Photo Club quarterly challenge – “Looking Up or Looking Down”

First Place: Bucharest Alley Café.

First Place: Bucharest Alley Café.

Second Place: Balance Rock at Arches.

Second Place: Balance Rock at Arches.

Third Place: Monumental Sunset.

Third Place: Monumental Sunset.

The Photo Club of Quail Creek just completed its third quarterly photo challenge, which had a theme of “Looking Up or Looking Down.” Each club member could enter up to three photos that had to be taken within the calendar quarter. The photographer/artist could post process the photo in any way, including using Photoshop filters and manipulation. This challenge proved to be the most popular one yet and drew 54 entries.

Club members voted on their favorite photos, and while this does not replace the current photo contest, it does add to the club’s offerings of photo opportunities. All of the photos can be seen on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157708977603741.

Lois Haglund won first place with her photo, Bucharest Alley Cafe.

Lois commented, “We were on a Danube River Cruise in April where the last stop was Bucharest, Romania. It is a lovely city and I spent several hours one day wandering around with my camera. I had just decided to head back to my hotel when this alley cafe with hundreds of colorful umbrellas strung above it caught my eye. I thought it would make a perfect subject for the ‘looking up’ challenge. It was tricky trying to get a good shot without too much of the buildings on either side of the alley distracting from the photo. I did a little bit of cropping and playing with the lighting, and this was the final result. By the way, if you are ever in Bucharest, be sure and go to the French Revolution bakery, where they have nothing but eclairs in all kinds of flavors. They are out of this world!” Lois used a Canon Powershot SX260, at f/4.0, 1/800 sec and ISO 400.

The photo, Balance Rock At Arches NP QC Crossing by Larry Phillips, placed second. Larry wrote, “The image was a panorama of four images taken with a Fuji X-T2 and a 14mm lens. Each image was 20 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 6400. Processing the images was not straight forward and required quite a bit of work to get the color balance and brightness levels to an acceptable point. The four images were stitched together using Lightroom’s panorama combining tool. It was taken in Arches National Park on a trip to the park for the specific reason to capture the Milky Way with unique foreground settings. The rock on the right is a well-known icon of the park, Balance Rock, as it appears to be ready to fall at any time. Near the main road, it is easily accessible to everyone. What was not so accessible was the location for setting up the camera and tripod. It was on a stone outcrop some distance from the trail and much higher up from the surrounding terrain. I had calculated earlier where the Milky Way would rise in the sky and picked the location so it would be ideal between the two columns.”

Jeff Krueger won third place with his photo, Monumental Sunset. Jeff said “Few people are able to see a sunset and sunrise from Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley. It’s a Navajo holy place and protected. It is a tough trip to get to and we were able to camp overnight to get both. It is a special place and spectacular vista. The sunset in this image was perfect, and having the tree on the left to frame the valley worked well. Being there, you can really understand the spiritual meaning to the Navajo people.” Jeff used a Canon M5D Mark IV, 1/80 sec at f/10 and ISO 800.