"Condensation Happens," "Semplici letture..," and "White Tailed Eagle" were chosen as our October winners. Congratulations to Sally Roerick, Fausto Mirandoli, and Bob Jones!
Without further ado, here's the three monthly winners for October, and comments from the judges on what made them so great. Clicking on any image will open a larger version in a new window.
Condensation Happens , by Sally Roerick
(Sally won a Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Printer.)
On the face of it, this is a pretty simple picture; just a plane flying by, more or less centered in the frame. It's an extraordinary subject, though, and the technical execution is flawless. The image is sharp and perfectly exposed, with beautiful tonality. The judges try to avoid awarding top honors to images that lean heavily on the sheer fascination of the subject, but by the same token, we shouldn't penalize great photos just because they have an amazing subject. We see a *lot* of action photos of aircraft over the course of a year, but this is a truly exceptional one. From the patterns of the condensation caused by turbulence to the detail of the cockpit, with the pilot and copilot clearly visible, to the glowing(!) shockwaves in the supersonic jet exhaust, it's an amazing subject. And again, a shot with perfect technical execution. Congratulations, Sally, on a great photo!
Semplici letture.., by Fausto Mirandoli
(Fausto won a Canon PIXMA MP980 Printer.)
This photo ignores a lot of "rules" of composition, cropped a little loosely, allowing a lot of "extraneous" detail into the shot. While it could have been cropped a lot tighter, though, that would have been a very different shot. (Although, ourselves, we probably would have cloned out the little bit of a shelf, stool, or table that projects into the right hand side of the image.) Cropped loosely like this, it tells more of a story than a tighter shot would have allowed. The crumpled bedclothes, the pacifier resting beside her, and the toddler's own tousled appearance contrast with the stillness of the moment, the mass of the book, and the contemplative pastime the book itself suggests. Exposure-wise, the soft lighting from window creates a beautiful dimensionality in the child's skin, particularly her right arm. The window itself is blown out, of course, and while that unbalances the composition a bit, the whole image still works well. The blown out highlights on the sheets would normally be considered an exposure error, but in this case, the lost detail is a good thing, because it doesn't compete with the primary subject for attention. All in all, a beautiful image, and one that engages the viewer's mind as well, wondering about the details of the situation captured. Congratulations on a fine image, Fausto!
White Tailed Eagle, by Bob Jones
(Bob won a Canon PIXMA MP620 Printer.)
By sheer volume, bird pictures comprise the biggest single category of POTD submissions. Birds are great subjects; perhaps the most accessible form of wildlife we encounter on a daily basis. They're also challenging subjects, thanks to their small size, quickness, and general skittishness. They also in many cases wear protective camouflage, so tend to blend into their backgrounds. As a result, we see a lot of bird photos, so it takes a lot to stand out. A lot comes down to execution, to perfect exposure, to great isolation between the subject and background, to a tack-sharp lens and perfect focus. And so on... Bob really nailed every element in this shot, though. depth of field is so shallow that only the bird's eye and a span of a centimeter or so in front of it is in sharp focus: Kudos to the camera's AF system for delivering such precise focus. Composition is great, too, and visual contrast is excellent. For readers aspiring to this sort of image, note the square crop (not a native aspect ratio of the Canon 1D Mark IIn that Bob shot with) and that there's no EXIF data reported for the photo: The image we see here was clearly cropped from the original frame, and it's almost guaranteed that Bob did some retouching work as well (cleaning up the background, etc). The instructive note here is that great photos like this one rarely come out of the camera full-frame/uncropped and with no tweaks to exposure or retouching required to remove distracting elements. Likewise, as good as camera exposure systems can be these days, it's rare that an image exits the camera spot-on perfect. Regardless of what went into the making of it, this is a great photo, one Bob can be justifably proud of having created. Congratulations!
|F-I-V-E ||Galactic Beacon |
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|by Kenneth Mucke ||by Martin Bordagaray |
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 September'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!