PhoozL

Photo of the Month

Each month, PhoozL picks a single submitted image we feel represents the qualities of memorable photography. The only rules are that (1) the image cannot be part of a live contest or challenge, and (2) the image has not already been selected as a Winner or Honorable Mention in prior contests. We want to show something that may have flown under the radar but is worthy of recognition.

NOTE: Images below are cropped. Click into images to see them larger and in their full-frame aspect ratio.
  1. December, 2013

    "Margaret" by Denise Panyik-Dale
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: [it’s long! go here]
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This image was submitted to the ‘Beauty’ contest that closed on Dec. 22. It didn’t win a contest award but received several comments, and the PhoozL team just fell in love with it. The story behind the photo is fascinating (see link), and study the image itself… Notice the wonderful light and exposure on the main subject, the warm and inviting expression on Margaret’s face (timing, timing!), the soft colors that complement each other, the natural or induced vignetting at the corners, and finally, that hand coming in from the right to connect with Margaret. It was the hand of a friend but it might as well be our hand as we follow it into a brilliantly executed photograph.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  2. November, 2013

    "Street - Diner" by Mikael Sundberg
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: none.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This image was submitted to the ‘Street Shots’ contest on Nov. 13. While it did not win an award that week, and yes, it is from our current leader in PhoozL Points, the image’s quality cannot be denied. There is a gorgeous richness and balance of colors, tones, forms, and textures. Then there’s the softness of the light (with a couple of hotspot exceptions) from multiple sources. And finally the sensuous curve of the cafe that leads the eye up the street and to the cloudy sky that wonderfully complements the warm colors in the foreground. The viewer is THERE, looking at a lovely scene that one can imagine walking right into and joining. Well done!

    Original Photo Detail Page

  3. October, 2013

    "Intangible Beauty" by dlmarshall
    PHOTOG'S DESCRIPTION: Intangible Beauty
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This image was submitted to the ‘Abstracts’ contest on Oct. 20, and while it did not win one of the judge’s prizes, it immediately caught the eye of several commenters. It certainly exhibits an “intangible beauty” with its time-lapse technique. It is both stark and subtle at the same time. While there are only two colors showing, there is infinite subtlety in the graceful movement of its swirling shapes. One can see either a human form, a face, a chair, or giving the biggest nod to art history, the photographic equivalent of Marcel DuChamp’s famous “Nude Descending Staircase.” With the focus going in and out with the moving shapes themselves, it is a mesmerizing photograph.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  4. September, 2013

    "Alone in this Careless World" by Sandeep Kumar
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: Saw this boy on the streets while people around him were busy in their own world ignoring him.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This photo was submitted in the ‘Solo’ contest on September 19, and it is a riveting example of the power of photography. Not only is the socio-cultural meaning of this young, begging boy (with at least one arm missing) so heart-wrenching, but the artistic and technical skill shown here is really solid. The light is beautiful, and the photographer has isolated the boy well in what must have been a chaotic situation. The focus and depth of field is perfect, and the direct eye contact only adds to the strength of this image. This is a superb photo well-seen and captured.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  5. August, 2013

    Around and Around" by Kay Beausoleil
    PHOTOG'S DESCRIPTION: Stairs at the Italian Court in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Submitted in the ‘Architectural Details’ contest on August 8 by one of our top submitters, this photo of castle stairs kept drawing us back over and over, like a magnet. And we finally realized why: It’s not just a photo of ancient stairs but of absent humans! Did you see the Duchess descending in her flowing gown, or the nobleman climbing to the parapet? No? That’s because you just missed them. The strong, warm light at top leads the eye to the empty and cold-toned stairs at left, which then follows the worn steps around and down past another blueish area, and out of sight. This intimate, multi-lit stairway provides a wonderful scene for our fertile imaginations.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  6. July, 2013

    "Paris Opera House" by Jay Sullivan
    PHOTOG'S DESCRIPTION: A group of tourists on a self-guided tour of the Palais Garnier.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This sumptuous image was submitted in the 'Oui!' contest (July 10-17) honoring France and French history and culture, which this picture captures perfectly by focusing on the iconic Paris Opera House's opulent interior. What we found interesting is the contrast between the formalness of this 19th century building and the casualness of the tourists in their T-shirts and baseball caps. This is the kind of cheekiness that Elliott Erwitt is famous for where one half of the subject is incongruous with the other. Compared to the high-concept, time-compression "Theaters" series by Hiroshi Sugimoto, this image provides a colorful double-blast of history and modernity.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  7. June, 2013

    "Own Kind of Life" by allaki
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: Movement of life.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This image was submitted right at the end of the ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ contest (May 29 - June 5). With great photojournalistic style, the image beautifully captures a slice-of-life moment of this woman in her daily life. It’s a lovely composition with nice tones and key elements (pan, door/woman, chimney/sky) that guide and sweep your eye around it. But its the story that really grabs us. The woman has apparently just emptied the pan. Why? And is she fleeing the photographer? So many questions; so many possible answers. It’s a wonderful and engaging photograph.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  8. May, 2013

    "Water Fun" by Uttam Kamati
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: Summer fun in Golden Water.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This image was submitted to the ‘The Elements: Water’ contest (May 1-8), and it is a wonderful example of delivering on one of photography’s strengths: capturing a special moment in time. The title (“Water Fun”) isn’t even needed to appreciate what’s happening in this image. One can FEEL the fun the two boys are having as they rush into the water with their (possibly) make-shift boogie boards. The slow shutter speed only adds to the joyful, “can’t wait” feeling, and it also allows for the back-lit golden streaks of the splashing the boys make. The photographer knew exactly what he was doing to create such a lovely photo.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  9. April, 2013

    "Hydro-web" by tobias
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: Early morning fog.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Submitted to the ‘The Elements: Earth’ contest in April, this image captivated us immediately. It may be an obvious subject, and cleverly titled to describe the foggy dew drops captured in a spider’s web, but there is so much more implied and something magical about this photo. We see everything from the structure of molecules to planets in a galaxy. In fact, it seems like all of life is contained in this single image. And the variable depth-of-field and out-of-focus background perfectly focuses the eye on the center water orbs, which add to their 3D planet-like appearances because they reflect the dark-to-light background. It’s sublime.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  10. March, 2013

    "Zen Garden" by Julien Labrosse
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Submitted to the ‘Spring Fever’ contest in March. Although the subject and title of this photo may not match the classic, minimalist Japanese-style Zen garden that uses rock and sand, the image is wonderful. The composition emphasizes the sharp-focused statue, which is gently embraced by the tree that gradually blurs into the background. The background itself is beautifully blurred and arranged in such a way as to lead the viewer up the steps and around the corner to a hopeful place of peace and meditation. The colors are subdued although the shadows at right and the highlights at left add to the overall eye flow from right to left. Gazing at this image, we are at peace.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  11. February, 2013

    "Wild Ducks" by highevolutionary
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: Dreaming softly within the clouds.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Submitted to ‘The Rural Life’ contest in early February, here you have a dramatic view that combines several natural and manmade elements, and in a very surprising way. First, consider the golden light of the sunset, which illuminates not only the sky but also the house and the field (and with a lovely lightness in the center). The emptiness of the house is emphasized by it’s small size and center location. But the real fun starts when you start to perceive the different diagonal lines formed by the clouds, the roof lines, the framing trees, and even the line of ducks. It’s a great image that can be studied at length.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  12. January, 2013

    "Atmosphere" by Malapris
    PHOTOG’S DESCRIPTION: Dreaming softly within the clouds.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Atmosphere is right! This constructed image (we hope!) was entered in the ‘Dream’ contest in January, and it just grabbed us and wouldn’t let go. It has that instant “what am I looking at?” impact combined with excellent color sense and some fine digital production work. Notice how the different (not many) colors complement each other and form a pleasing combination. Then look at the main elements – only four. First, the subject is at a diagonal angle that supports the feeling of flying. And the shadow, while not perfectly positioned to match the main light direction, does a great job of making the image fantastically alive and real. This is the way to dream!

    Original Photo Detail Page

  13. December, 2012

    "Rasa" by Daumantas
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: Summer portrait
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Entered in 'The Portrait’ contest in December, this passed the "memorable" standard and stood out to us for several reasons. First, we like the combination of landscape/nature and portrait. One could called it an Environmental Portrait, but only if she's connected to that environment. And that's the question: What is she doing there? Is she in trouble? Distraught? We're left wondering about the oddness of her so still and the sea rushing at us. Although there are minor issues with the post-production (selective blurring, sharpening), we love the play of golden backlight on her and the water. And we don't even mind the tilted horizon as it seems to add to the tension of the moment captured.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  14. November, 2012

    "Nely" by Filipa Scarpa
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: Made in studio.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: Submitted to the ‘Headshot’ contest at the very end of October, this fashion-styled photo has great stopping power. The tones are nicely divided into Shadow, Midtone, and Highlight represented by the hair, face and eyelids/lips (respectively), but there’s much more going on. The gradations on the face, neck, and shoulder are wonderfully smooth, yet in total contrast to the super grainy effect applied uniformly to the image, which moves it even more into abstraction. The photo is serene yet strong at the same time, and the square-on head is nicely linked to the tilted shoulders and hint of a garment that mirrors the hair. Good stuff!

    Original Photo Detail Page

  15. October, 2012

    "Go and Come" by Viet Van
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: Two KhMer young monks at Hang Pagoda at Tra Vinh, Viet Nam.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: A complex photo full of meanings and juxtapositions... one monk moving, the other still; one monk facing the camera, the other walking away; one robe more saffron, one more orangy. Then the color balance. Blue is the complement of orange, which makes this image really "jump" because of the blue parts of the wall against the orange robes. Then there is the timelessness as communicated by the ancient walls plus the monks themselves, who are basically unchanged over centuries. Except for that modern umbrella, which jolts the viewer with this seeming anachronism. This is a great photo that deserves contemplation.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  16. September, 2012

    "Into the Mountains" by Ulrik Hasemann
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: Two climbers on Arete du Midi after three days of heavy snowfall. Chamonix, France.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: A spectacular B&W image with texture, tonal range and scale (the tiny climbers) that is literally breathtaking. The eye starts on the right side with the light snow area, picks up the two climbers, then follows the curved leading line almost like a ski jump to explore the rocks, peaks, and clouds at left. Mountain photography at its best.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  17. August, 2012

    "Curious" by Mike Landwehr
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: An adult burrowing owl shares a perch with a curious juvenile near their burrow on Marco Island, Florida.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This great long-lens photo has instant appeal -- and humor! The focus is right on, and there's even a little back light to really make the photo snap. This is a perfect example of “Keep It Simple” with a clever title that amplifies the story.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  18. July, 2012

    "Fishing Boat" by Michal Baran
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: Taken somewhere during weekend trip to Co. Donegal, Ireland.
    PHOOZL COMMENT: This is a fabulous shot with great colors, light, and complexity. The dry-docked red boat is the hero but the other boats and harbor items provide the context. Notice how that sinuous rope from the red boat's deck leads you to the box, the boat ramp, and then to the other elements and finally up to that gorgeous sky. Tremendous image.

    Original Photo Detail Page

  19. June, 2012

    "The Man in White Hat" by Mikhail Palinchak
    PHOTOGRAPHER’S DESCRIPTION: 2011, Kiev, Ukraine
    PHOOZL COMMENT: A fascinating interplay of light and shadow, this street-photo image captures the anonymous fast-paced movement of people in the city. The man in the hat is perfectly captured as he contrasts with the shadows but is at the same time part of their up-and-down movement. And we instinctively know that everything changed completely one second later. Talk about a Decisive Moment!

    Original Photo Detail Page

 

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