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November POTD Winners Chosen!
(Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - 17:25 EST)

"My Angel Anthony," "weevil," and "Bass Harbor Light" were chosen as this month's winners. Congratulations to Caran M. Brosnan, Ken Deitcher, and Neil R. Shapiro!

Such a wide selection of great shots for November, your creativity and talent are overwhelming. We sure enjoy looking through all these photos, so please continue to send them in.

Our three top winners pretty well selected themselves, though there were so many images with impact, it took side-by-side comparisons to winnow them out.

First Place
My little angel Anthony, by Caran M. Brosnan
(Caran won a Kodak EasyShare V550 digital camera)

It's not only the beauty of youth that makes this photograph easy to appreciate, its how well the light surrounds his face and meshes with the title of the photograph to create a complete image. Children often look angelic, but capturing this essence is difficult. Most parents would agree. We often see these moments, but seldom have a camera around to grab them. I'm most impressed with how close the face gets to diappearing against the background while still maintaining shape and tone. Having the eyes in focus is always essential, and difficult to do, but every lash is defined. I also like that it doesn't feel posed: the child's hair is not perfect, looking rather disheveled as if a winter hat were just removed. The turtleneck sweater or jacket that frames the face in white suggests cold as well as the surrounding light. Without studio strobes, it's tough to get lighting this even without a snowy day. The smile and overall attitude looks like a momentary pause for a busy child, and a very sweet moment that I'm sure the photographer was glad to catch. Though he probably ran off to play right after, we're left with this poignant gaze to enjoy until long after the child is grown. Great work.

Second Place
weevil, by Ken Deitcher
(Ken won a Kingston 512MB memory card, in the format of his choice, and a copy of E-Book Systems FlipAlbum Pro.)

Ken wins Second Place again for a very colorful still life with "weevil." This image has punch. We get a lot of bug shots, and only some of them are better than what I see on my wall. But this shot elevates insect photography to art. I keep looking for the pin through its back, or the seams from the very precise Photoshop work that helped him place this image atop this apparently ragged but rectangular leaf segment. But those seams are hidden well enough (or they're just not there) that you just have to sit back and let your eyes feast on the blend of texture, color, and shadow. I like autumn leaves a whole lot more than I like insects, but I really like this image.

Third Place
Bass Harbor Light, by Neil R. Shapiro
(Neil won a copy of E-Book Systems' FlipAlbum Suite)

Though we're sure this scene is oft-photographed, particularly impressive are the textures, depth of field, and detail in this scene. It could serve as an intriguing book cover, and would serve well as a meditation subject on the wall in a study. It's tough to be sure, but it seems like this photo might have been made from two separate exposures, because maintaining detail in the foreground and the sky at the same time would be a challenge. Regardless how it was created, I love how the resulting photograph draws me in, leaving me with the feeling that I could step right through the frame into the scene and trudge right up to the base of the cliff, getting my boots wet with that first step. It's a shot that actually looks almost underexposed until you begin to appreciate the truth of the light depicted. I also like how the distortion from the extreme 11mm angle was either fixed or adequately compensated in the final shot, keeping the lines of the lighthouse straight and natural. Very well executed.

There you have it: 30 superb 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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