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June Picture of the Month Winners + Runners-up!
(Saturday, July 8, 2006 - 22:09 EDT)

We chose "coming into the light," "The End of the Line," and "Abandoned Church" as Photo of the Month contest winners for June. Congratulations to Jason Ranft, Leslie Granda Hill, and Francisco Henrnadez Marzal!

Another great month and such a load of images, at such high stakes, that we took a little longer to decide, deliberating over the images and casting votes for each. We've also included the runners-up again to honor those photos we thought were particularly good. Be sure to visit the POTD Winners Gallery to see all of the contestants.

And now, on to the winners for June.

coming into the light

First Place
coming into the light, by Jason Ranft
(Jason won a Canon EOS 30D kit digital SLR and a Canon i9900 printer!)

A clever idea (and probably quite a few tries) resulted in our first place image. One wonders how many tries it took: Great photos sometimes emerge from snapshots, but 99% of the time it takes perserverance and dogged persistence to achieve great results. Jason managed to not only catch the skateboarder at exactly the moment he was centered in the narrow beam of light, but caught him in a near-perfect pose: The subject's leading arm and legs reinforce the strong angular composition, and the positions of arms, legs, and body all work together nicely. A little taller, a bit more compressed, or a tiny fraction of a second one way or the other and the result would have lesser impact. We wonder about the lighting: How did Jason manage to set it up with such strong contrast between the subject and background? Did he work on the image on a computer to fully drop out the background? -- No fault there, the object here is to deliver an image with maximum impact, by whatever means, post-exposure work is highly encouraged. (You have no idea how many images just miss making Photo of the Day, simply because the photographer didn't take time to crop tighter, or to clone out a few distracting details.) This was a unique idea executed well, isolating the subject from the background in a clever way. The combination of motion and pose tells a good story, and the dramatic contrast really catches the eye. This would make a great ad photo for a skateboard company, maybe Jason can use his new 30D to pursue some commercial work!

The End of the Line

Second Place
The End of the Line, by Leslie Granda Hill
(Leslie won a Canon S3 IS digital camera, a Canon iP6600D Printer, and a Kingston 512MB SD memory card!)

We really liked the off balance symmetry of this image. The sense of structure and design combined with decay is always somehow appealing. Adding two individuals walking down this long corridor as if on a mission lends to the sense of mystery, and also gives the eye somewhere to come back to after being drawn down the corridor. Though it's more about the architecture, I also like the bands of light that drop the walkers into silhouette and convey the truth of the building's length. Finally, the black and white presentation adds to the sense of texture and detail. Not just on the walls, but the railing, the lamps, and even the nearly-silhouetted people. We agreed it is an image we'd hang on our wall.

Abandoned Church in Lorigilla, Spain. Lightpainting

Third Place
Abandoned Church in Lorigilla, Spain. Lightpainting, by Francisco Henrnadez Marzal
(Francisco won a Canon MP800 multi-function printer!)

Though this image was submitted a bit small for our tastes, it really does look good printed up small, much like a small Van Gogh art print. Francisco calls it a "lightpainting," so from this we surmise that he used various light sources, or else flash with gels to give the different elements of the scene their surreal glow. It's been a long time since we've seen star trails in a photo, probably because it's so much easier to do with film due to the significant noise that can build up with a digital image sensor. I even like the yellow glow near the horizon line, most likely a bit of smog haze lit by city lights. It adds an extra color to the light painting that gives it completion. Very well done.

Those are our picks for June. Congratulations to all the Daily Winners, thanks for lighting up our home page with your fine photos!

Now for those runners-up, we'll just show them below and offer our congratulations for some great shots that just got edged out by the three above.

Looking in the Barn

First Runner Up
Looking in the Barn, by Bob Hammitt

Cambodia Street Children

Second Runner Up
Cambodia Street Children, by Brice Keller

Lost Location

Third Runner Up
Airing, by Bojan Bonifacic

Remember: one of these could be your photo next month! Grab the nearest digital camera, pick your best and join the fun!

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