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February 2006 POTM Winner February Picture of the Month Winners Selected!
(Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 18:36 EST)

We chose "Love is all we need," "Break in the Clouds," and "2006" as February's Photo of the Month contest winners. Congratulations to Amer Kapetanovic, Pedro De Carvalho, and Bilal!

It was another great month, with submissions from around the world, as usual. It's quite entertaining to see all these fine photos from everywhere, and a unique privilege to pick the best from among them.

Love is all we need

First Place
Love is all we need, by Amer Kapetanovic
(Amer won a Kodak EasyShare V570 digital camera)**

Had I received it in time, I'd have certainly made this image appear on February 14, which is the traditional Valentine's Day in the US. But this image stands on its own, independent of any holiday. It uses natural forms in the shape of living creatures to illustrate the poignance of romance. And of course their two heads together form part of the shape of a heart, that iconic shape synonymous with love. What I especially like about the shot is that it is perfectly aligned. Some might have waited until the beaks of the two were perfectly aligned, but this alignment is perfection, capturing the stereotypical height difference between male and female, and suggests connectedness between them. Truly, were the orange beak moved a millimeter in any direction, I think the shot wouldn't work. It would cover too much of her eye, or too little of her beak. It's a lovely image.

Break in the Clouds

Second Place
Break in the Clouds, by Pedro De Carvalho
(Pedro won a Kingston 512MB memory card, in the format of his choice, and a copy of E-Book Systems FlipAlbum Pro.)

Colors, textures, and time are captured in Pedro De Carvalho's "Break in the Clouds." Sometimes a photo works because it takes you somewhere. In this case, I can feel the cold breeze cut through my sweatshirt, smell the salty night air, and feel the foamy water wrapping around my bare feet. His long exposure conveys time, with the ghost of at least one wave lapping at the rock in the foreground. It must have been very late (or he used a neutral density filter), but the exposure was reasonably long. I do think I'd have moved my tripod about three feet to the right, and I'm not sure about the horizon line in this shot, but it's still a compelling image that gives me a comforting chill. Well done.


Third Place
2006, by Bilal
(Bilal won a copy of E-Book Systems' FlipAlbum Suite)

We've seen a few firework paintings submitted recently, and know from experience how difficult it is to do well. What we enjoyed about Bilal's "2006" was the practiced artistry of the sparkler painting, combined with seasonal intrigue, and the execution of an interesting portrait all in one photograph. It probably took a whole box of sparklers and more than a few exposures, but it looks like it was a one-take by a pro. That's gotta be worth some kind of award, we thought, and here it is.

Those are our picks for February. Apologies for the tardiness of this writeup; it's been rough getting back in the saddle after PMA. February had 28 shots in total. Congratulations to all the Daily Winners, we tip our hats to you as well. Remember: that could be your photo up there this time next month! Grab the nearest digital camera, pick your best and join the fun!

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