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Wellington Caving Group

Photographic Competition Results

"Waitomo Caves Museum Trophy" (Novice Cup)

for Slides or Black & White / Colour Prints

Novice Cup rules

NOVICE Caving is fun.jpeg: 4000x3000, 7095k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Caving is fun
S Davis
NOVICE In boots and all.jpeg: 4000x3000, 6780k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
In boots and all
S Davis
NOVICE The Atrium.jpeg: 4000x3000, 6029k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
The Atrium
S Davis
NOVICE Waitomo Waterfall Cave.jpeg: 4000x3000, 6632k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Waitomo Waterfall Cave
P Smith

Caving is fun

Wonderful smiles, but as a photograph it is just a good snapshot, spoiled by burned out highlights and all the characters looking straight at the camera.

In boots and all - acceptance - third

A super image showing the sheer horror that is a caving squeeze! But it is spoiled by the bright highlight surrounding the central activity. It needs to be cropped and the centre brightened or the highlight burned down so it is not so distracting.

The Atrium - acceptance - runner up

Diagonal lines give excitement to a composition and here the shafts of light provide the drama. However, the burned out sections of the image leave me searching for detail that is just not there. With such a grand and dramatic scene it would be worth setting up the camera on a tripod (or rock) and taking two photographs one exposing the highlights and the other the shadows and combining the two into a single image.

Waitomo Waterfall Cave - honours - winner

A dramatic photograph beautifully seen. Exposure is perfect giving good detail in the highlights and the shadows. The bold zig zag shadows enhance the excitement and focus the eye onto the central subject.

"Hobson Cup"

Artistic/ Modified / Fantasy

Hobson cup rules

HOBSON CUP Careys Cave Wee Jasper.jpeg: 1760x2445, 807k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Careys Cave Wee Jasper
M Trayes
HOBSON CUP Oparara Arch.jpeg: 6971x1810, 1042k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Oparara Arch
S Davis
HOBSON CUP The bathtub.jpeg: 3000x4000, 4640k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
The Bathtub
S Davis

The bathtub - acceptance - runner up

Art and documentary photography are treated as the same thing by many art commentators, and this image works in this section more by what it reveals (wherever we dump our rubbish it offends someone) than its photographic merit. Here a surface dweller has dumped a bath and piping into a grotto, probably unaware that cavers might find it offensive. It looks like a point-and-shoot image, where the flash has burned out the foreground, rather than a carefully studied composition.

Oparara Arch - merit

This photograph could have been better placed in another section, as it is a good image well seen and composed. But its only nod to being 'artistic, modified or fantasy' is its apparent mirror image, which it isn't, or being two photographs in one which is not strong. It would benefit from Photoshop work to lasso the highlights, burn them down and then brighten the shadows.

Careys Cave Wee Jasper - merit - winner

Mirrors are great objects to include in a photograph to give mystery, depth and complexity. This image successfully breaks the rules of composition with the subject in the centre instead of in one of the thirds. Strong graphic lines of the handrails focus the gaze. It succeeds in the artistic section in that it leaves room for the viewer to make their own interpretation. It did not earn honours as there are technical problems with distracting grain (from high ISO?) or oversharpening. It could benefit from a more graphically resolved reflection in the mirror.

"Pybus Cup"

for Black & White/Colour Prints

Pybus Cup rules

PYBUS CUP Denise at Metro Main Entrance.jpeg: 1965x2585, 446k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Denise at Metro Main Entrance
M Trayes
PYBUS CUP Fairy Cave Buchan.jpeg: 2552x1816, 986k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Fairy Cave Buchan
M Trayes
PYBUS CUP GreatFangsCaveChamber.jpeg: 5780x2454, 6012k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Great Fangs Cave Chamber
N Barth
PYBUS CUP Royal Cave Buchan.jpeg: 1995x2585, 769k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
Royal Cave Buchan
M Trayes
PYBUS CUP TheFangs.jpeg: 2859x4288, 2522k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
The Fangs
N Barth
PYBUS CUP Triumph.jpeg: 2592x3888, 3754k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
N Barth

Royal Cave Buchan

A good subject well seen but deserving of more careful composition and lighting. The foreground is flatly lit, and the top of the image hints at fascinating formations poorly revealed.

Denise at Metro Main Entrance - acceptance

The cave entrance is well seen and executed with good rippling on the water. The foliage is nicely exposed and accentuated by the black shadow. But the caver is too large and distracting and the photograph would have worked better if they had been placed in silhouette on the far side of the pool.

Fairy Cave Buchan - merit

A pleasing composition and well lit with enough colour and texture contrast to justify on-camera flash. Usually a subject like this would benefit from off-camera flash to accentuate the shadows. There is an edge softness that detracts when enlarged, although this may be simply because it is such a small file.

The Fangs - merit - third

A terrific composition with lovely rendering in the water. The fangs are well named and well revealed in the photograph. However the flare, edge softness and washed out horizon detract.

Great Fangs Cave Chamber - honours - runner up

Dramatic light that reveals plenty of detail with the whole scene tightly framed by the darkened arch of the roof. Good composition with the caver on the right, but the red and blue canoes detract rather than add to the image.

Triumph - honours - winner

A dramatic image perfectly exposed with good use of thirds. The sidelighting on the water reveals dramatic turbulence, the paddler in glorious 'triumphant' pose is perfectly placed in silhouette and the line of falling water tying the top and bottom completes an excellent composition. It is hard to imagine how the exquisite ceiling detail and fine grain could be achieved without the use of a tripod.

"Dimond Cup"

Slide show

Dimond Cup rules No entries received

PYBUS CUP GreatFangsCaveChamber.jpeg: 5780x2454, 6012k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
PYBUS CUP TheFangs.jpeg: 2859x4288, 2522k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)
PYBUS CUP Triumph.jpeg: 2592x3888, 3754k (2012 Oct 15 00:00)

NZSS Trophy Winner

Nic Barth

Competition Judge
Alan Knowles