Picture This Photo Contest Winners – January 2010

– Posted in: Garden Photography

As expected, Alan Detrick, our judge for this month, had his hands full with a huge roster of entries for this first Picture This contest of the year.  He did one heck of a job and we want to offer him a big thank you. Remember to check out his website and book, Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: The Essential Guide To Digital Techniques.

“First of all, I want to thank GGW for asking me to judge the January Picture This contest. And, second, thanks for all the entries. It was fun to spend the winter days viewing your choices.

Here is how the judging went. First I rated each entry from 1 to 5. Then I selected the top images and imported them into Adobe Lightroom. At this point there were fourteen contenders. I put all fourteen into a collection allowing me to view all of them next to one another. Then, just as publishers do in calendar image selection, I kept looking at the group to narrow it down to the strongest ones. Seven images were left at the end. I looked at every entry in the contest one more time to make sure I had the best.”

Here are the final seven, starting with several Silver Medals:

DSCF0442 picture_this_silver

“Ice on crab apples in Frigid Friday is a simple, to the point image. MMD of Mr. McGregor’s Daughter has clearly shown us what caught her eye.”

IMG_2098 picture_this_silver

“Marjorie of Molly’s Country Memories showed a wonderful winter scene in Gardening Gone Wild Picture Contest. If the sun had been placed off center, it would have been even stronger.”

frost005-1 picture_this_silver

“The image by Amy of Go Away, I’m Gardening in her post Winter’s Beauty Photo has a nice feel to it. The inclusion of some out of focus background gives the image depth as well as keeping it from being static.”

100_6414 picture_this_silver

“Christopher of Outside Clyde gets credit for seeing the picture he posted in The Sun Came Out. In addition, placement of the shadow in front and including only what is necessary in the rest of the image took some thought to keep this picture from becoming a snapshot.”

038 picture_this_silver

“Most of us would have missed this fun shot by Darla of More Family and Flowers, in her post Picture This Photo Contest. Moving the main grass blade off center in the frame or maybe shooting it as a vertical might have been even stronger.”

MapleLeafSleighB picture_this_silver

“Captured by Laura at Through Laura’s Lens, the subject of the image in her post Winter Beauty is as simple and straight forward an image as possible. The leaf is placed nicely in the frame but it is the side lighting with a shadow in the back that really makes it.”

And the Gold Medal winner for this month:

3270113911_2f27dfb234 picture_this_gold

“This winter scene of a storm just passing is very striking. Taken by Diana of Diana Lee Photography, it has strong dramatic lighting and good composition. If I looked out my window and saw this, I would race for my camera and coat. Each time I looked at this image, I liked it more. Well done.”

General Judge’s Comments

“I noticed some images were a bit dark or underexposed, especially when snow was included. Be careful when snow or sand is in an image that the snow/sand isn’t gray. Use the exposure compensation feature on your camera or adjust in the computer to give you better whites.

Light colored items in the foreground that are out of focus can be distracting if they occupy too much of the image.

Busy backgrounds or bright out of focus areas in an image can hurt an otherwise beautiful picture.

Last, the computer gives us tools to modify or optimize our images but too much manipulation can end up looking strange or unnatural to the viewer. Use the tools without making it obvious to the viewer.”

Final Notes

If you want to check out the past months’ photos, here they are:

Native Plants – April 2009
Containers – May 2009
Roses – June 2009
Flowering Trees – July 2009
Down On Your Knees – August 2009
Ornamental Grasses – September 2009
Abundant Harvest – October 2009
End Of The Line – November 2009
Winter’s Beauty – January 2010

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest  

Fran Sorin
32 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Darla January 27, 2010, 5:18 am

Thank you GGW for hosting this contest. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw my photo in there! I love that Alan took the time to not only judge the photos, but to give costructive criticism as well…I’ll be popping over to his blog..looking forward to participating in the next contest.

Darla January 27, 2010, 5:43 am

I couldn’t see at link for the gold winner, I was going over to congratulate her.

Unfortunately, we were given no link by her. In future contests, we are going to request that anyone who enters the contest has a blog, with a link back to it, so that all of our contestants can visit other bloggers’ sites. Fran

Debi January 27, 2010, 7:51 am

Congratulations to everyone!!! Beautiful photographs from some beautiful people. Thank you as well, Gardening Gone Wild, for hosting this contest and thank you, Alan, for judging and giving your thoughts about each picture. Very enjoyable. I must check out Alan’s book and website. Fun!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter January 27, 2010, 9:11 am

I’m just tickled, thank you! The images just keep better every month, I commend Alan for all his working figuring out a winner. I don’t think I’d have been able to choose.

Helen at Toronto Gardens January 27, 2010, 9:13 am

Lovely shots, all of them. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to GGW for hosting and to Alan for judging this January contest. Hope we can look forward to more!

Amy/GoAway, I'm Gardening! January 27, 2010, 9:51 am

I was so excited and surprised to see my photo among the silver winners. Thank you so much! ~Amy

Desiree January 27, 2010, 10:02 am

Great photos, well deserved awards! Thanks for the contest GGW and thanks for the tips, Alan.

Christopher C NC January 27, 2010, 10:09 am

Yippee I won. Thank you Alan for choosing my rather unusual image. It is always nice to see such a gathering of great pictures. Congratulations to all the winners.

Diana’s gold medal image is most definitely striking and really pulls you in.

bloominrs January 27, 2010, 10:24 am

Congratulations to all the winners. The winning photo is so pretty you can almost see the storm moving in it.

Thanks to GGW for hosting these contests. I’m learning a lot about photography (I hope so anyway). Thanks Alan for taking the time to judge and give tips. I’m going to pay careful attention from now on to make sure snow actually looks white in photos.

What this month’s contest showed is that there is a lot of beauty in winter if you just look for it.
Winter’s Beauty indeed!

Nancy Bond January 27, 2010, 10:25 am

Congrats to all the deserving winners! There were so many beautiful photos to choose from.

Melody January 27, 2010, 11:40 am

Congratulations to all. The pics were beautiful this month!

And Congratulations to all of the winners. I love your pics! 🙂

Debra Lee Baldwin January 27, 2010, 12:16 pm

These are simply stunning. The gold winner scene makes me want to paint it as a watercolor. The others are wonderfully evocative of winter’s stark beauty. I love the wire circles and shadows. It tells a story…well, all of them do. I can’t praise the photographers enough. Bravo!

Pam/Digging January 27, 2010, 1:02 pm

Congrats to the winners, most especially Diana Lee for her gold medal winning image. And thanks to GGW for hosting and Alan for judging another great contest.

healingmagichands January 27, 2010, 1:49 pm

Congratulations to the winners.

Diana Lee Photography January 27, 2010, 2:14 pm

I am so excited and honored to have one a Gold Ribbon for my entry! Thank you so much!

Jan (ThanksFor2Day) January 27, 2010, 2:56 pm

Congratulations to everyone! I enjoyed all of the photos and just love participating! Thanks for keeping these contests going, they are both educational and a lot of fun;-)

Marsanne & Melody January 27, 2010, 3:06 pm

Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks to GGW and Alan Detrick their hard work too!

Jack Holloway January 27, 2010, 3:49 pm

Congratulations to all the winners, esecially the overall winner. A supurb shot. Thanks GGW; it was fun participating!

Heather's Garden January 27, 2010, 4:25 pm

I think Alan Detrick did a wonderful job of picking out some of the strongest images submitted. However his closing comment struck me as particularly ironic: “Last, the computer gives us tools to modify or optimize our images but too much manipulation can end up looking strange or unnatural to the viewer. Use the tools without making it obvious to the viewer.” Because the gold winner image looks very unnatural to me–beautiful and moving–but unnatural. I wish the submitter had linked to a blog so that we could learn more about the capture of the image and the post-image manipulation she performed (if any).

healingmagichands January 27, 2010, 4:54 pm

Re Darla’s comment #2 Excuse me Fran, but it clearly states this in the contest announcement:

“All you have to do is select one photograph, post it on your blog, and leave us a link with your comment. We will only accept entries sent from blogs. ”

You’re right that it’s in the list of rules. But above the list, Fran had posted the following: “Because these rules were added in after this month’s post went up, they won’t be enforced for this month except for receiving photos by midnight on January 21st and having them linked from your website.” Each month, new situations arise, and she’s doing her best to keep things fair for everyone.

healingmagichands January 27, 2010, 4:55 pm

Heather’s Garden comment: I totally agree. That image looked manipulated to me when I first saw it. Beautiful, but un-natural in a wonderful watercolor way.

John January 27, 2010, 5:28 pm

Congrats to the winners. Those who didn’t win should note that none of us would come up with exactly the same set of winning photos. There were a lot of very pleasing images. Thanks to GGW and Alan Detrick for providing the venue and the judging for a fun contest. I look forward to the next one…

Diana Lee Photography January 27, 2010, 8:03 pm

Hi all! Unfortunately I do not have a blog, but I am the Gold Ribbon Winner…. You can check out my images on Flickr… Just click on all the groups to the right of my flickr page to see all my photos in their different categories….

I would like to state that I have course have done editing on my image to enhance colors… but you must know, I am very conservative in all my work when it comes to using too much saturation…. My winning image is a perfect example of very subtle adjustments to a most beautiful sunset….. I am a serious amateur and I hope that my work will reflect my passion….

Diana Lee Photography January 27, 2010, 8:12 pm

Oh… for some reason my flickr images are not showing up….. here is my flickr home page… with all my photos…. I focus on landscape and still life images which are all up for sale…. I have been published in a few publications…. if you click on my “face icon”, you will note my bio as well….

As I mentioned, I prefer a more “natural approach” to images and am not a photoshop junky….. I love pure photography with little to no digital minipulation…

Thank you so much for this honor, it has made my day!

Here is the link….. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladybugdi/

RunningGarlic January 28, 2010, 8:17 am

These photos are beautiful! Very nice work – Congratulations to all you folks!

Alan Detrick January 28, 2010, 10:56 am

Great discussion. Here are my thoughts.

The lighting at sunset after a passing storm can be incredible – almost unbelievable. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, the combination of color saturation, sunlight and the remnants of storm clouds is special. In the film days, Fuji Velvia (a highly color saturated film heavy on contrast) shot slightly underexposed with a polarizer would have produced an image similar to the Gold Medal winner. The same scene shot with Kodak Ektachrome would have lacked the intensity.

In today’s world, the new digital technology, while incredible, has some inherent drawbacks. For example, the capture process by its very nature does not capture a sharp image. There are sharpening routines, automatic or otherwise, to correct this. Likewise, depending upon the camera or the format being used, color can be off and/or muted. Color temperature, tint and saturation adjustments are a few of the available tools allowing the photographer to create his or her vision.

We all handle our photography differently. In my book, I mention Ansel Adams and how he chose his exposure based upon his evaluation of the scene as well as his knowledge of what adjustments could be made in the darkroom. I have witnessed ephemeral lighting conditions similar to the winning image and while digital images can be adjusted in many ways – from extreme manipulation to subtle enhancement – I feel Diana used her tools judiciously in order to portray her vision

Linda Steider January 28, 2010, 1:58 pm

Congrats to all and thank you to everyone for providing hours of entertainment and gorgeous photos! Judging cannot be an easy task and the gold winner photo is truly breathtaking.

Diana Lee Photography January 28, 2010, 6:59 pm

Thank you so much, Alan…. you explained it so eloquently…. This was a perfect time of dusk… with THE most incredible “natural” moment…. I am one of the most conservative photographer with regards to enhancement…. and I felt that my photograph was truly a fact and not fiction….. slight adjustments only… Another thing people need to realize, is what we see on our monitors can all vary in intensity… I have this image printed and framed, and it is more subtle than what shows here…

Beyond all the above, this truly, truly made my day because I am incredibly passionate about photography……

Am delighted that winning the Gold Medal Badge made your day. If you have a website, could you sent it so that everyone can see some of your other photographs? All the best-Fran

Thank you everyone!

Chookie January 29, 2010, 5:26 am

Those photos arejust wonderful, and I love the explanations.

marmee January 31, 2010, 10:15 am

congrats to all the winners…what beauty was found in so many different perspectives of winter. great fun to be a part of it.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) January 31, 2010, 11:33 am

I love seeing the photos from other gardeners. Congrats to all… and thanks to all the judges who give us tips, too!


SUDIPTA DEY February 7, 2010, 5:27 am

Well dome Diana and other photographers for their grand depiction of the theme.

[shareaholic app=”recommendations” id=”13070491″]