Key to the challenge?


Ice gets members thinking!
This challenge has had lots of members intrigued and enjoying something new. Although not as many images have been submitted for the gallery this week, nevertheless the comments I have had, as they have been playing with the medium have been very positive.

This week has seen me getting to grips with the Zoom medium and helping one or two on Mac and i-pad to find out how to share their screens using their systems. I think we got there in the end! We had a second Thursday meeting virtually, and people shared and talked about their photos avidly. We were cut off after 40 mins, so I re-ran the meeting on Friday for Suzanne and Jane who could not be there, and we welcomed a number of others who had been at the first one , as they joined us again just for the company ! I think it is doing us all good.

Our thoughts have naturally been with Margot this past week, at such a difficult time. I am contacting her later this week, to see if she is happy for me to write a short tribute to Mike for the website, which I hope you feel would be appropriate. I shall forward all your concerns and good wishes, but I know that many of you will also be contacting her personally.

Now for the feedback on the COOL AS ICE CHALLENGE:

For me it is something I tried once and have enjoyed coming back to and learning more about. This time I have concentrated on selective focus and intensifying the colours. I do feel the images that work best fill the frame with the ice and the object, although where there are reflections in surfaces this too works well. I wonder about the light balance setting. Mine is on auto and I am OK with the effects, but I feel Ice pictures rather lend themselves to a cool temperature which maybe the camera does not pick up unless set to do so? Maybe something to try next time. Anyway, I look forward to your feedback which I will add as it comes in this week.

Jenny says :

Janice: Yours were the first to arrive I like the bracelet and the daffodil best The Daff has great DOF and colour, and the structures of the plant, as well as those in the ice, are there. I like the colour and form in the bracelet,t although the highlight on the ice to the left is quite blown. I think I might crop to half the bracelet(RH side) for a different sort of image.
Graham: I like the Dianthus and the Clematis better than the Dandilion which for me is a bit flat and not well lit- maybe change the light position or use two sources? The other two, particularly the Clematis, have great detail in the ice with cracks etc. They have more intense colour than the other one, but you might consider saturating it a bit more?
Jane R: the Tulip for me is the best- I love the colour, form, composition and DOF The pale green colour in the background is actually enhancing the cool ice, whereas the yellow cast in the Rosemary one in Shadows is, for me, a bit too warm Like the subject though- it freezes interestingly! The shadows rather detract from the ice structure for me.
Tony: love what you did with both of these Particularly like the Acer with the reflection, the black background the shapes and the subject which is well lit The Horse Chestnut is also a great picture but would be even better for me with all of the background cropped out so ice fills the frame. I love the lighting.
Suzanne: I know you became obsessed with the meltwater! Your Moment in Time is rather like my Golden Time in that you have frozen an old (I hope!) watch. Love the B and W but find the background and the strap a slight distraction I would crop in to the winder and examine the ice around that a bit. The Weed in Ice is the weakest for me I think you composed it well with the shapes, and actually were more interested in the water! The Blossom Captured is a lovely idea with the background suggesting trees etc. You might think about maybe “sculpting” the rather cubical ice block into something with more rounded edges, using warm water before the shoot, as this would echo more closely the rounded form in the water drops.
Pamela: Love the colour and form of the subject matter I wonder if you meant Fuzzy Wuzzy to be blurred? As the image is, I think I might play around in Elements with the Artistic Filter zoom feature ,and create that effect from the centre . I like the single item butterfly half in and half out of the ice- again being me, I would zoom in on the difference in the ice formation around that which is immersed and frozen, and the edge of the wing that isn’t. Double Act is the best for me- I love the shapes and forms created by the overlap and the colour and sharpness is great. I would try and crop out all the background grass and look closely at the overlapping curves which are lovely.
Rex: good to see your humour was not dampened by the challenge and that you are still getting supplies in lock down !! keep them coming .

Pamela says:

[Jenny[ I absolutely love Marbles; the colour, the design, the clarity. Geranium is also so eye-catching. I would like both of these on my wall. I love colour so Golden Time was 3rd but the more I look at it the more I like it.
Janice. Appreciation is so topical. I would swap the yellow 'n' for an orange one, and the orange 's' for a yellow one to lead my eye round the words. I think the Marie Curie CC stands out and I love it. You should offer it to them.
Graham. My favourite is Dianthus. It looks as if it is pushing up through the ice.
Jane R. Tulip is my favourite. The red stands out and the centre provides interest. Shadows I find a bit distracting and the yellow too strong, I would crop the top of Pulmonaria and just leave the lovely centre colours. I love the cracks in the ice.
Tony. Horse Chestnut.I find the bit of black and the while bottom left-hand side distracting but I think it adds to the drama in Acer leaf and I like the reflection.
Suzanne. A Moment.. is interesting but I'm not quite sure where to focus. I like Weed, it's like a modern sculpture. Blossom captured looks as though it's floating in space, lovely colours. I think I would crop it a bit.
Rex. I get the impression Lockdown is not a problem for you. I would like a blurred background to make the bottles stand out more but it's a lovely, fun shot. I'll be peering over your hedge soon with my own personal glass.
Pamela on Pamela. I have seen pictures of photos in ice but never tried anything like this before. Jenny's comments are very helpful. Fuzzy W was supposed to be like that but I did wonder if it would work. I have a macro extension tube but for some reason I couldn't get it to focus. I did think to have another go but we had a food delivery and short of eating everything in one night there was no room in the freezer.

Suzanne says:

JENNY, MARBLES, Like Pamela I absolutely love this strong image. Its colours, composition and ice detail are just perfect. GERANIUM, lovely colours and flower detail with interesting markings in the ice. Made me think of tinsel. I wondered what it might look like as a square format cropping out some of the green on the right. GOLDEN TIME reminds me of frost on my childhood bedroom window Great detail and patch of golden light in this ice picture but I am not sure about the small triangular patch of black with light patches on the long edge in the bottom right hand corner. Easy to clone ice in though.
PAMELA - FUZZY WUZZY, An interesting colour to this ice background its almost like a 'wash'. I could see this soft image printed on a silk scarf. DOUBLE ACT - A clever picture with great colours. Blue and Green should always be seen -(together) I say. Maybe I would crop all around the grass which would keep your eye focused into the centre where the butterflies live! SINGLE BUTTERFLY. I Like the double picture best and I would say the same crop for the grass in this picture.
JANICE - BRACELET is a pretty picture which I like. Great colours I wonder if the bracelet had been formed into a heart shape whether this might have solved the problem of the white centre space. Easy to say but in reality probably not possible. APPRECIATION, a thought provoking and colourful ice picture Janice. A lovely idea. MARIE CURIE CC - I like the spray of tiny bubbles coming in from the left and the way you positioned the colourful flower in the frame.

[i]GRAHAM, I love CLEMATIS. The flower is positioned well, the ice shading with gentle detail and ethereal lighting gives the picture a water colour quality. It would make a nice print and I could hang it on my wall! DANDELION reminds me of a sunflower and cheers me up. A great shape captured in ice surrounded by bubbles. Maybe the image could be lightened or brightened a tad. DIANTHUS is a gentle picture which looks as though its about to surface.
REX, MINIATURES ...Chin, chin Rex. A great idea with great detail Did you freeze them in a glass tankard?
TONY, ACER REFLECTIONS, it could be a paperweight. I like this picture with its well lit petals and frosty topping, The back background shows it off well. HORSE CHESTNUT LEAF, I like the leaf shape, details positioning, and light coming through the smallest one. Maybe if you could clone ice into the black spaces this would make your picture even stronger.
JANE your tulip is my favourite with its strong shape, red/black colours and a splash of yellow set on a frosty background. The bubble almost in the centre draws your eye in to explore the details captured within. SHADOWS- Nice line details in the ice but I think the foreground could be cropped to make a stronger picture. PULMANARIA - I particularly like the R.H. side flower in this picture.

Janice says:
I really enjoyed this challenge and tried many things unsuccessfully before I started to have better results.

Jenny, if this was a competition your Lost My Marbles would be my winner. A very strong abstract where everything works. Your other two images also have good ice detail/texture and Golden Time is an intriguing concept.
Suzanne, all your images are beautifully presented. A Moment In Time is a clever concept but I wonder if a crop would make the image even stronger. My favourite is Blossom Captured, good lighting and colour.
Rex, a different and strong image making good use of what was available.
Tony, I really like the presentation of Acer Leaf. Good use of lighting and a interesting shadow. Perhaps a tighter crop of Horse Chestnut Leaf would emphasis the stronger right hand side.
Jane R, The Tulip is a great image, very strong shapes and colour. The Pulmonaria image has interesting shapes and colour although for me, the right hand side is stronger.
Graham, you did well with the Dandelion to get good separation between most of the petals. Clematis is my favourite, good ice detail and i love the composition and colour.
Pamela, Sparkling Jewel works really well with the butterfly part in and part out of the ice but perhaps a tighter crop to focus attention on the ice/jewel. Double Act is a clever original idea which I really like but again if it was mine I would crop tighter to lose the surrounding background.

JaneL says;
I don’t have a freezer at the moment but quite glad not to have had to compete. I admire the time and patience that must have been required to progress ideas into suitable subjects – I wonder how many failures – and converting interesting images into good photos. I enjoyed them all but have my favourites: Jane R’s Tulip, Tony’s Acer and Janice’s Marie Curei daff Rex’s miniatures really made me smile. Great interpretation of the brief.