As I say, no resize, so this is actual pixels from the camera. I liked the effect, I thought it was kind of watercolory, though I was hardly surprised by the score and I don't expect most people to like it. The only thing that surprised me is that it is scoring higher than my wind entry! :)
But what Steve said about the dark area is really haunting me. I like the dark area, but he's right, I think I should have brought out the detail more.
Place: 391 out of 440 Avg (all users): 4.2794 Avg (commenters): 3.0000 Avg (participants): 4.0469 Avg (non-participants): 4.5294 Views since voting: 850 Views during voting: 377 Votes: 247 Comments: 6 Favorites: 0
I reckon this was far too harshly treated. I didn't vote on the challenge because I had my entry in it, but I'd likely have settled around the 6 mark on this one. Yeah, the shadow at the front is a tad distracting, and it would have been nice to have the focus dead sharp at the branch of the lines, but come on, that's a great background / out of focus area that really complements the rest of the shot - the very essence of Bokeh.
In this challenge though, you obviously had to make all the voters go "ooo, shiny" in order to win big. Never mind that this has artistic watercolour quality to it.
Every once in awhile I think you throw one out there that possibly should have been simply thrown out, just to see what reaction you might get. I do like the basic composition of this - the leading line through and out of the trees from the fork in the path, so to speak. Has potential to be a pretty darn good shot, though I'd end it at the bottom of the light "v" - have the canopy of trees be the terminus. Then you have the shiny bit of yellow and the opening near it up at the top of the picture, leading the viewer out and beyond.
Technicals, however, are another story. To my untrained and ignorant-of-finer-things eye, technicals pretty much suck, and in this case seriously detract from what could be a decent picture.
Hmmmm... I like the concept but the implementation doesn't seem to work so well. I'm not trying to be harsh but will make some comments...
I agree with the philosophy that an image with soft focused areas technically contains bokeh. But in a challenge about bokeh it needs to jump right out at you and say, "Now THAT'S bokeh!", otherwise it looks like any other soft focused image. Most good bokeh pictures are taken with the lens wide open for nice circular point light sources and with a shallow depth-of-field where the main subject is in sharp focus and the bokeh somehow highlights that main subject in a special way. All that is missing in your picture. That explains most of your low score.
The overall technical quality is poor but I suspect that may have a lot to do with the camera you are using. You want to know your equipment's limitations and work them to your advantage when possible.
The shadow in the foreground is distracting to viewers. That destroys the whole idea of your picture. This needed to be taken at a different time when the shadow was not there and/or post processed in a way that adds pleasing attention to the shadowed area.
This picture looks like it is strait out of the camera. That implies that you may be new to photography and/or unfamiliar with post processing. In the world of photography today you need to develop those skills. Fortunately, DPC is a good resource for helping you learn them.