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July POTD winners chosen!
(Saturday, August 6, 2005 - 18:15 EDT)

"Solstice Dawn," "three pipes," and "Hikin' With Mom" were chosen as July's Photo of the Day contest winners. Congratulations to Richard Brewer, Elke Münzel, and Kerry Haines.

We've digitally riffled through thirty one shots from July to pick our three winners after quite a bit of careful deliberation. It's clear our readers have been improving their style, because many of the submissions we've received this month have been excellent. We'd like to encourage you to keep the great stuff coming! The next winner could be you.

Here are the three top winners for the month of July, 2005, along with some of the details we discussed as we picked them:

First Place
Solstice Dawn, by Richard Brewer
(Richard won a Kodak EasyShare LS753 camera)

There's something about morning light that makes the most pleasing photographs. Many pro photographers get up before dawn to take advantage of its unique properties, and it appears Richard Brewer employed the same technique here, perhaps on a walk. The mist is still rising, and you can imagine that the grass is covered with dew. The image of a new golden light rising on an ancient, burned ruin is always poetic. Both those who raised and those who razed the old castle are long gone, but dawn still breaks on the hillside of fresh green grass. And in the distance, life goes on, with men farming the fields with as much hope as the oncoming day. It's an image that is relaxing to behold.

Second Place
three pipes, by Elke Münzel
(Elke won a Lexar 512MB memory card, and a copy of E-Book Systems FlipAlbum Pro.)

The title tells the mundane truth, but this simple shot turns three everyday objects into a work of art. It's the photographer's eye that kept this one from getting by. These pipes were set in a pile for no reason but to keep them neat and ready to be buried. They are piled up around the world by the millions, but how many of us would see a photograph in a stack of pipes? Elke did, and the result is appealing. The light emerging at the end of the pipes has been centered, and looks like a jewel. The ends of the pipes further frame the gem while pointing away from it in all directions. The geometry is not absolutely perfect, with one pipe slightly askew, which lends more interest. The color of the pipes inside is unusual enough that you have to look more closely to see just how simple a subject this is. The image is intriguing, surprising, and well-executed.

Third Place
Hikin' With Mom, by Kerry Haines
(Kerry won a copy of E-Book Systems' FlipAlbum Suite)

Great portraits can be taken outside the studio. "Hikin' With Mom" tells a story that is humorous and revealing about the day it was taken, and also revealing about the characters of the people portrayed. Mom's enthusiasm for the day is shown in how she dressed the child and that she strapped on the backpack in the first place, but her energy has clearly waned, while the baby is still ready to go. It seems quite likely that it's the baby's enthusiasm that's got mom so tired! The nice bokeh (blur) in the background sets the subjects apart so we see only mom and baby, undistracted by clutter. The only way to get timeless family shots like this is to always have the camera at the ready, and posess the sense to raise it to your eye as the moment approaches. Well done Kerry.

So there it is: Thirty one great Photos of the Day, with three exceptional ones that stood out above the others. - Have any great shots you'd like to submit? Dig through your digital shoe boxes, pick your best and join the fun! Feel free to take advantage of digital technology to crop, refine, and digitally modify the pictures as you please.

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