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RESULTS – ‘The Elements – Earth’- PhoozL


RESULTS – ‘The Elements – Earth’

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As the first of a series of four ‘The Elements’ themes, this ‘Earth’ contest proved a little tricky but also very active. Judge Tracy Valleau comments:

“You folks never fail to amaze me. Once again, a wide range of interpretations of ‘Earth’ made choosing the top three challenging. Many of you chose to illustrate the earth in some way, while others went more for statements about our world. Generally, the esoteric, alchemical and spiritual side of ‘The Four Elements’ was overlooked, so I judged on more direct interpretations.

“The Four Elements were always intended to be general, even symbolic, in nature, although they absolutely did originate in the specific things they name. Therefore, and given my natural tendencies, I’m drawn more to the statement-type rather than more direct (what I meant by ‘dirt’) images. However, since both apply, I did try to include both direct interpretations as well as the more symbolic.

“An aside: I think some folks missed that we’re doing four separate contests in this series, the first of which is ‘Earth.’ With that in mind, I’d suggest that some of you might want to resubmit your images when a more appropriate theme comes up.”

— Tracy Valleau

(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
“The Forest”
by Mikael Sundberg
Judge’s Comment: A surprising number of people submitted images of trees for the Earth contest, and this is an elegant and beautiful image, with strong motion and life in it. The image speaks to the dynamics of life and its sense of urgency, drive and passion. The color are excellent and the intent is fully realized by the technique. A large print of it could easily live on my wall.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


2nd Place Overall
“Northern Spirit”
by Sandra A.-B.
Judge’s Comment: Finding an image of the earth itself, among the many delightful ones submitted, was difficult, but I finally landed on this one. It is, in many ways, a complement to the #1 winner: cold, barren and unflinching; nature without idealization (beyond the Inuksuk structure). Yet in all of that, there is the passing of a human. Recent? A thousand years ago? This is a very strong and deep image that invites contemplation. It is well-composed, although I would have cropped a bit off the right hand side to strengthen it.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


3rd Place Overall
“The Eloquence of Little Things”
by Kay Beausoleil
Judge’s Comment: Frankly, the humor of this image appeals to me. But then, upon reflection, there is more here than first meets the eye. The person has lugged heavy gear out into the middle of nowhere to take what appears to be likely an inconsequential photo. Why? And what does that say about how we relate to our environment, or even more, ourselves and our passions? While the second photographer does add to the statement of the image, I find that the statement would be stronger were he edited out. (I suspect this is a better photo than one the foreground subject took… :-)
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)
Judge Tracy Valleau adds: “Note that I don’t ‘rank’ the Honorable Mentions, so the order below does not indicate preferences. I should also mention that, as I write this, my monitor shows 10 other images that could have been Honorable Mentions, but I had to limit it to three. Not easy in this contest!”

“Protect Our Mother Nature”
by deb1992
Judge’s Comment: Simply put, this image is here because it is so poignant. It is elegant and simple and comes with a range of meanings. Whatever it may lack in sophistication is certainly made up for in its moving statement.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Aditi
Judge’s Comment: This is nicely conceptualized and well-executed. I like the composition, and my only suggestion would be to have toned down the highlight reflection of the bag at the bottom/center of the image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“Giant Sequoias”
by venjinx
Judge’s Comment: Honestly, I’m seldom a fan of super-wide-angle shots, but this one succeeds. I’ve camped under those trees and spent some time among them. This shot nicely captures their imposing qualities, without the claustrophobic canopy that often blocks the sky in such images. With the foreground rooting the trees in (and showing us) the earth, the photo invites me to explore. This is one of the most successful images I’ve seen that captures the essence of “being there.”
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this ‘The Elements: Earth’ contest and to our earthly judge: TRACY VALLEAU. Don’t forget that there are three more The Four Elements contests coming in this series. And 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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