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June POTD Winners Selected!
(Friday, July 1, 2005 - 14:38 EDT)

Another month, another batch of great photos in the IR Photo of the Day (POTD) contest!

Yet another fine batch of photos has been whittled down to three winners after quite a bit of careful deliberation. You'll note that two of the winners were shot with Sony F-series cameras, known to be popular with photography enthusiasts.

Without further ado, here are the three top winners for the month of June, 2005, along with some of the thinking that went into their selection:

First Place
Country, by Luca Ghislanzoni
(Luca won a Kodak EasyShare LS753 camera)

Out in the country is one of the few places we can pull back and shoot wide angle without the image getting cluttered. There were several places to zoom in and get an interesting shot, or perhaps pose the child in the flowers. But here a simple story unfolds before us, and it is positioned well for our eye to explore. I think I'd have been tempted to include either more of the sky or more of the road for a sense of drama, but that would have been a bad choice in this case. The image's oversaturated colors read just like human memory mixed with a sense of fantasy; so while at other times I'd think this was a fault, here it's appropriate. I can even see back in time in this image, to where the child grabbed the dandilion and pulled it out, leaving the plant's leaves there on the road in the lower right corner. I can't see it in the shot, but I can imagine him still holding the dandilion stalk as he walks along. Had the photographer cut the dead plant out and not given it space, I'd have seen it as a flaw. Here it is part of the story. I want this photograph hanging on my wall.

Second Place
Bella Venezia, by Amer Kapetanovic
(Amer won a Lexar 512MB memory card, in the format of his choice, and a copy of E-Book Systems FlipAlbum Pro.)

There are only a few places in the world easily identifiable by a boat. This simple shot of a gondola floating on the waters of Venice has the ability to take you there without a plane ticket. The reflection is so bright and well-exposed that we're not sure it isn't a photograph turned upside down and modified to look like water in Photoshop. But we don't care which it is. It's just a nice image that makes us stare somewhat mournfully into the water, glad we got to visit.

Third Place
Pollen Suckin' Fly, by Scott Cromwell
(Scott won a copy of E-Book Systems' FlipAlbum Suite)

We get a lot of insect pictures. We get a lot of flower pictures too. Rare are the ones that win a daily photo, let alone place among the monthly winners. Here's a combo that wins because all of the elements for a good photograph have fallen into place. It has texture. You can almost feel all that pollen, waiting to stick to whatever touches it. The hairs on the fly make it creepy as well as intriguing. The multiple facets to its eye are visible even at this reduced resolution. Anyone who's tried to do macro photography, let alone catch a bug at the right time on a flower, knows how tough getting good focus can be. Both the fly and the stamen are in focus, while even the fly's wings are out of focus. Both the bug's body and stamen follow a similar curve, lending graphical interest. The lighting washes over the subject without overpowering it or casting significant shadows. Add the soft focus, yet vibrant background provided by Mother Nature, and you have a setting that stands out starkly against the fly's contrasting black and white body. This combined with the relative cleanliness of his legs suggests that he's just here to steal, not help the flower pollenate other flowers at all. And how often do we like a picture of a fly? Though we like this one, we'd probably still swat at it after getting the shot.

There you have it: 30 great Photos of the Day, with 3 exceptional ones capturing top honors. - So what are you waiting for? That could be your photo up there this time next month! Dig through your digital shoe boxes, pick your best and join the fun!

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