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RESULTS – ‘Smile’- PhoozL

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RESULTS – ‘Smile’

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We had a big response to our ‘Smile’ contest, which made our judge, Mike Pasini, work very hard. He comments:

“Oh, this was torture. Sixty-four photos. All smiling. Smile after smile after smile. Infants, children, young people, formerly young people, couples, families, pets even – there was no end to the charm that confronted me image after image as I tried to eliminate 59 of them. Torture!

“Every smile, after all, is a beautiful smile. So, you think, why not resort to some formal (if superficial) criteria? Rich tonality, vibrant color, sophisticated composition, skilled post-processing? But there was a wealth of skill displayed in these images, too. More black-and-whites, to begin with, than I’ve ever seen before. And some nicely done vignettes, some appealing sepias, muted colors that enhanced the forms, effective grain that didn’t diminish the detail, high-key treatments that were almost sketches, low-key approaches the glowed like embers, distressed backgrounds behind cheerful faces, both candid and posed captures. Torture!

“In desperation, I narrowed my first selection down from 64 winners to 15 candidates. Looking at the Exif data, I was amused to see most of them had been edited after capture. Aperture, Photoshop and Lightroom were mentioned by name. And that’s the tip for this theme.

“Catching a smile takes some luck. You often just don’t have time to compose the shot and configure the camera for the best possible image. But you don’t have to shoot Raw to develop a shot in your image-editing software. Even a smartphone snapshot can be enhanced with a few minutes of editing. Try a dramatically different crop (and don’t be afraid to rotate), shift the white balance (warmer but not yellow), maybe try a monotone approach. The possibilities are endless. And you won’t get tired of looking at that photo, I can promise you.

“From 15 we sobbed our way reluctantly down to six. Six that we could not forget after seeing them, each for a different reason.”

– Mike Pasini, Photo Corners

(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)

Results…

(NOTE: click or tap on the images for larger views)


First Place
by zEdge
“Touch a Fleeting Moment”
Judge’s Comment: A perfect shot, I just loved her eyes following the soap bubbles (which echo the color of her adorable dress) as if they wanted to join them, her fingers pointing the way, her mouth just one big happy smile at the thought. Not by accident is the focus locked on her eye despite all the other objects in the frame. Taken in Manual mode with a moderate telephoto and open aperture to control depth of field but no faster than 1/60 second, it’s just the right recipe for this image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page

 


Second Place
by Kay Beausoleil
“Shy”
Judge’s Comment: There is something about these two smiles set among the open shutters and door of this very old home that made _me_ smile. She’s smiling at you and he’s smiling at the thought of her smiling. The kitchen table is set, her pose seems to suggest, for three. I had to look down at my feet to see if I wasn’t really in this photo. The black-and-white encourages us to admire the forms: the worn step, the split header, the pattern of the curtains, and those two smiling faces.
Gallery Photo Detail Page

 


Third Place
by bjfox
“Wagon’s West”
Judge’s Comment: You could have staged this shot in a parking lot and it _still_ would have been a winner, but the old coach, so well-preserved, provides the perfect frame to this child’s charming amusement in this timeless shot as she rests her chin on the window strap. The reds remain as real as her smile, which immediately erased any preference for Shirley Temple’s dimples.
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 Stefano M
“Lost in Thoughts”
Judge’s Comment: Subtlety has its own way of making an impression. This small, quiet smile framed by a white shirt against a black background exudes a contentment entirely self-contained. It’s not a glamor shot. Instead it effortlessly expresses a satisfaction with the big picture. You won’t find this shot in the annual report, but who wouldn’t love it as their portrait?
Gallery Photo Detail Page

 


by hollyoverton
“Aarick’s Smile”
Judge’s Comment: It’s called the awkward age but there’s nothing awkward about this marvelous shot. His head but half-turning toward you in indirect light with the barest hint of a smile, it’s both candid and classic. It exhibits a trust in the photographer that was not betrayed. Just beautiful!
Gallery Photo Detail Page

 


by Mikael Sundberg
“Smiling 1 :)
Judge’s Comment: There’s at least one lesson in this perfect shot: move the subject off center. But there’s more to discover here, too. The black-and-white gives the child’s skin a glow that would seem unnatural in color. And the soft lighting turns those intense little eyes into jewels, reminding you why you should never share the stage with children!
Gallery Photo Detail Page

 



 
Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this ‘Smile’ photo contest, and to our hard-working judge: Mike Pasini. 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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