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Challenge of Challenges 2011 Winner announced

By dpreview staff on Jan 4, 2012 at 01:07 GMT

Congratulations to 'elroyie' for winning our Challenge of Challenges 2011’with the image ‘The Last Drop’. Elroyie has won our annual contest for the second time, having also won our inaugural competition, in 2009. As promised this year we also have a special prize to the voter who most closely matches the final scoring. This goes to 'IdeaChaser,' who, along with elroyie, will receive a framed exhibition print from Custom-Digital. Both winners will be contacted via email for further information regarding the print and shipping details.

The Last Drop - elroyie

Comments

Total comments: 110
12
ahmed kitan
By ahmed kitan (Feb 5, 2012)

Capture beautiful artist

0 upvotes
RossAndrew
By RossAndrew (Jan 18, 2012)

dear Tim Teo....
Timbo, any fisher person worth a pinch of salt knows that fish water is very slimy and a drop that size is not out of the question. Any bird watcher who lives near water would have seen some thing like that at some time, and I just I hade taken the shot . Your's kindly.

2 upvotes
Sybil Shapiro
By Sybil Shapiro (Jan 17, 2012)

Very nice shot! congratulations.

1 upvote
john10001
By john10001 (Jan 9, 2012)

This photo is simply brilliant! It's so clear. Love the colours and detail. I'm trying to figure out what kind of fish he's having for lunch ;)

0 upvotes
citizenj
By citizenj (Jan 6, 2012)

the pics are pretty but not that interesting

0 upvotes
Tesselator
By Tesselator (Jan 5, 2012)

Good job!

I shoot these KingFishers too and I've never captured an image that clear even tho I also use pro lenses and pod stabilization!

Very nice!

0 upvotes
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Jan 5, 2012)

Congratulations. Excellent image.

0 upvotes
GSD_ZA
By GSD_ZA (Jan 5, 2012)

Great photo elroyie - congrats. The final crop must have been a difficult decision, but the depth of field (background), timing and crispness are superb.

0 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Jan 4, 2012)

Congrats on the win but in my opinion there are far better captures in that gallery..

2 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Jan 4, 2012)

A great shot with great timing. Congrats!

0 upvotes
Doug
By Doug (Jan 4, 2012)

Carmel Wins. Award for requiring and attaining the most attention in a post completely blind-sided for it's originality.
Poor Last Drop. Hijacked again.
Awesome challenge Win. Well deserved. I don't even care if they are ( were ) trained pets and friends.....

0 upvotes
Jeff Greenberg
By Jeff Greenberg (Jan 4, 2012)

Which voter won for "nearest correct" voting...?

0 upvotes
Almeida
By Almeida (Jan 5, 2012)

It's in the article.

0 upvotes
weesam
By weesam (Jan 4, 2012)

Carmel, you have made the most moronic post I have ever read on DPreview... ("A vicious kingfisher piercing an innocent fish").

If you *are* an educated, qualified, biologist then I'm a Kingfisher.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
tscholent
By tscholent (Jan 4, 2012)

If I ever get a shot like this I'll be drinking champagne for a week...CONGRATULATIONS! And Carmel ....GET A LIFE!

1 upvote
Jorginho
By Jorginho (Jan 4, 2012)

Nothing wrong with this pic. Everything is excellent! The only critique I have is that I have seen these kind of pics many times before and prefer something new I guess. I have seen some that I prefered becausethey show what people have seen in otherwise normal looking things and made a stunning pic out of it. I guess I prefer that kind of shooting. Slightly...

It will be a long time though before I can pic something like this. Congrats to the winner!

0 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (Jan 4, 2012)

congratulations elroyie!!!

IMHO the uncroped pic it's far nicer
... more balanced, less "porno-look"

it is a definitive moment, that's for sure

gashô

0 upvotes
elroyie
By elroyie (Jan 4, 2012)

Thank you.
I think that you are right, especially for printing, but for the challenge that I sent this picture "Extraordinary timing" the crop is focusing the observer on these details.

0 upvotes
Martyn McMad
By Martyn McMad (Jan 4, 2012)

A beautiful capture of such a magnificent bird - love that detail ♥

0 upvotes
igarashi
By igarashi (Jan 4, 2012)

Beautiful shot! Great lighting, great color, great timing! Well worth patiently waiting in a tent for this beautiful kingfisher. Don't let the haters get you down...good criticism can be very helpful, but the contest results speak for you in this case. Congrats!

0 upvotes
BNapa
By BNapa (Jan 4, 2012)

Elroyie, bravo what a stunning photo.
Keep shooting my friend. I have done this type of photos. Got a few good ones but nothing like you have captured. To all the naysayers, I say go out and try to get one like this. It takes passion, preparation and a bit of luck to get one this good. You have captured a moment that happens perhaps thousands of time every day but no one pays attention. But when you see the moment captured like it is in your photograph, you begin to appreciate the beauty of nature. Thank you for sharing. Keep them coming,

0 upvotes
KimTeo
By KimTeo (Jan 4, 2012)

An unrealistic picture.

If water is just dripping off the fish, it would have been a split second from getting it off the water, and yet the bird is just sitting there.

If the droplet is that large, it will have to be a very viscous liquid, like treacle. For it to be water, the drop would have to be very much smaller.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
elroyie
By elroyie (Jan 4, 2012)

Mr KimTeo, the picture was taken in a pond were a lot of photographers here are shooting kingfisher pictures, I can't understand why you are so anxious to harm my cridibilty. I also gave you the uncropped picture im my former post.
P.s.
The picture is the first of 5 pictures series that I took in 1 second, as I mentioned before, I tried to catch the landing but I missed it, so this picture is right after landing.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
waving_odd
By waving_odd (Jan 4, 2012)

Elroyie, ignore KimTeo and there is something called Sour Grapes. Explaining to him/ker or sending uncropped image are just wasting your time that can be used to capture some more fantastic shots like this one. Congrats!

4 upvotes
Nagubo
By Nagubo (Jan 4, 2012)

Excellent picture!
The drop is not pure water, consequently not performing like a drop of pure water. The surface of a fish is slimy and this slime is altering the properties of water. This looks very real!

0 upvotes
CoolHandLu
By CoolHandLu (Jan 4, 2012)

Elroyie - please please PLEASE just ignore KimTeo. He makes ZERO sense. You know the truth, and that's all that matters!

0 upvotes
forsakenbliss
By forsakenbliss (Jan 5, 2012)

KimTeo, you are right. That's if, what you know is all the World is made of.

Just a hint to you, the fish would have a mouthful of water before it opened it's mouth again just after being caught by the kingfisher.

A mouth full of water is definitely quieter than a mouth half full. Likewise to the content in the skull. Pua Tang Jui (in your dialect) is louder.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
elroyie
By elroyie (Jan 4, 2012)

Thank you all for your comments.

Just for clearing:
The drop of water is real, not photoshopped!!!
The king fisher was standing on a branch, I didn't hold it in my hands!!!
I was sitting in a tent and waited for the kingfisher to get out of the water, I missed the landing, but I caught the water drop.
The uncropped frame (that was printed and is hanging on my wall) is here: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6945761380/photos/66631/353_5333?inalbum=birds
There is no PP manipulation in this picture, it is not my way.
Every one is invited to see the original frame on my computer, this is the only thing that I can say for all the scepticals.
I hope that I gave the right answets for you all.

Again, thank you all for commenting on this picture.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Gerard Hoffnung
By Gerard Hoffnung (Jan 4, 2012)

Congratulations, I love both the cropped and uncropped versions although the cropped one has more impact for me. It is really unfortunate that you are having to defend yourself from some here. I can only assume that it is sour grapes. Enjoy the moment.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 4, 2012)

@Gerard - who are you to assume things about fellow posters? I find that rather unnecessary.

Its a rather spectacular image and the drop looks weird. It looks too big and too bright. And lots of images *are* photoshopped today. So - why not wonder?

Now - as far as I understand - it is photoshopped - the drop is brightened. And thats the main reason why it looks unreal IMHO.

In that case, I would recommend elroyie to keep the drop slightly darker.

0 upvotes
elroyie
By elroyie (Jan 5, 2012)

The drop of water is not brightened,the bright sky and bright objects from the far BG reflects in the drop of the water an causes it to be bright.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 5, 2012)

Maybe, but how come it looks much darker here? Is it only an overall enhancement of contrast?

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6945761380/photos/66631/353_5333

BTW - I like the image and it perfectly matches the theme of the competition. Congratulations.

0 upvotes
danduranduran
By danduranduran (Jan 6, 2012)

I'm sorry, but that drop of water is clearly fake. This Kingfisher is a total fraud. Clearly, he purchased this fish from a novelty shop, or perhaps from the back of a comic book, and is shamelessly parading around with it as if it were genuine! It might as well have a fake GUCCI badge! And what does this image have to say? Where's soul? That bird show's no expression at all! No sense of triumph or victory it his face. And what of any sense of ennui on the part of the fish? His eyes just look dead and fish-like to me. Everyone knows there's no awe inspiration whatsoever that can derived from nature. What a waste of all of our time elroyie!

0 upvotes
David Steinman
By David Steinman (Jan 4, 2012)

I look at this and the only thing comes to mind is, WOW! I'm stunned. Patience, talent and a bit of luck. I'm in aw of this shot! Congratulations to the winner. Well deserved.

1 upvote
cluening
By cluening (Jan 4, 2012)

The guy is great. 2nd win already, wow

0 upvotes
joelfoto
By joelfoto (Jan 4, 2012)

Hard on the fish, eh? Great shot!

0 upvotes
Vittorio Fracassi
By Vittorio Fracassi (Jan 4, 2012)

thanks for not entering this great photograph in the "Your Best Bird Shot", thus allowing me to place mine!
it's the nature picture that every photographer who has sat for hours in uncomfortable shelters dreams of taking...
Regards, Vittorio

1 upvote
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (Jan 4, 2012)

Congrats!

0 upvotes
robt61x49
By robt61x49 (Jan 4, 2012)

Bravo!

0 upvotes
Yves P.
By Yves P. (Jan 4, 2012)

Patience and talent pay up ...

0 upvotes
Ivar Dahl Larsen
By Ivar Dahl Larsen (Jan 4, 2012)

Absolutely greatly captured. Congratulations.

0 upvotes
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Jan 4, 2012)

perfect. love it.

0 upvotes
Oos
By Oos (Jan 4, 2012)

Salute, very beautiful moment.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jan 4, 2012)

Nr. 3 and 4 were my nr. 3 and 4. The rest is totally different.

Man you people have no taste! ;)

0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (Jan 4, 2012)

I'm glad I don't participate in these challenges. I did maybe once or twice long ago, but I think I'm saving myself from the aggravation. The winning photo is lackluster, to me. I was expecting to see the winning photo be something more stunning or extravagant. I'm surprised to see a simple bird snap win...and not even a snap with interesting lighting or action. Just a bird sitting in the tree with a fish he caught. Maybe an eagle shot while it's in the process of scooping up the fish would be more interesting. Anyway, my photography is first and foremost for myself, which is why I don't put a lot of effort into selling something or winning something. I don't need the recognition. If someone likes my photos, I'm happy...but if they don't, I'm still happy ;-)

2 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (Jan 4, 2012)

for those wondering if the bird was hand-held, here's your answer: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6945761380/photos/66631/353_5333

It may not have been my favourite picture from these hundred, but it is a pretty awesome capture for sure.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 4, 2012)

Lots of nice images in this album.

BTW - there you see how this image is photoshopped. The drop is made lots brighter. Thats why it looks so alien. Hmmmm ... the brighter drop catch our attention - but I assume I would have liked it not so bright. A compromise between reality and the contest image would be nicer IMHO.

1 upvote
Simone M. Navarra
By Simone M. Navarra (Jan 4, 2012)

I understand such a picture is almost impossible to take and probably deserves a prize of some kind, but while technically stunning the drop of whater is a distraction from the real subjects and - for me - spoils the balance of the picture.

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 4, 2012)

*The kingsfisher without a fish* = nice, but ordinary image.

*With a fish* = very nice, more than ordinary image.

*With the drop* = extra ordinary, stunning image.

And yes, I agree. The drop is too large for the image. A smaller drop that not look so alien would be the ultimate images, so ...

*With a smaller drop* = extra, extra ordinary image - a true winner in any contest.

But, you cannot get it all. Except if you photoshop the image of course.

3 upvotes
Ray Soares
By Ray Soares (Jan 4, 2012)

Great, GREAT pic! congrats!

0 upvotes
Loraine Arnold
By Loraine Arnold (Jan 4, 2012)

Great photo and timing of the shot. It is not easy to capture fleeting moments at exactly the right time. Congratulations on your win.

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Jan 4, 2012)

There's no doubt that (providing it's not altered) it's a great shot.

I still don't like it though, it's certainly not something I'd hang on the wall

5 upvotes
Nismo350Z
By Nismo350Z (Jan 4, 2012)

IMO it looks more like a generic stock photo rather than picture of the year. Still a nice capture and certainly not photoshopped at all.

7 upvotes
fastlass
By fastlass (Jan 4, 2012)

Almost all of the 100 winners' shots look like stock photos. Is this really the aesthetic that dpreview readers are drawn toward?

1 upvote
ibrahimgad66
By ibrahimgad66 (Jan 4, 2012)

for Carmel i'm so sorry for ur opinion but it's life's rule it's circle our GOD put and every thing will be gone at any time when it's death time
i think it's good effort
sorry for my comment

0 upvotes
Kidsune
By Kidsune (Jan 4, 2012)

comments need a 'dislike' button

3 upvotes
Andreas-AM
By Andreas-AM (Jan 4, 2012)

I don't think that comments need a "dislike" - I think that readers need more tolerance....there is always more than one oppinion and who can say that his / her is the ultimate right one?

3 upvotes
jymmeh88
By jymmeh88 (Jan 4, 2012)

isnt that when you "flag as inappropriate"?

0 upvotes
Carmel
By Carmel (Jan 4, 2012)

Sorry to spoil the party but this picture reflects a bad taste to say the least. Are we just technical photographers? Right, it is very original, the colors are natural and the details are great. But what about the message? I see here none. No love nor mercy, no dignity, no sentiment at all. Oh well, this is just a fish.

7 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Jan 4, 2012)

I see you like your fish neatly packaged in a box and lumps of meat in white trays. These birds and wild life do not have Tesco’s , Wallmarks, etc to order their food. They also do not have slaughter houses to do the dirty work for them. This type of thing happened millions of years before man walked on 2 legs and the invention of cameras. You can hide but you can’t run at the same time. If one has ever been to a slaughter house I think one would think twice about dignity.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jan 4, 2012)

"What about the message?" Ypu think the photographer should not show this extraordinary picture because it has the wrong message? You think all pictures of predators and prey should show that the predator loves the prey? Or what do you mean? That the photographer should delete the picture immediately from the camera, being shamed for taking such nasty images?

2 upvotes
Neeyon
By Neeyon (Jan 4, 2012)

Carmel, I must say that I'm somewhat confused by your comment. How is this picture bad taste? This is (for want of a better term) a nature/wildlife photo, and it is showing a natural occurence. How is that bad taste? With regard to your comment about it being a "technical" photo, again I don't understand the issue. Yes this was obviously a technically-challenging image to capture, but how is this a problem, and how does this make it somehow less worthy of winning the challenge?

1 upvote
Russell Denney
By Russell Denney (Jan 4, 2012)

Another tree hugger offers his liberal slant... I guess that the natural predator/prey in the wild has become politically incorrect. It must be nice to sit back and have all these philosophical thoughts about how the ideal world should be while the real world passes you by. There is a distinct message in this photo -- you're just blinded to it by your "ideal" colored sunglasses.

1 upvote
Carmel
By Carmel (Jan 4, 2012)

By "bad taste" I am not relating to the photo as it is – a nice wildlife photo. But the large view of a vicious kingfisher piercing an innocent fish could be disturbing for some sensitive persons.. And do not take me wrong. I am a biologist, I know and respect the laws of Nature and actually I like birds more than fish.. Secondly, to me the winner of Challenge of Challenges 2011 should have something more than a perfect "technical" execution. I was looking for an additional virtue that I term the "message". A kind of an intellectual-artistic-humane-morale-humoristic expression that tells us in the symbolic photo language about ourselves, about our world, about fillings, good and bad, hope, pain, happiness – you name it.. My practical test for such a picture – it will stir you so strong that you will keep looking at it for a whole minute without saying a word.. A Happy Photographic Year to all!

2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 4, 2012)

As a biologist, you should know better than tagging "vicious" and "innocent" attributes to life truth which clearly scares you.
These descriptives are appropriate for humans only.
As to the message, it's right there in your reaction: one natural reality provoking all the wrong reactions, and in a biologist, to boot... I wonder how you manage to endure all of the realities in your everyday work, except if you work only with bacteria which "have no soul"... or with papers (those are guaranteed to have none)...
In the same time, there are myriads of TV serials weaving half-hour dreamt-up nonsense about "human" " behavior", further alienating people from everything natural, but hardly anybody minds watching!
Kingfishers, fish, and death-for-food; those things are NORMAL and actually the hard-core living (=bios). People shooting up one another while driving wildly down the city streets; those things are NOT NORMAL, and much less fun
Congrats to the author, he has my heartfelt envy.

4 upvotes
rohorn
By rohorn (Jan 4, 2012)

The bird clearly thinks the fish is in good taste!

2 upvotes
Jeff Greenberg
By Jeff Greenberg (Jan 4, 2012)

Message: eat or be eaten

But am wondering, how does bird extract fish from beak?
Grab with one set of claws-talons while balancing on other?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jaromirko
By jaromirko (Jan 4, 2012)

I fully agree with you, Carmel. When evaluate photos, the first impression is most important, to me. And shortly after seeing this picture I felt: "sad" and "it's a pity"...

2 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Jan 4, 2012)

What a wonderful shoot. As to kingfishers not piercing their prey that is not correct. A lot of the hovering types do sometimes especially if the prey is a bit larger like this one. I have seen pictures on occasion on ODP South Africa where the Pied Kingfishers have pierced their prey. Again a wonderful shoot. The only thing wrong with it is that it is not mine.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
GillesNZ
By GillesNZ (Jan 4, 2012)

Well done! Amazing image.

0 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Jan 4, 2012)

Congrats !!

0 upvotes
Noogy
By Noogy (Jan 4, 2012)

Congratulations. Simply splendid!

0 upvotes
salesgenie
By salesgenie (Jan 4, 2012)

Great picture! I don't think it is photoshopped but common Kingfishers do not stab their prey...they grasp it in their beak.

However if you hold the birds legs and stab a minnow onto the beak it makes the shot possible. Search google images for "kingfisher bird hand" and you will see how it is possible.

Still a great photo even if staged...congrats.

Would be nice to see uncropped.

2 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Jan 4, 2012)

I do hereby nominate you for President of the Skeptics Society.

9 upvotes
elroyie
By elroyie (Jan 4, 2012)

This is the uncropped picture:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6945761380/photos/66631/353_5333?inalbum=birds
I can't understand claims like "if you hold the birds legs", this is very odd...
The kingfisher is diving very fast to the water, sometimes when the fish is little bit large for him he is stabbing the fish like an arrow, I have few more examples for this.

4 upvotes
salesgenie
By salesgenie (Jan 5, 2012)

Unbelievable shot...not staged. I could not even imagine getting a shot that great....

You need to apply at National Geographic.

Thanks for clarifying.

0 upvotes
Duckysaurus
By Duckysaurus (Jan 4, 2012)

Epic! Wonder how much time Elroyie waited for this... Should have an interview with him about the picture!

4 upvotes
Rmano
By Rmano (Jan 4, 2012)

Yes! DPR --- why not doing an article asking details for the first three pictures of the contest?

4 upvotes
DanCee
By DanCee (Jan 4, 2012)

yep, would be nice to hear from the photographer how this picture being taken and the story behind it

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Jan 4, 2012)

Its very difficult to capture moment like this and for a small bird even with the longest of telephoto lens one has to get close in order to get a shot. absolutely fantastic picture.

0 upvotes
maccam
By maccam (Jan 4, 2012)

I showed my wife this picture and she asked if I had taken it. No was the reply. I do have many bird pictures but none as stunning as this and I can't figure out how the guy took it. King Fishers are very active and rather shy. I have maybe 3 shots of one out of the thousands of shots of other birds. They are just hard to capture. And as far as the capture (of the fish), accidents do happen. I have a photo of a seagull that captured a crawfish and neither looked too excited about their prospects; and a 5+ minute video of some poor shmuck great egret who couldn't figure out how to swallow the fish he had just grabbed. Young and dum. Incredible detail. How close were you and was this hand held?

JAW

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Doug
By Doug (Jan 4, 2012)

300mm zoom will give you an idea.

0 upvotes
bklim
By bklim (Jan 4, 2012)

So strange. I never saw common kingfisher fishing like this way.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 110
12