus on subject
Image 20 (Finished 06) Scored 21.29 Floral Decay, Isobel Chesterman
Taken in the kitchen and trying to take in the comments about Ken’s conkers so cropped in and tried to make a ‘base’.
The flowers were dying but I painted over the leaves to make them look browner as they were quite green.
Added rust to the teapot as it is pewter which doesn’t really rust. The teapot I found in my grandmas garden over 50 years ago.
It now belongs to my daughter so I had to just borrow it back.
Good Still Life. Would benefit from additional lighting and a background as the lighting appears dull.
Image 45 (Finished 05) Scored 21.71 St Bruno, Phil Mallin
Pentax 645Z taken on the kitchen hob. shutter speed 20sec f20 at ISO 100 on a 55mm lens.
Good but interest is taken away from the flower by the tin, Lighting would be better if concentrated on the flower
Suppose the tin might be a bit rusty!
Image 23 (Finished 04) Scored 22.52 Forgotten, Julie Holbeche Maund
taken on the kitchen hob. shutter speed 20 sec, on a 55mm lens.
beautifully lit which draws the viewers attention to be centred on the subject
Image 29 (Finished 03) Scored 22.67 Janie Seddon Nz, Julie Holbeche Maund
Taken at sun rise.
Colour provides impact, great composition from low angle and technically good
But is has sky been replaced ? Possibly sky is too orange
Image 21 (Finished 02) Scored 22.76 Forgotten Classic, James Botterill
friend told me about the car which was in a field near Higham. After scouting the location out, I returned a few days later at sun set with a big bag full of golden leaves collected from my garden. I then scattered the leaves over the car and into the foreground. I set up too touches on the engine to light the underside of the car bonnet and waited till it was almost dark.
The image was taken with a 25 second exposure at 15mm, and I light painted the scene with my speed flash.
Great impact, excellent colour and composition. But technically the additional lights have led to questions
but there are issues the images was light once and the author has darken down the edges and parts of the images to bring
out the car. However there are patches which should be darker, bearing in mind the darkness of the sky. and the light is coming from the
wrong direction. Not sure what the author was trying to do.
ANOTHER GOOD IDEA BUT SPOILT BY TOO MUCH HDR AND OVER SATURATION.
Great impact, but there are issues the images was light once and the author has darken down the edges and parts of the images to bring out the car. However there are patches which should be darker, bearing in mind the darkness of the sky. and the light is coming from the wrong direction. Not sure what the author was trying to do.
Bottom left corner is distracting
A well spotted image and well treated.
Excellent colour and comp. Too dark around edges
Image 28 (Finished 01) Scored 23.3 Hot Wheels, James Botterill
Taken at Bosworth Railway on a flat grey day. Post processing consisted of a sky swap, and a significant amount of D + B in Photoshop.
Great image, good impact, low wide angle of view gives good composition technically it has an HDR feel to it and also as a result there is ghosting round the edges of the rain where the sky has been darken or replaced.
There is also and weird white line in the window of the front engine.