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March 2005 POTD winners (finally) announced!
(Wednesday, April 6, 2005 - 21:48 EDT)

A succession of "fire drills" here over the last week delayed our announcing the Photo of the Day winners for March, but the wait was well worth it: We've got three more *great* photos as winners this time around!

I always open these POTD winner news items by complaining about how hard it is to make the final choices. Repeating the complaint doesn't make it any less valid though, and this month was another case in point. We did manage to debate our way to a final group of three outstanding winners though, read on for some of the thinking that led to the choices:

First Place
Round 'n Round, by Mike Curtis
(Mike won a Kodak EasyShare LS753 camera)

We knew this one would be a contender early on. It's such an innovative shot, one that captures all the bliss of childhood in a single frame. Unless there was a person behind the adult doing the spinning, we're not sure how Mike even did it, but we're glad he did. Though technically one might want more color, perhaps more yellow and red, I appreciate the almost washed out look to the skin. It makes the photo look more like a memory. The blurring in the background had to be planned, and it was well executed. It isolates the subject and tells the story of the G-forces that are bringing the uncontrolled fit of giggles to the child. I can imagine the photographer laughing too. It's just a great photo that invites you to share the moment.

Second Place
freeze, by Elke Muenzel
Elke won a Lexar 512MB memory card, in the format of her choice, and a copy of E-Book Systems FlipAlbum Pro.)

Balance, texture, even temperature come out in this picture. It's unique architecture to begin with, but we don't give awards for recognizing and photographing great art; if interesting art is used in the composition--and used well as it is here--it is indeed worthy of note. Elke had to see this moment coming, and plan for it. She had to appreciate the architecture, see the snow patterns on the window, and watch the groups forming. She chose to crop the various arcs just right to take advantage of the swooping forms, and she had to wait for the groups to balance in the image. On the left there are more people with a thinner profile on the walkways, and on the right are only two people, but supported by the thicker angle of the walkways approaching overhead. It conveys the spirit of the place, as well as the temperature, but gives the image balance, tension, and interest. The eye has a lot to explore and discover here.

Third Place
Iguana, by Maciej Kuzio
(Maciej won a copy of E-Book Systems' FlipAlbum Suite)

Well, we do realize that an iguana will likely sit for a long time in a position, giving you plent of time to get the shot. But they also move on when they want to, and getting them in the pose you want isn't that easy in the first place. We really enjoyed the way this one was lit. He looks more like an action hero than an iguana. The lighting lends a sense of drama to his pose and expression, both already conveying a sincere sense of personality. The lighting, which appears to come from above and from the far right of the image, is exposed very well, leaving a striking sense of the animal's texture. I want to touch the screen to see if I can feel the smooth, sharply-defined scales. An impressive portrait of what is likely a beloved pet.

Once again, three wonderful photos, chosen after much deliberation and debate from a set of 31 truly excellent ones, which in turn were selected from hundreds and hundreds of amazing images sent in by our talented readers.

Once again, administering this contest continues to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with our readers and reconnect with our own photographic roots, welcome respite from the endless whirlwind of camera testing and review writing. Thanks again to our readers for sharing your creative vision with us!

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