"Jump Together," "Forever Yours," and "Wahweap Hoo Doo" were chosen as our July winners. Congratulations to Kyaw Thar, Robyn Terrell, and Julie Furber!
Without further ado, here's the three monthly winners for July, and comments from the judges on what made them so great. Clicking on any image will open a larger version in a new window.
Jump Together, by Kyaw Thar
(Kyaw won a Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Printer.)
We've probably all seen a shot of this sort, with people jumping in the air, for the photographer to catch them in mid-leap. It's not quite a cliche, but it's certainly not uncommon. Rarely, though, is it as well-executed as here by Kyaw Thar. Kyaw is either very lucky, or extremely persistent (we suspect the latter, given how many submissions he makes to the Photo of the Day contest <smile>) and he must have had a remarkably energetic group of kids to jump enough times to finally end up with this shot. The composition is great, with leading lines that draw your eye to the setting sun in the background, with the dark silhouettes of the children arrayed in a rough semi-circle above. The soft colors and clouds of the sky in the background contrast with the sharp silhouettes of the children and the harder-edged contrasty ripples in the sand below. The sharp silhouettes in the top portion of the photo connect to the contrasty sand ridges below, and (very importantly), the children's shadows reflected in the water between ridges give the image a sense of reality. A great shot!
Forever Yours, by Robyn Terrell
(Robyn won a Canon PIXMA MP980 Printer.)
What a great, classic portrait shot this is! The judges loved the beautiful tonality of the subject's face and the way it was framed by her hair and the shawl she's wearing. It's almost certain that Robyn did a fair bit of post-processing on the computer for this shot, to achieve the creamy-smooth skin tone, not to mention the gorgeous tonality. The key is that she didn't go too far with the processing. The subject is rendered with an almost ethereal look, but there's nothing that leaps out at you and says "hey, this is a processed image." That's a real key, and one that amateurs too often neglect: Show off the image, not the tools you used to make it (either hardware or software). You can't imagine the number of shots we receive where the technique used to produce them overwhelms subject, rather than enhancing it. (We get a lot of HDR shots that fall into this category.) With this shot, Robyn stopped just a step or two from going too far with the processing, producing a beautiful, enigmatic portrait. (Kudos to the model, too (Robyn's daughter?) - We've see a lot of photos of this young lady over the months, she must spend a lot of time in front of Robyn's camera.) Great work, both behind the camera and in front of the computer!
Wahweap Hoo Doo, by Julie Furber
(Julie won a Canon PIXMA MP620 Printer.)
There's more to this photo than just an unusual rock formation; there are some really nice, subtle things going on with lines and angles in it that make it more visually engaging than a random snapshot of the same subject would likely be. A downward-sloping line loosely connects the two big hoo doos with rocks on top and the small, stubby one on the right, while the angle of the division between the foreground and the shadowed background, the line defined by the bases of the two large hoo doos and the general slope of the foreground all point upward and to the right. The two lines draw to a focus on the stubby hoo doo on the righthand edge of the image, which could be considered as drawing your eyes away from the primary subjects. Somehow, gazing at the photo, the converging lines and the focal point on the right edge of the picture produce an unusual three-dimensional sense of the scene, despite that it's a 2-D image. (Try gazing at the small hoo doo on the right side, letting your peripheral vision encompass the rest of the image: We found it almost an eerie effect.) The exposure here is just right, too, with full detail preserved in the highlights of the foreground rock formations. (The Canon 5D Julie used to shoot this image is a camera known for beautiful tonality, particularly in highlights. - See Julie's winning photo from the March contest for another example of this camera's beautiful, subtle tonality.) Congratulations on another great image!
|Green Pastures ||Star Trails over Bagan |
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|by Deanna Esplin ||by boothee |
As always, 31 great daily winners made it hard to select the three very best, but that's a happy chore here at IR. Congratulations to all the daily winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted photos for July's contest. The consistently high quality of images submitted to the Photo of the Day contest are what makes it the success that it's been!
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!