As with the quarry, I'll just post several images and count the first one as my requirement for the challenge. I know this shot is fairly abstract and isn't really a picture of anything specific, but there is something about it I really like. Maybe the negative space, lines, and the depth implied by the shallow depth of field (i.e., focus on one narrow plane so everything else is out of focus... the further away from that plane you get the more out of focus other objects become). The color to this on is only very slightly modified. I brought down the saturation a bit, but the original shot did have this warm, soft hue to it.
I have started to use manual focus when working in an area of intricate detail at varying levels... imagine branches on a small tree or a situation like this that is just full of twigs, vines, and spanish moss. I usually immediately find something interesting to focus on using the auto focus, but then I turn that off and slowly turn the manual focus ring to pick out something interesting at every plane that I might otherwise have missed. It's really a good exercise for anyone working at a very narrow depth of field, I think. You see things you hadn't expected.
50mm 1.4, f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 200, no flash