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RESULTS – ‘Color Blind’- PhoozL


RESULTS – ‘Color Blind’

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We had a very strong response to the ‘Color Blind’ photo contest. Here’s what judge Kevin O’Connor says, including some very useful photo-education tips:

“There’s something about black-and-white images that captures our attention in a unique way. Action seems more immediate, concepts seem more compelling, and we’re engaged more closely than when the same image is presented in color.

“Great B&W images are poems in gray tones, singing their songs to us with power and grace. The best of this week’s contest images share that song, showing us pure whites, crisp blacks, and elegant shades of gray with lyric power.

“The photographers who entered this week’s ‘Color Blind’ contest demonstrated an impressively high level of quality in their images. That said, a few notes on craft seem appropriate:

• The eye goes to the lightest area of any photo first. In some of the best images from this week, the eye goes to the light areas and is held by them. In others, a correctly exposed image on a pristine white background calls our eyes’ attention to see the subject directly in a most effective manner. However, if one has a white object in an image that grabs the attention of the viewer, and that white object is either out of focus or has no detail when the eye expects either or both, then that image loses the impact it deserves to have. Consequently, some entries this week cried out for more work to hold detail or add sharpness because they were so close to being a great image, and yet, so far away.

• Color can sometimes hide a lack of sharpness much better than most B&W images can. Color can also hide over-processing better. Both these issues were very evident in some of the contest submissions.

• If a photographer chooses to watermark images, it’s essential to make sure the logo/name doesn’t distract from the power of the image itself.

• Finally, an old darkroom trick can be used on many images to add a professional finishing touch by simply darkening the four corners of the image (vignetting) to direct the viewer’s eye to the center of the frame. It can be done so subtly that it’s not noticeable, yet when done correctly, it works very well.

“My judging decisions were based on the following criteria, in addition to the stated ones of originality, technical quality, and overall artistic merit:
1. Visual emotional impact.
2. Strength of composition and cropping. Are horizontals and verticals correctly aligned?
3. Does it have good tonal range, with true blacks, true whites, and good,
non-muddy grays? If it doesn’t, why not?
4. Is there detail in both highlight and shadow? If not, does this enhance or
5. Is it sharp? If it isn’t, is there a good reason why not?
6. Was the image finished correctly? For example, were dust spots and other
distracting flaws addressed correctly?”

— Kevin O’Connor
Professional photographer, designer, color management expert

(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
by venjinx
Judge’s Comment: This superb image shows just how good street photography can be. The light in the eyes, the tonality, the non-distracting background, the expression — all combine to make one great image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


2nd Place Overall
“Color Blind? No”
by Mikael Sundberg
Judge’s Comment: Beautifully shot. The nose, eyes and ears are razor sharp; luminosity is at its best. Could use a touch more detail in the lower chest, but easily done with one mouse click. Overall, a great image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


3rd Place Overall
by steve67
Judge’s Comment: The dreamy, Zen-like quality of this image, with the darker objects floating in the sea, makes me wish for a large print of this on the wall, so I could lose myself in the image. Ah, serenity!
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Honorable Mentions

More winning images chosen by the judge in the Honorable Mention category…
(click here to see the Gallery of all submitted images)

“kickin cancer in the ass”
by nance kay
Judge’s Comment: This image shows marvelous tonality and control of light and shadow. The composition is one of the most lyrical submitted. Very nice job.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“The Bird”
by Jil Norberto
Judge’s Comment: I have rarely enjoyed a composition as much as I enjoyed this image’s composition. It makes me smile, knowing that bird photography can be quite challenging. This photographer rose beautifully to the challenge.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Anna
Judge’s Comment: This shot shows mystery, elegant light, repeating geometric forms reinforcing the composition, and rich shadows. Where is she going? What is she carrying? We don’t know, and are left to wonder, while enjoying this excellent image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page



The judge wants to give additional recognition (non-scoring) to:

“On Display”
by Kay Beausoleil
Judge’s Comment: This image reminds us of Weston’s famous images of vegetables. I loved it. Could use just a bit more room around it to let it breathe and place it off center.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“You and Me”
by Samina Farooq
Judge’s Comment: This image shows great conceptual ability. The head of the dandelion has perfect lighting. I’d love to see the two flying pieces brought out just a bit more, and the crop widened just a bit so the head is not dead center. Very nice image. Would like to see this printed beautifully.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“Lost Shoes”
by Sandra A.-B.
Judge’s Comment: This image is delightful. It makes us wonder “Why on earth are these shoes out in the cold?” A bit more energy is needed, perhaps; a slightly greater separation of tones, with whiter whites, will make this a near perfect print. Another one I’d love to see on the wall, enlarged to art display size.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this ‘Color Blind’ contest and to our very generous and instructive judge: KEVIN O’CONNOR. New “Weekly Wednesdays” 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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