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RESULTS – ‘Fall Color Magic’- PhoozL


RESULTS – ‘Fall Color Magic’

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We received many high-quality submissions for the ‘Fall Color Magic’ contest. Judge David Gubernick comments (with valuable tips):

“I was struck by the wonderful diversity of interpretations of ‘Fall Color Magic’ — subject matter, perspective, composition, and emotional impact. My selections are obviously based upon my reactions to the submitted images; another judge might choose other images as winners and honorable mentions.

“Regarding the images submitted, I noticed some things that could have been done to increase the chance of an image being a ‘contender’ or at least help improve the image. I offer here a few suggestions that hopefully will be of some help for entering future contests here on Phoozl or elsewhere…

— Shoot in RAW format if you can or at the largest JPEG file size for your camera so that your file will have more data to work with in post-processing. Work on the image at its largest size, making any necessary and aesthetic adjustments (see below). After processing the image, save it, then downsize it to the maximum size allowed by the contest. At this point apply a bit of sharpening and then save it with a new file name so that you don’t overwrite the larger file. If possible, before submitting the image for a contest, show it to some friends who will give you honest feedback and have them view it at 100%.

— All images can benefit from some adjustments, so spend time working on the image with whatever image-editing software you use. Many of the contest images could have benefitted from overall adjustments in brightness, contrast, and/or color saturation.

— Conversely, if the image is over-processed you may get strange-looking colors, a jaggy look to details, halos, or other artifacts. And watch out for any distracting elements (e.g., things protruding into the frame, hot spots, etc.) while capturing an image and later in post-processing.

— Check that the scene or subject is in focus. Unless you are using soft-focus or de-focusing as a creative tool, an out-of-focus image will often be eliminated from a contest. Check the captured image at 100% view in-camera to see if it is in focus and again when working on it in your computer.

— If you have this capability, also check your histogram in-camera for any overexposed areas; don’t rely on the image on the LCD screen to judge exposure because you can vary the brightness level of the LCD which may mislead you in judging exposure. For more information on reading your camera’s histogram see here and here.

— Virtually all images can benefit from some sharpening, which should be the last adjustment made to the submitted JPEG image. When sharpening, look at the image at 100% view to see the effect and be careful not to overdo it. More information on sharpening is here.

— Please be sure that the images entered in a contest are relevant; some submissions totally missed the mark in that the image was not about Fall Colors.

“Overall, there were many wonderful and moving Fall Color Magic images submitted, more than I could give awards to. I look forward to seeing more of your images in future contests.”

— David Gubernick, Rainbow Spirit Photography

(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 or tap on the images for larger views)

First Place
by Stefano M
“Fall Color Magic”
Judge’s Comment: The soft, even light, muted colors, subject matter, and composition combine to make this an outstanding image. The implied diagonal line from the lower left pumpkin to the upper right directs the viewer to the bowl of fruit that is accentuated by a subtle enhanced brightness on the fruit. There’s lots of detail to explore that continues to draw the viewer in. An excellent job of staging this scene and use of post-processing techniques.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Second Place
by zEdge
“Caission at Arlington National Cemetary”
Judge’s Comment: This is a powerful image that combines the assignment of Fall Colors with an emotionally moving occasion. The branches and soft-focused leaves create a window that draws the viewer to the horse-drawn military casket. The downed leaves in the foreground provide a metaphor for the downed hero. The colors, light, and placement of the procession in the frame combine to make this an excellent composition.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Third Place
by katrina
Judge’s Comment: This soft, yet colorful image is well-composed, with the strong graphic lines of the tree in the left foreground and its deep red leaves flowing across the top of the frame. The tree and leaves stand out from the rest of the background, and the overcast light helps intensify the colors and provides nice lighting on the grass. The almost-square format works well here.
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)

by Mikael Sundberg
“Fall Colors in Stockholm, Sweden”
Judge’s Comment: The curve of the river and shoreline, coupled with the reflected colors in the water and the repeating trees along both shores make this a well-composed and colorful image. It’s a contemplative scene echoed by the inviting empty benches.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Lesley Ackman
“The Old Shed”
Judge’s Comment: A quiet, lovely autumn scene. The angle of view is well-chosen with the rustic old shed nicely positioned in the frame with just enough of the surrounding area to give it context. Because of the diffused, even, soft light, the colors are nicely subdued without any harsh contrasts.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Clay Swatzell
“Red Leaves”
Judge’s Comment: A lovely image. The underneath of the red leaf contrasts with the green and brown of the other leaves and background making it stand out. The accent light on the leaf gives it a little “pop” and a “magic light” feel.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this ‘Fall Color Magic’ photo contest, and to our judge: David Gubernick. Don’t forget that 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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