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RESULTS – ‘Toy Story’- PhoozL


RESULTS – ‘Toy Story’

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Our final Weekly contest of 2013 — ‘Toy Story’ — was a good one. Judge and PhoozL Photo Pro Andrew Darlow comments:

“I expected to feel like a kid in a toy store when reviewing this group of contest entries, and I was not disappointed! There were photographs that made me laugh, one that caused me to shed a few tears, some that I looked at in wonder, and many that just amazed me with their technical and artistic merit.

“A fairly common and enjoyable theme that I observed was the placement of toys in a specific environment, including a large chair, a simulated outdoor scene, and a kitchen table, causing the toys to take on almost human qualities.

“Thank you to all who summoned their ‘inner child’ to enter.”

— Andrew Darlow, The Imaging Buffet, Facebook/AndrewDarlow

(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 photog
“The Dark Knight”
Judge’s Comment: This photograph is incredible. First, I am going to assume that this is a single exposure (or at least that no compositing was done to create the effect). But however it was achieved, it’s captivating and worthy of the top spot. The placement of Batman in front of the glowing cityscape makes him appear almost real at first glance. The blue color and metal bars both add a gritty yet modern feel, and the dark bar at the bottom and in parts of the sky at the top balance each other nicely. Growing up watching reruns of the 1966-68 Batman series on TV, and knowing about Bruce Wayne’s commitment to keep Gotham City safe, the photographer captured that heavy feeling of responsibility in a remarkable way.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Second Place
by Kay Beausoleil
“In Memory”
Judge’s Comment: This entry is a bit different from all the others in the contest because it clearly takes us in a different emotional direction. However, it still falls within the scope of the contest description. I was deeply moved from the moment I saw this image of a teddy bear in military clothing placed in front of a grave. The low vantage point and close crop showing the bear’s hair and clothing (obviously worn from the elements), adds to its strong message. Another toy bear or other animal behind the one prominently shown brings up additional questions in my mind about who may have placed it there. I don’t know who lies to rest there, but my heart goes out to him or her, and to his or her family.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Third Place
by zEdge
“The Magic of Opening Gifts at Christmas”
Judge’s Comment: This photograph stood out in many ways. First, the lighting is quite magical, with the toy box providing what looks to be the glowing light on the girls’ faces. Even though it looks like a photo that could have been done as an assignment for a high-end advertisement or editorial feature, it captures the magic of Christmas in an elegant and heartfelt way in front of a decorated tree (as it is celebrated by so many across the world). I especially like the balance of cool tones in the foreground and background combined with the warm tones represented by the clothing of the girls and the warm lighting. The sharpness and detail throughout the scene are also extraordinary.
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
“The Empire Wins at Last”
Judge’s Comment: I can recall when the first Star Wars movie came out in theaters (Episode IV: A New Hope), and I would guess that the majority of people who see this photo will know most of the characters. And that has a lot to do with the emotions and Star Wars memories it triggers for me. Even though this is quite a violent scene, the photographer has managed to capture it (and perhaps also set it up) in a way that is powerful, playful and lighthearted. The black background and reflective black surface add to the drama. The wide angle view holds quite a few characters (masterfully arranged), but it somehow still comes across almost as a close-up. The sharp detail of the main characters makes it feel as though it’s a film still from the next Lego Star Wars sequel.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Clay Swatzell
Judge’s Comment: Memories once again got the most of me when I saw this little guy pop up on my screen! I can still clearly hear the voice of Marvin the Martian from old Bugs Bunny cartoons when I look into his angry- but harmless-looking eyes. I really like the angle of view that the photographer chose, forcing us to “stare down” Marvin as he stands at attention. I also like the way his bright colors were captured against the almost swirling, nondescript neutral background. The subject and background work perfectly together, and the white, hazy bar behind Marvin gives the image added mystery. The fact that Marvin is not quite perfectly centered adds to the photo’s strength.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


by Stefano M
“We Are Finally Free!”
Judge’s Comment: This photo represents the “Toy Story” theme about as closely as you can get! I thought that the photographer very nicely captured the animated “spirit” of the lead characters in the Disney Pixar Toy Story movie franchise. I almost expect to see Buzz, Woody, Jessie and Slinky Dog coming to life any moment without missing a beat. In some ways, the strong lighting and shadows in the photograph mimic the realistic lighting effects used in all three Toy Story movies and the animated shorts that have been made with the characters. That type of lighting was not all that common before Pixar started pushing the “lighting effects” envelope. The wide angle of view is also very cartoon-like, which is a nice touch.
Gallery Photo Detail Page


Congratulations to winners and thanks to all who participated in this final Weekly photo contest of 2013: ‘Toy Story’, and to our judge: Andrew Darlow. PhoozL is pausing weekly contests for a bit as we restructure. Stay tuned!

Harald Johnson
(aka AdminHarald)

(click here for 2013 Winners Showcase for Weekly Wednesdays contests)


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