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THE RESULTS: “Pet Art Show” Photo Assignment- PhoozL


THE RESULTS: “Pet Art Show” Photo Assignment

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(NOTE: click here for results of the “After Dark” photo assignment)

THE ASSIGNMENT: Pet food company creating a new gallery at its headquarters. Consultant seeking outstanding pet images for their gallery walls. Photos to be of “companion pets,” not wild animals. And don’t restrict to dogs and cats. Snakes, spiders, turtles, tarantulas… all are fair game for this assignment.

THE ASSIGNER & JUDGE: Andrew Darlow, professional photographer, consultant, and author of the book “Pet Photography 101.”

JUDGE’S OVERALL COMMENTS: “It was an honor to have the opportunity to judge the Pet Art Show Photo Assignment. Thank you to all who submitted images. There were so many great photographs that I felt it necessary to choose not only a First, Second and Third place winning entry, but 15 honorable mention photographs as well. There were quite a few others that would have looked great in the show, but the gallery walls of the ‘virtual pet food company’ can only hold a limited number of images ;-) . In many cases, I could tell from just looking at the photos that the pets featured in them were cherished members of the photographer’s family. I hope that all of the images that were submitted for this Assignment (as well as my comments) help inspire others to create more photographs of the people, places, animals and things they love.”
— Andrew Darlow

THE RESULTS: Here are the winners as judged by Andrew Darlow in the “Pet Art Show” Assignment: (NOTE: click on the images for larger views)

1st Place Overall
“Zuri Alert”
by Alison Foxall

1st place

Judge’s Comment: “This photo drew me in immediately and everything about it made it my pick for first prize. The dog’s expression comes through even though we just get a glimpse of his or her eye and head. The use of selective focus gives the image a sense of depth. Also, the way in which the foreground leads the eye toward the subject, then moves to the subdued tones and ethereal window light all come together to make for a truly outstanding image.”

(NOTE: the First Place Winner receives a free 30-minute phone or online consultation with Andrew Darlow about anything photo or photo-printing related. Other prize Top 3 prize winners receive PhoozL award icons and glory!)

2nd Place Overall
by Wally Nussbaumer

2nd place

Judge’s Comment: “This photo is both artistically beautiful and entertaining. I love how the photographer framed and cropped the image, leaving just enough air for the cat to stretch out. The background looks almost like snow, giving it an outdoor feel. The cat’s expression, stretched-out ‘pose’ and dreamlike state all make the image a joy to view.”

3rd Place Overall
“Lone Horse”
by Brian Pflanz

3rd Place

Judge’s Comment: “This photo made me think about life and all of its ups and downs. I love the black and white toning, contrast framing and lighting in this photo. The horse’s zen-like contemplative expression also adds to its impact.”


Honorable Mentions

More great images also chosen and rated high by judge Andrew Darlow. (click here to see the Gallery of all submitted images)

by Sonia

sonia lizard

Judge’s Comment: “The lizard’s skin and the background color complement each other perfectly, and the lighting on the subject adds a lot to its beauty.”

“Blue Eyes!”
by vedangi

vedangi blue eyes

Judge’s Comment: “I’m drawn in (mesmerized is probably a better word!) by the sharp, beautiful blue eyes of the cat, and I really like how the cat’s face and eyes look almost ‘spotlit’ compared with the rest of his or her body. The wisps of hair throughout the photo also give it a ‘windswept’ look and feel.”

by Tee812

Tee812 Tommy

Judge’s Comment: “The square crop, dappled light, slight overall warm tone and the dog’s relaxed, pensive expression all combine to make this a wonderful photograph.”

by sheinbach


Judge’s Comment: “The lighting in this image is exquisite, and the use of black and white toning and contrast are also masterful. The subject is also too cute for words, which adds to its beauty.”

“Death Trap”
by Graham Kay


(a pet spider named Derek!) Judge’s Comment: “It’s great to see a pet with more than four legs in this contest! The photographer used selective depth of field very well to draw attention to the spider, and I like the way in which the spider’s body intersects with the out-of-focus lines on the background. The web also adds a feeling of ‘the wild’.”

“Tasty Snow”
by Brian Pflanz


Judge’s Comment: “The setting makes this photo. I love the fact that you can see snow falling, and the subtle color contrast between the dog’s fur and the well-exposed and color balanced white snow is outstanding (and not easy to achieve). The way in which the dog’s right ear intersects with the tree in the background is another subtle but nice feature.”

by Jodie Marsh


Judge’s Comment: “As soon as I saw this, I thought of one of the most iconic images in art history, the Mona Lisa. The cat is nicely lit, perfectly posed and very sharp, and the placement of the cat in the frame with the background is really spectacular.”

“A Cute Puppy”
by Wilfredo Lumagbas Jr.

a cute puppy

Judge’s Comment: “The first word that comes to mind when I look at this photo is ‘precious.’ The framing is perfect, and there’s just enough sparkle in the dog’s left eye to really make the eyes the center of attention.”

“Blue-eyed Beauty”
by Georganne Chan

blue-eyed beauty

Judge’s Comment: “This photo drew me in due to its tight framing, sharpness and the captivating blue eyes of the cat. I think it would be an even stronger photograph overall with a slight bit of lighting on the cat’s face.”

“No Horsing Around – Just Say Cheese”
by PhotographyisMyPassion

horsey teeth

Judge’s Comment: “This image wins in the humor category! I also like how it’s framed, and how the soft light falls on the horse’s head. The horizon is very straight, which helps keep the eye focused on the subject, and we also get a nice glimpse of the horse’s surroundings.”

“Cali At Home”
by gLynda

Cali at home

Judge’s Comment: “I’m always drawn to photos like this. It feels like a classic ‘environmental portrait,’ and I like the fact that the cat’s paw has just enough room at the bottom of the frame, and the lamp shade is cropped so that it does not detract from the image.”

“Golden Innocense”
by Brian Pflanz

golden innocence

Judge’s Comment: “What makes this a truly outstanding image is the close cropping, low angle, lighting and use of selective focus. The front paw of the dog is a bit out-of-focus, which leads the eye to the dog’s face. The light (possibly from a window) is just wonderful, and the wood floor, mat on which the dog is sleeping and background complement everything perfectly.”

“Zuri Looking Back”
by Alison Foxall

Zuri Back

Judge’s Comment: “The dog’s expression is priceless, and because of the way it is framed, we get a great feel for the location.”

“Lazy Day”
by Dan Proud

dan proud lafa

Judge’s Comment: “The green foreground foliage gives a sense of depth and mystery to this photo, and the cat’s expression and placement in the frame is wonderful.”

by Michael Baran


Judge’s Comment: “The natural light from the sun gives a beautiful glow on the dog, and the view through the multi-color grass makes it even more interesting.”


CONCLUSION: A great result for PhoozL’s second Photo Assignment! The PhoozL staff thanks head judge Andrew Darlow and ALL the photographers and photo enthusiasts who participated. We hope you were challenged, had fun, and learned more about photography at the same time. Ready for your next Assignment?

— Harald Johnson
(aka AdminHarald)


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