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RESULTS – ‘The Four Elements’- PhoozL


RESULTS – ‘The Four Elements’

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The finale of our ‘The Elements’ series culminated with this photo contest combining the Four Classic Elements. Judge Tracy Valleau comments:

“First, my thanks to everyone who went on this five-part journey with me. The fifth contest, combining elements of the previous four (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire), was a very difficult assignment and brought in mainly images of sunsets, although there were some attempts to ‘think different.’

“In judging these, as with all judging, the placings are based on the images themselves. When we described this week’s contest, we said: ‘The judge states that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place images will be evocative and involving, not merely photos containing each element. The whole point of this 5-part exercise (for me) was to help you grow as fine-art photographers. To do that, I encouraged and rewarded those who took it ‘a step beyond’ either because of their skill or because of the depth to which the viewer became involved in the images, one of the hallmarks of fine art. Even if you are more interested in architecture, or weddings, or fashion, learning to do more than ‘take’ the picture, but to ‘make’ the picture will serve you well and help your work stand out from the crowd.

“And, while I’m ‘all preachy’ – here are some parting thoughts: First, trust yourself. If you want to contribute to the world of photography, show us something that is uniquely your own vision. That way it’s something new and not yet-another-copy of Ansel Adams or other big names.

“Second, be your own harshest critic. A wag once said that ‘the difference between an amateur photographer and a pro, is that the pro sorts through his images before he shows them to anyone.’ If you take an image and LOVE it, then TRUST that feeling, regardless of what anyone says, because that’s your vision. And fear not: what you love will change while you grow as a photographer. That one truth will keep your journey fresh and exciting for the rest of your life.

“Again, my thanks to each and every one of you. It has been a pleasure to judge this series.”

— Tracy Valleau www.aperturef8

(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
“Day’s End”
by Joe-Campanellie
Judge’s Comment: The brilliant clouds reflect the burning sun as a lone egret contemplates the beautiful scene along with us. Structurally, the “S” of the clouds leads the eye down to the bird and the break on the lower third. The water mirrors both the sky and the egret. The powerful duotone colors make this a memorable evening. A strong yet calm image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Second Place
“The Four Elements”
by Stefano M
Judge’s Comment: BANG! The explosion of the sun balances with the silhouette of the tree. The black foreground is slashed by the light reflected in the puddles. The color spectrum from white through yellow, orange, red, purple and deep blue does a wonderful job of capturing the glory of the scene. This is an interesting image because the nearly black earth in such a contrast with the upper sky, yet somehow it all comes together.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Third Place
“Sunrise at Kinderdijke”
by Kay Beausoleil
Judge’s Comment: This is a quiet scene, of repose and a gentle breeze. There is a sense of patience to it, and rest. The center windmill’s arms are akimbo compared to the others, letting us know that this place is still active. The dramatic perspective lines lead the eye to the right edge, where it is stopped by the bush, pushed down and circles back through the reeds, back to the largest windmill again. Very well-composed.
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)

“Great Whale River”
by Sandra A.-B.
Judge’s Comment: In this morning scene of river fog, the sharp division along the center by the top of hills is contrasted by the way the fog obscures the same (otherwise sharp) shoreline, and thus leads the eye gently to the surface of the water. On the left, the treetops reflect, but as we move to the right, everything fades and blends together. The darker lower right keeps the eye from wandering off the page. One looks at this image with great anticipation for the rising of the sun.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“Looking Up”
by Armineh
Judge’s Comment: Graphically strong, this is a slightly disturbing image at first glance: the center structure isn’t common and seems otherworldly… a solid black hole into which something is disappearing. The jagged inverted “Y” of light; the textured towering buildings… are they rising out of the jungle? A profoundly interesting image.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


“The Lighthouse”
by Mikael Sundberg
Judge’s Comment: Once again, this photographer’s strong graphic sense shines through. Strong horizontals and one nearly silhouetted vertical stress the battle of man with nature in this image. His choice to include just that little “cup” of the sea, along with the reflected rays of the sun, is a perfect balance with the vertical of the lighthouse. While I personally might have cropped an inch off the left-hand side, the image works for its elegant simplicity.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this ‘The Four Elements’ photo contest (and series) and to our judge: Tracy Valleau. Don’t forget that new “Weekly Wednesdays” weekly 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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