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RESULTS – ‘B&W: Curves’- PhoozL


RESULTS – ‘B&W: Curves’

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A B&W photo contest with a bit more specificity. Great entries! Judge Kevin O’Connor comments:

“Black-and-white images in some ways require a higher standard of technical excellence than color. For example, sharpness, or its absence, is even more obvious in B&W work because there are fewer ways to hide a lack of sharpness. Skilled digital B&W artists must master the art of seeing when sharpness and contrast need to be put back into an original when it lacks either or both.

“The eye typically goes to the brightest area of a photo first. So, in judging the images, I looked at each image and noted where my eye first went. Next, I went through the entire set of images again, and this time I squinted at each image. If something bright or white jumped out when I was squinting, then it should have been part of the ‘center of interest’ of the image. If it was not, the image received extra scrutiny because the artist who created it failed to present the area of interest strongly enough to stand up to the extraneous bright white area/object.

“Some images needed more detail in both light and dark areas. Some very promising images could have been so much more with a little image editing.

“I also looked for balance in composition and by extension, faithful adherence to the theme of this week’s competition (‘B&W Curves’). Were curves part of the image’s central theme, or did it seem that an image was entered only because it happened to have some curves? Was the composition effective or weak in supporting the theme? Did the composition suffer from ‘bulls-eye vision’?

“Of the remaining best images, which had the most impact? What produced a visceral response, or seemed to be singing in delight with the curves the viewer discovered? Each of the final six images, in its own way, sings to me.”

— Kevin O’Connor

(click here for the Gallery of submitted images)
(click here for 2013 Winners Showcase for Weekly Wednesdays contests)
(click here for 2013 PhoozL Points tally for Weekly Wednesdays contests)
(click here for this contest’s Instructions & Rules and information about the Judge)


(NOTE: click on the images for larger views)

1st Place Overall
“drip drip drop drop”
by Samina Farooq
Judge’s Comment: We don’t think of curves and men usually; in fact, I was expecting to see multiple images of women’s curves entered, so this image was a complete surprise. Curves in this image join with its juxtaposition of light and dark to produce a masterpiece of technical and aesthetic elegance, winning this image first place and setting a high bar for the other contestants.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


2nd Place Overall
“Ready to Fly”
by nance kay
Judge’s Comment: The curves here are both subtle and stylized; an excellent example of expressing the theme in an unanticipated and elegant way. This is a very difficult shot to do well, with all this metal and specular highlighting to manage, and you did it very nicely. Kudos to you.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


3rd Place Overall
“Up and Up”
by Kay Beausoleil
Judge’s Comment: We’ve all seen this shot before, but it’s done very nicely here. As a note to the artist, I’d like to see this image worked on a bit more. IF you were to modify the original file by burning down the edges on all four sides — or, if available by using: Adobe Bridge/Effects/Post Crop Vignetting value of −20 — the edges would darken in a subtle fashion that directs the viewer’s eye to the curve at the center, and enhance this image’s effectiveness.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Honorable Mentions

More winning images, not presented in any order or ranking…
(click here to see the Gallery of all submitted images)

“Ottawa Museum of Civilization”
by leka huie
Judge’s Comment: This image wins an Honorable Mention for the effectiveness of its composition. If this image had been managed more effectively, with the bright areas pulled down enough to show more detail, the dark areas pulled out to show more detail, and the sky darkened further down, it would have placed even higher.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Stefano M
Judge’s Comment: This image shows good mastery of dynamic range, holding detail in light and shadow. Note to contestant: this and another of your images would benefit from cropping that is not quite so centered. You might also want to investigate ‘focus stacking’ as a means of fully expressing the best of what your good eye is seeing.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“Twisted Balcony”
by mhilbush
Judge’s Comment: This image couples curves with a repeating geometric pattern that’s quite effective. My eye kept hoping to discover a point of interest, such as a person, at one of the nodes of the Rule of Thirds. Had such a point of interest been present, this image would have placed even higher.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this ‘B&W: Curves’ photo contest and to our judge: KEVIN O’CONNOR. Don’t forget that new “Weekly Wednesdays” weekly contests are already live or being planned. Get in the Weekly Wednesdays photo habit!

Harald Johnson
(aka AdminHarald)

(click here for current 2013 Winners Showcase for Weekly Wednesdays contests)


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