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  #111 Contrast
Entry 3 of 14
Snowflake       ©2011 Mepo
Panasonic DMC-FZ30       3rd place, 112 points
1s, f3.6, ISO 80, ?, Aperture Priority, Spot, no flash
Post-Processing: Straightened, adj black levels, clone away string       Extra Info: " Each little flake
has a different shape
each one's unique
just like you and me"
The Snowflake song by Martin Royle
21 comments on this entry
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Dec 29, 2011
    Jade - Are you sure you are not a politician or a lawyer in disguise? LOL I would never want to argue against you in court (that's meant as a compliment).

Please don't worry that I will ever take your banter and jest for anything but - I hope we can continue to toss arrows at each other and that I can perhaps become as adroit at dodging them as you. That being said I must admit that getting #1 from you was a huge boost for me.

I hope that the number of comments you received on your return more than justified my use of the dreaded "few" word. LOL

Many thanks for all your comments on the site and very best wishes for 2012 to you and yours..

Jade O.
Dec 29, 2011
    See Michael, you have it wrong again! What I am saying is that you manage to great beautiful photographs by stripping out all the extraneous elements leaving the bare essentials (like you did here) even to the point of creating beauty out of a seemingly tacky plastic ornament (sorry, Lo!, if this came from your tree I'm sure it doesn't look tacky in context!) Me, I'm left wrestling with complex concepts and failing to achieve the simplicity of effect like you see here; hence why this got my top vote and why my entry was dutifully relegated to a lesser finish (o.k. that technically bad out of focus guy helped push it along too). Contrast this figure on the black background brought to life with careful yet simple lighting with my entry trying to do the exact same thing. This works better! (There, everyone, you see, the banter really is in jest and the respect actually does exist. But I think I like the banter better :-) !)
Edited on Dec 29, 2011

Dec 29, 2011
    So Jade - what you are saying is - if it's a simple snapshot then I have the advantage but if it requires a lot of skill, photographic knowledge and loads of patience then you have it in the bag.

Now that I think about it, you're probably right LOL LOL Looking forward to your 'best of' - and it had better be blue this time.

Jade O.
Dec 29, 2011
    Just because I refer to you as "Mr. Snowflake" and a "classic" is no reason for you to call me names! ;-)

(for any reader not figuring it out, Michael and I have the highest respect for each other; it's our mutual disdain for each other's photography skills that gets us going - LOL! Or maybe it is my realization that Michael is so much more accomplished in shots like this one - so little work and so effective - to think how I spent such a long time with that stupid wasp!)

Dec 22, 2011
    Jade: You young punks have no respect for an elder's memory :-)

Why I can remember back in A.D. 400, a joke was written by Hierocles and Philagrius and was included in a compilation of 265 jokes titled Philogelos: The Laugh Addict. In the Greek version, a man complains to a slave-merchant that his new slave has died. The slave-merchant replies, "When he was with me, he never did any such thing!"

OK - So I found it on Wilki - but I thought it was hilarious.

Jade O.
Dec 22, 2011
    Don't remember Monty Python doing a dead lumberjack skit...

(For those unfortunate to be following this dialogue but not following this inane silliness, google YouTube Dead Parrott Sketch...and YouTube Lumberjack Song)

Dec 21, 2011

Admin: Well I always wanted to be a lumberjack.

Voter: (Astonished) Me too.

Insert song here.

Jade O.
Dec 20, 2011
    Hmmm, that wasp, right along with Mr. Snowflake here, I like to think of them as something of a classic, sort of like this:

Voter: I wish to complain about this wasp what I voted for not half an hour ago from this very keyboard.

Admin: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Yellow Jacket...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?

Voter: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Admin: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

Voter: Look, matey, I know a dead wasp when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Admin: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, er wasp, the Norwegian Blue Jacket, idn'it, ay? Beautiful bokeh!

Voter: The Bokeh don't enter into it. It's stone dead!!!

Congrats Michael on a classic image!

Dec 20, 2011
    Mr S: I am also guilty of letting the pp or other photo influence my vote. I keep trying to dismiss the extraneous reactions I see and to try and judge the image on its own merits. I'm beginning to think that we should do away with all comments and notes until after the contest is over.

Thanks for your vote and all the help you gave me in administering the challenge. Appreciated.

Dec 19, 2011
    Michael, I always try to presume and consider the degree of difficulty in my voting. I hope the next challenge will allow you to submit another snowflake photo, preferably taken while standing in a canoe. Will be in my top 3 for sure! LOL.

(Jade's dead wasp taught me that!!!)

Dec 19, 2011
    Thanks for the votes and comments. Jade - I have to pose the same question that I put to Mr S.

Jade O.
Dec 19, 2011
    Well, we all know you wouldn't have a syringe, sorry I guess that is possible. Well, we all know you wouldn't have a can of dust-off! Thanks to mrsawyer's comment, I'm reading the PP before I vote next time!!!

Dec 19, 2011
    Way to go MEPO!

Adirondack Gal
Dec 19, 2011
    Congratulations, Mepo!!!!!

Dec 19, 2011
    An I thought you were standing in canoe. . Congrats on placing.

    Comments After End of Challenge    
    Comments During Voting    

Dec 19, 2011
    Mr S: So that's what I get for being honest - You are off my Christmas list for sure :-) Re your question - I chose this crop because the whole flake gets too small if you include the whole and it looses the impact of the melting water around the edges. Now my question - Why does it matter if the flake is real or not if you are judging the impact of the photo? Will you give it a higher placing if I tell you that I took it while standing up in a canoe on a windy night? LOL LOL

Dec 19, 2011
    Before I read the post processing, I had this at #1. After seeing there was string cloned out, I assume this is some kind of plastic ornament. Still in my top 5 though. I'm curious as to why you didn't show the whole snowflake???

Dec 18, 2011
    Thanks for the comments. This turned out far better than I had hoped. The 1s shutter is not a problem as the snowflake will stay relatively stable for a short time.

Jade - Wow - top pic - I`m blown away. To answer your question - I had the use of a walk in meat freezer. Huddled in there with my winter parka and arctic mitts and mukluks. I use an aerosol can of `Dust - Off`to blast water from a small syringe and this created the most beautiful flakes. If I was lucky I would catch one on a small patch of black velvet cloth; tip it to the vertical and illuminate it with an l.e.d. light from below. The biggest problem was when I had to pull off my mitts to operate the equipment. I no longer have the thin silk gloves that we used in the arctic so I ended up with a bit of freezer burn - all in the cause of art LOL

I will post a photo of the set-up in the out-takes for you.

Jade O.
Dec 17, 2011
    Love to have the technical explanation of how this was done. Stark contrast and purposeful - my top pic.

Dec 15, 2011
    as for I know, it is very very difficult to take photo of real snowflake like this, with 1s shutter and get this effect in aperture priority.. also the snow flake is perfect, which is still more surprising..

Dec 15, 2011
    So fragile and well captured.
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By Mepo


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