I really love everything (with one exception) about this photo, and, happily enough, the judge seemed to love it, too. The curvature of the bricks is my favorite part, along with "standing guard" air of the benches while they surrounding the brick circle. The one thing that bothered both of us (and others, I'm sure) was that of the silly leafs sitting dead center on the bricks. I wish I'd thought to remove them prior to taking the photo; they're quite distracting.
The black and white turned out to be really nice. The judge commented that it had black blacks and white whites, which is good, because then it's not just a bunch of grays, but actually blacks and whites (more so, anyway).
I'm very satisfied with my first score being an 85. The next contest is an open theme. I'm debating on a few photos from Australia to submit. We shall see.