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  #124 Monochrome (Gray Scale or Toned)
Entry 2 of 33
Whiteout       ©2013 Mepo
Panasonic DMC-FZ30       2nd place, 243 points
1/80s, f5.6, ISO 80, ?, Aperture Priority, Spot, no flash
Post-Processing: Raw - B&W - Used a gold/blue filter to bring out the detail in the trees. Increased contrast & levels. Cropped to panorama.       Extra Info: Without the trees I would not know where the road is. After viewing the image I realized that the camera had been able see better in the storm that I could.
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May 7, 2013
    oh WOW, sensational, and dreamy, well done!

Mar 12, 2013
    Congratulations - love the idea of Xmas cards or a huge wall hanging - it's definitely a keeper

Mar 12, 2013
    Thanks everyone for the votes and especially the comments. It almost makes that wet snow down my neck worthwhile :-)

While taking this I was threatened by a rent-a-cop security guard with a parking ticket. He claimed I was blocking traffic and wanted me to move to a parking lot a couple of Km away. After I calmed him down a bit I had to push his car to help him get moving again - I was SO tempted to leave him there and report him for blocking the road LOL
Edited on Mar 12, 2013

Mar 12, 2013

Mar 11, 2013
    A well deserved 2nd place. Revisiting my votes I think that I should have placed your image much higher. Would look really nice on the wall.

Mar 11, 2013
    Congratulations. This is a beautiful image that I'd love to have hanging on my wall. It really is gorgeous.

Jade O.
Mar 11, 2013
    Nice perspective. You put the "P" where it mattered most and turned wipeout into whiteout! Congrats on a really strong 2nd place finish.

Mar 11, 2013
    Congrats Michael! Perhaps you can retake this one later for the Pathways challenge!

    Comments After End of Challenge    
    Comments During Voting    

Mar 11, 2013
    Beautifully shot minimal and graphic. A fav. Good luck.
Edited on Mar 11, 2013

Steven Sobel
Mar 11, 2013
    By far my favorite of the landscape images in the main challenge, the blowing snow is epic and the composition is extremely solid. The only little things I could nit-pick are that I'd like to see a little more detail in the tracks on the road and maybe a tiny bit more space around the frame on the sides. Also could clone out the road sign on the left side and a few of the more distracting branches. Very high in my favorites!

Mar 11, 2013
    A quick thank you for all your interesting comments, so many of which addressed parts of the process that gave me some difficulty in deciding which way to go:

Re symmetrical - I did have other shots that were more symmetrical but I prefer a more natural look and I felt the smaller tree added a sense of depth. I must admit however that when I set out to capture this I did have a more symmetrical shot in mind.

Re overexposure: I did over expose on purpose. In my minds eye I wanted a complete white background to demonstrate what you actually are faced with when you are out in a storm like this. When the wind blows the snow into your face you actually see a lot less that the camera captures. On top of which you start to experience snow blindness fairly quickly. The Eskimo use glasses made of bone with a thin slit in them - they work very well.

Re burning in the left tree: Again, I kept it lighter than the right to emphasize the difference in distance.

Re: Detail on road and on the side. I was trying to reduce this to nil but your comments made me realize that it was better to have some left in. Thanks! By the way - there are ditches on both sides of the road so you try to drive right down the middle.

Re fading trees: It was difficult to adjust the levels to the brightness I wanted and still keep some detail in the distance. I was tempted just to let it go (especially as it was not visible with the naked eye) but now I'm glad I left it in.

Re Shutter speed: That was a really hard one. Every time I experimented with a different shutter speed I got a different result. The problem is that the wind, the snow flake size and the intensity of the storm kept changing. I would have preferred to see more actual flakes like I captured in my open entry - but who knows if it would have been better ?

As a matter of interest. When I was trying for the 'right' crop I remembered the recent discussion of Fibonacci and the Golden Rectangle. I tried it and it looked just right. I highly recommend it as a cropping guide.

Thanks again for every comment. They are invaluable.
Edited on Mar 11, 2013

Old Finn
Mar 10, 2013
    Excellent.. The surface of the road and the snow walls is enough visible and the dark trees make the graphic impression of the picture.

Mar 9, 2013
    Very nice image. Love the trees fading into the background.

Mar 9, 2013
    "simple" composition black and white and yet so effective. In my TT.

Steven T
Mar 8, 2013
    Well done. One of my favorites in the challenge. Good work to keep a hint of detail in the roadway. Perfect shutter speed to blur the snow. Looks as cold and bleak as a Canadian winter.

Mar 8, 2013
    This would make a very good mood picture

Mar 8, 2013
    Beautifully balanced - love the starkness of the trees against the white background

Mar 8, 2013
    Thank you all for the great comments. I'm blown away (as I nearly was in the storm :-) My intention in adjusting the contrast and levels was to try and reproduce the blinding effect of the storm.

Mar 8, 2013
    First Impression - 5/5
Contrast - 5/5
Composition - 5/5
Tone / Texture - 5/5

Brilliant image. Maybe helped by slightly burning in the first tree on the left hand side.

Mar 8, 2013
    Great photo, looks like these trees a re lined up in the middle of nowhere. Think your a little over exposed though.

Mar 8, 2013
    I love the high key snowy atmosphere, courageous shot, very nicely composed - well done!

Jade O.
Mar 7, 2013
    This one will grow on me. You've made a classic high key presentation without forcing it artificially. If the trees were perfectly symmetrical (feat of nature not photographer) this would rank even higher for me.

Mar 7, 2013
    This just works on every level and I have no doubt it'll do extremely well in voting notwithstanding making one heck of a gorgeous print or canvas (HUGE size) that would simply make a superb focal point on any living room wall. It's way up in my T5 list. Love it!

Mar 7, 2013
    i have this in second place at the moment. i feel there may only be two in the main that excel and would print well and have a life outside our challenge. (use this for you own holiday greetings card next year) it is beautiful.

Mar 7, 2013
    Love love love this. Oh my it does look cold. What a majestic scene to my eye. I think this is my favorite in the main.
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