PhoozL

2013 Winners Showcase: ‘Weekly Wednesdays’

(Click here for the 2012 Winners Showcase)

Here are the Winners (and Honorable Mentions) from the completed 2013 Weekly Wednesdays Photo Contests (includes Extended Weeklies, too). You can also see the individual 2013 Weekly Wednesdays PhoozL Points charts for this contest type and the Overall 2013 Top 10 rankings (FINAL). We awarded “PhoozL Points” to all different contest winners (and Honorable Mentions) to determine the overall Points rankings for 2013.

(also see: 2013 Winners Showcase – Super-Judged & Cash Prize Pool Photo Contests)
(also see: 2012 Winners Showcase – Super-Judged Photo Contests)
(also see: 2012 Winners Showcase – Photo Assignments)
(also see: 2012 Winners Showcase – Insta Alphabetography A-Z)

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

‘Toy Story’ — judge: Andrew Darlow

December 18 – 27, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Clay Swatzell: “Marvin"
    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Nighttime Nature’ — judge: David Gubernick

December 11 – 18, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Mikael Sundberg: "Night at Savo"
    Judge's Comment: Nicely composed and quiet feel to this night image. The overall blue tone gives it both that nighttime look and peaceful feeling. The long exposure created a smooth, glassy look to the moving water surface and gives a sense of flowing clouds. The horizon line is well-placed, and the left and right shores counter-balance each other which works well in this somewhat panoramic image. Well-exposed and in focus with hardly any noticeable noise.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    johncbutler: "Ocean at Night"
    Judge's Comment: A haunting image of the ocean at night, with a woman (?) on the beach under moonlight. Wonderful placement of the person in the frame and colors. Even the tilting horizon line works here. Notice the four patches of color created by the sky, ocean, surf, and beach as well as the space they occupy, cut vertically by the person in the frame.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Sandra A.-B.: “Northern Lights"
    Judge's Comment: Aurora Borealis – nicely composed with the aurora flowing from lower right to upper left, capturing the expanse of the aurora and giving it scale with the buildings in the bottom of the frame. The "fast" shutter speed (10 sec) kept the stars mostly as pinpoints of light.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Rachel-Dubicki: "Reflection"
    Judge's Comment: This is a nicely composed image of moonlight on water with the landscape providing a strong graphic silhouette as do the shadows in the water. The clouds in the distant sky help bring it all together.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Gowtham: “Wild Hens in a Tree"
    Judge's Comment: Nicely lit and composed scene of these hens at night, presumably with the aid of a flash. The hens are separated from each other and the tree branches so that they stand out. The one small branch on the right is distracting and could be easily removed in post-processing.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Peter: "Anochecer"
    Judge's Comment: Good composition in a panorama format. Good exposure in the sky, mountains and mist in the valley below and well-focused. The two "V"s formed by the mountains and the sky provide a nice graphic element. Try several different croppings for different "looks."
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Interiors’ — judge: C. David Tobie

December 4 – 11, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Kay Beausoleil: "Toward the Light"
    Judge's Comment: This black-and-white image has several powerful elements. One is verticality; of the architecture, and of the image crop. Another is a powerful play of light and dark. While a full tonal range is represented, the image is not gray; it is predominantly black and white. And yet textures play a major role in the image as well. The strong one-point perspective of the image is another key element, and the point of highest contrast is also the vanishing point of the perspective, which also aligns with the head of the person in the image. This is not the first time a person in silhouette at the vanishing point of a one-point perspective has been a winner in a contest I judged; it is a very powerful and symbolic configuration, and here it is used to full effect.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Johnson Earls (foxprimephotos):
    "In the Garden House"

    Judge's Comment: This image has a strong sense of forms in space, under light as well. But instead of grandeur and symmetry, it is a masterful detail image, a still life telling a small, compelling story. The out-of-focus foreground element provides depth, as well as adding to the informal, quirky nature of the shot. The bit of interesting architecture glimpsed through the window adds to the richness of the story. And the low level of the camera adds an unusual, even childish, touch. The composition is a satisfying mix of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements, with light and contrast leading the eye throughout the image. The limited palette of greens and earthtones provides a painterly feeling. Small gems like this are deceptively difficult to create.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Gowtham: “Old Kitchen Window"
    Judge's Comment: This prize winner is also a black-and-white image, emphasizing light and texture as only black and white can do. This still life of a partly open window expresses the relationship between the interior and the exterior in a particularly satisfying way. The Dutch Masters realized the power of a dark interior with a single light source, and this theme has been used successfully all the way forward to the Modernist Architect Le Corbusier, who based an entire church on the principle. Here a humble, weathered window with one open shutter defines space, and form, and texture. The balance of compositional elements, and the densities of the interior surfaces conspire to move the eye effectively about the image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Stefano M: "Interiors"
    Judge's Comment: This classic interior shot of a spiral stair is a study of forms in space under light. Lighting illuminates the center of the stair, and the arrangement there, from above. The dimmer illumination of the rear wall of the stair, compared to the front wall, produces a powerful sense of depth and richness. The eye follows the brightest elements up the curve of the front of the stair, and then glides back down the darker tones of the rear of the stair like a child sliding down the banister. The rich blues of the floor and steps contrasts effectively against the earthy tones of the marble.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    highevolutionary: “Venetian Interiors Three"
    Judge's Comment: The entire series of related images that were submitted were excellent. But this example was chosen above the others as a superb example of color. HDR imaging can exaggerate color, as well as detail and texture, in ways that are quite artificial. Yet it can also be used to create artistic relationships, as has been done here. In a non-HDR image, the brilliant metallic tones of the espresso machine would have had little relationship to the other colors in the room, even though they are reflections of them. Here, by bringing up all the elements in the room to near-metallic tones, the relationship between the room’s color scheme and the colors in the metallic reflections are visually connected. The entire room is colorfully radiant in a manner not unlike a well-polished espresso machine.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Helen Mulvey: "Staircase"
    Judge's Comment: This iconic spiral stair is so famous that images of it were submitted by different contestants. Spiral stairs are typically shot in a way that emphasizes their spiral nature. Here the angle produces closed oblongs instead of a continuous spiral, offering a more unique perspective on a familiar form. This shot was picked for its excellent definition of interior space, through the light defining the receding levels of the staircase, and the added interest of the people captured in the photo. People add a sense of scale to architectural images, especially when the elements are monumental and not easy to determine the size without the assistance of people in the image. The people on the lower floor add life, motion, and color to the image, keeping it from being abstract or lifeless.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘La Mer’ — judge: Philippe Serenon

November 27 – December 4, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Jinesh Udani: "Different Shades"
    Judge's Comment: This image stands out of the crowd immediately. It is quite poetic as well as dynamic. The human presence is both adding this dynamism while not being too intrusive. The subtle tones of water and sand create an ambiance in which the viewer feels good. Waves are there, but the blurry effect makes them feel soft and not brutal as they are by nature. Well done, Jinesh!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Jodie Marsh: "Moonlit Sea"
    Judge's Comment: I first asked myself if these colors were natural or retouched. Then I decided that even if retouched, the author’s sense of color was driving her eye and hand, and that digital is part of our lives so only the result is what counts. The composition and the decisive moment when the picture was shot seem to be well thought-through. The three planes with the small wave, the bigger one and then the becalmed sea behind give the sense of the immensity of the sea while making it close to us. The glittering light in the background adds to the mystery of this picture. I would easily live with a super-large print of this in my house.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Stefano M: “La Mer"
    Judge's Comment: Quite an interesting and unusual shot. The sea is in movement as the wave spray depicts, while the girl stands still in the middle of this shaky sea. This contrast is very compelling. And the shape of the splash on the left follows the body contour in a very elegant manner. Another example of the decisive moment! Finally, the colors are quite attractive in this strange green-blue-gray tone.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Mikael Sundberg: "Courselles sur Mer"
    Judge's Comment: A very classical picture, and the contrast of sharp rocks and lighthouse or channel marker with the foggy sea creates a very nice impression. The composition is very well-done as well. Print it out and put it on your wall right away! (If it is Courseulles-sur-Mer, I know it but it is quite far from me in Provence :)
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Kay Beausoleil: “After the Storm"
    Judge's Comment: I am reminded and could not miss this photograph as a type of tribute to one of my photo idols, Joel Meyerowitz. It is hard to compare with him, of course, but this photographer is on the right track. Bien fait (well-done)!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    edmontecalvo: "Pesce"
    Judge's Comment: Contradicting myself above (I am French afterall :), the sea may be absent in this photo, but these dolphin fish are so beautiful in their crate that they deserve to be on this list. Once out of the sea these fishes normally lose their wonderful colors, but here the viewer can enjoy them as well as the composition which is quite good.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Portal’ — judge: Mike Pasini

November 20 – 27, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Lesley Ackman: "Barn Door"
    Judge's Comment: This shot got me up in the saddle with my spurs on. I couldn't wait to trot out that wide open door and vault a few white fences under those postcard-perfect clouds. But first I wanted to inhale the cool barn air, the shadowed ceiling itself glowing. The little name plate at left shows just why I loved this portal. It says "Enlightening."
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    bventeicher: "Knock Knock"
    Judge's Comment: The sparkling translucent door knob brings your eye to it immediately (which is why it and not the whole fixture is centered). How can you not turn that knob? But before I reached out for it, I noticed the light on the key in the lock. It seemed to promise not only a place worth exploring but entry to it, too. You won't be locked out.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Armineh: “Meet Me on the Other Side..."
    Judge's Comment: The color attracted me right away to this image, but as I studied it I was amused to see the hole wasn't an accident. And much as I love the colored glass, my eye kept looking out at the nicely framed trees. The curl of one trunk echoes the hole in the glass but it isn't in focus, promising to continue the adventure on the other side.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Jinesh Udani: "The Doors"
    Judge's Comment: Among the entries that worked as illustrations, this was my favorite. I can almost feel the texture of the walls against my palm and the damp floor soaking into my boots as I peek in. The greenery is lush, the one reason we always need rain. But it wouldn't have been the same without the rainbow umbrella, which adds a brightly humorous note to the scene.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Jodie Marsh: "The Undertaker’s Door"
    Judge's Comment: The Final Portal through which we all must pass was the subject of a few entries. This was, perhaps, the most subtle one, but the black door below is clearly ominous (one reason why perspective control isn't always desirable). In contrast, the warm color of the stone kept drawing me back to the image. It is the final portal but part of life. Indeed, someone's livelihood.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Dimitris Palade: "The Light"
    Judge's Comment: Another popular approach, the bright light at the end of the dark passage is here elegantly (even minimally) expressed. Two colors, one warm, one cold, little detail, the bright portal at the center of the darkest wall. I couldn't resist the color treatment but the arches really embrace you. Surprisingly, I also liked the graffiti; it added a human element to this abstract composition.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘A Part of the Whole’ — judge: Lisa Waddell

November 13 – 20, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    foxprimephotos: "Peak"
    Judge's Comment: I love everything about this image: the composition, the point of view, the silver against the bright blue. This photographer demonstrates a solid understanding of the Part/Whole concept. The tension in the photo is literal because I'm guessing this is the peak of the supports and stays of a bridge.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Helen Mulvey: "Corkscrew"
    Judge's Comment: This monochroe image is a good example of raising an ordinary object to a whole new level. The photographer made an impact by focusing on the tip of the spiral. And the partial view leads right into a strong conclusion that it's a corkscrew.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Stefano M: “A Part of the Whole"
    Judge's Comment: Great work with shapes here. I like the circles set against the rectangles and the clean lines in this image. The photographer has used these elements to his advantage in this well-composed shot with pleasing, muted colors. A coffee grinder with plenty of history!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Gowtham: "Keep Me Tight?"
    Judge's Comment: When I first saw this image I was reminded of a video of the Titanic on the ocean floor! This image has clean and simple lines and a great point of view. I love the aged rusting of the subject, and one can work at guessing that it's the end of a water spigot seen from below and up against a dark sky.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Arun: "Leading to..."
    Judge's Comment: Lines, texture and a skewed point of view make this beach image. The narrow, and seemingly random, focal point combined with a very blurred background is used to good effect. Otherwise this would be a whole image rather than just a part. Nice.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Charlena: "Mechanics..."
    Judge's Comment: The intersection of lines (spokes) with the circular shape in back makes for a nicely composed "Part" of what appears to be a bicycle wheel. The fact that this is a monochrome and the use of partial vignetting only adds to it's appeal.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Street Shots’ — judge: Lou Manna

November 6 – 13, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    RFritz: "Vice Versa"
    Judge's Comment: This image really stopped me. I like the fact that the photographer rotated the photo and submitted it upside down. This creates a far more dynamic composition. It is unique and eye-catching because of the way it distorts perspective. It makes you think and wonder.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Lesley Ackman: "Martine Reflects"
    Judge's Comment: I like the graphic quality of this image through the use of black-and-white. The composition draws your eye into the reflection, and the triple arches of the building are beautifully framed with the silhouette of the woman's body. Well done!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    leka huie: "Street Monkey Show"
    Judge's Comment: This is a great example of catching the telling moment in a photograph. There are so many stories being told here, not just by the main characters but also by the looks of the people in the background, and even by the monkey itself.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Charlena: "Houston City Art..."
    Judge's Comment: This is a very graphic and colorfully surreal photo that has depth and drama. It's a Houston street scene really come to life with an HDR edge to it!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Peter: "Secrets"
    Judge's Comment: I like the simplicity of the composition with the weather-beaten window frame and the use of color complements: orange and blue, which always creates interesting power. The pattern of the curtain blends with the lines and shapes of the reflection to create a tension of the outer and inner worlds.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Asequeira: "Charles Bridge"
    Judge's Comment: I can hear the music being played in this photo. The main elements work in symphony with each other to draw your eye into a circular composition. And I love those rich colors.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Couples’ — judge: Christian DeBaun

October 30 – November 6, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    zEdge: “Grief at Arlington National Cemetery”
    Judge’s Comment: Without a doubt, the strongest image in this competition – congratulations zEdge. There is a story behind this, and as a viewer I want to know what happened. Why are they there, and who gave his or her life for their country? When judging this competition I never once looked at the PhoozL website, but instead looked at the original images provided to me. I had no idea where the photo was taken, but I strongly suspected Arlington (I’ve been there several times). This photo – with a lovely depth of field, tack sharp focus, good composition and light – is truly a winner. It left me “wanting to know more.” Taking good candids at just the right moment is incredibly hard, and this photo delivers. His expression says it all.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Kay Beausoleil : “Down the Cobbled Path”
    Judge’s Comment: This defines “Couples” perfectly because I want to imagine the story behind their life, and what the rest of their life will be like. How many times have they walked this street together over the years? This tells me a story. The choice to post in black-and-white was a wise decision, it keeps our attention directly on them. We’ve got plenty of foreground (the cobblestones) to set the scene, nice walls on either side to frame the photo (but not too distracting), and a window in the background to balance things out. Shooting in mid-day sunlight can be killer as it can cast hard shadows – but there is a lovely touch of rim lighting on the man’s hair, shoulders, and trousers. It’s interesting to note that there’s a gentle twig of ivy/bush connecting their two heads. Most photographers would have cloned this out (it’s typically a poor choice to have things growing out of people’s heads), but for some reason it works here. It makes an interesting organic connection between them. Well done, Kay.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Charlena : “Best Friends...”
    Judge’s Comment: This is a wonderful photo. Nicely balanced subjects, and not centered too exactly (we almost have the Rule of Thirds in play here). Well-focused subjects, and I love the fact that they are looking at each other – and not the camera. It’s a small taste of love between owner and pet – and perfectly captured. The background is soft, and the angled wires gives us a nice sense of leading lines, perspective, and a direction headed to a vanishing point we can’t see – but don’t need to. The post processing is subtle (though it may have been slightly vignetted, it works), and her skin looks natural and healthy. I’m going to guess this was shot in the late afternoon (no hard shadows), when the light was sweet. Note to Charlena: I too am primarily a portrait photographer, so I’m really digging this shot. My eyes cannot help but look at branded text in any photo (dog’s collar) when I want to be looking at the subject. Cloning out those “Chevy” letters and logo might be an interesting or fix (or not). Either way, well done!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Lesley Ackman: “Coming and Going”
    Judge’s Comment: People often have no idea how just hard wildlife photographers work, and what it takes to get a Class-A photograph like this one. Wildlife photographers are *patient* people because you can often sit there for hours and hours, and come home with nothing. In this case, Leslie got a razor-sharp image on a perfectly windless day (note the lack of wind that would have spoiled the superb mirror effect of the water), near-perfect subject positioning, and excellent composition. Note to Leslie: Is that steam/mist in the upper left-hand corner of the photo? It might be interesting to lower this entire shot .5 of an f/stop in post and see if that mist kicks a little bit harder into the image; it really adds something to the shot. Great photo – I’d be proud to have this framed and hanging in my home.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Leka Huie: “Dating”
    Judge’s Comment: The couple here is subtly presented, and some photographers would argue that this is a landscape shot, and not a “people” shot. My imagination wants to guess that this is an airport perhaps? I’m thinking those light bars on the extended pier may be for a pilot to see as he makes his approach – but I could be wrong. I also think the man in the photo is taking a sunset photo (note the position of his arms), and like most photographers, I love photographs of *other* photographers. Great exposure lock on the sky, terrific leading lines, and a nice flat horizon (you’d be surprised how many seascape photos are tilted). Note to Leka: It might be fun to swap the horizontal axis on this and see what happens. As an American, I read left to right, and my eyes will often involuntarily look at photos in the same fashion. So my eyes went to the end of the pier first and moved right until I saw the couple. I wonder what would happen if the image were flipped the other way. Either way – nice shot!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Peter: “Sally”
    Judge’s Comment: Again, following the rule of “tell me a story,” I want to know what the story is here, and I want to know more about Sally... who she was/is, and what’s important about her. Where was she when this was taken? What is she holding in her right hand? We want to know more. Some would argue that this isn’t a true “couples” shot, but I like the unique presentation. The photo of her is angled, and the lighting is great with a blacked-out background. Note to Peter: Have you tried post processing this entire photo in black-and-white? It might change the overall feeling – just a thought. Keep up the great work.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Fall Color Magic’ — judge: David Gubernick

October 23 – 30, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Stefano M: “Fall Color Magic”
    Judge’s Comment: The soft, even light, muted colors, subject matter, and composition combine to make this an outstanding image. The implied diagonal line from the lower left pumpkin to the upper right directs the viewer to the bowl of fruit that is accentuated by a subtle enhanced brightness on the fruit. There’s lots of detail to explore that continues to draw the viewer in. An excellent job of staging this scene and use of post-processing techniques.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    zEdge: “Caission at Arlington National Cemetary”
    Judge’s Comment: This is a powerful image that combines the assignment of Fall Colors with an emotionally moving occasion. The branches and soft-focused leaves create a window that draws the viewer to the horse-drawn military casket. The downed leaves in the foreground provide a metaphor for the downed hero. The colors, light, and placement of the procession in the frame combine to make this an excellent composition.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    katrina: “One”
    Judge’s Comment: This soft, yet colorful image is well-composed, with the strong graphic lines of the tree in the left foreground and its deep red leaves flowing across the top of the frame. The tree and leaves stand out from the rest of the background, and the overcast light helps intensify the colors and provides nice lighting on the grass. The almost-square format works well here.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Mikael Sundberg: “Fall Colors in Stockholm, Sweden”
    Judge’s Comment: The curve of the river and shoreline, coupled with the reflected colors in the water and the repeating trees along both shores make this a well-composed and colorful image. It’s a contemplative scene echoed by the inviting empty benches.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Lesley Ackman: "The Old Shed”
    Judge’s Comment: A quiet, lovely autumn scene. The angle of view is well-chosen with the rustic old shed nicely positioned in the frame with just enough of the surrounding area to give it context. Because of the diffused, even, soft light, the colors are nicely subdued without any harsh contrasts.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Clay Swatzell: “Red Leaves”
    Judge’s Comment: A lovely image. The underneath of the red leaf contrasts with the green and brown of the other leaves and background making it stand out. The accent light on the leaf gives it a little "pop" and a "magic light" feel.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Abstracts’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

October 16 – 23, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Tastwo: “Unfinished Wall”
    Judge’s Comment: Straight photography with wonderful composition and a very discerning eye. The lines and the accenting diagonal are perfect. Sharp, clear and powerful, this is a masterpiece of design. Very nice.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Jill Flyer: “Abstraction #1”
    Judge’s Comment: This image is a bit of mystery, and contrasting feelings. The "window" to the outer world is a harsh contrast with the passionate red of the interior. The defacing graffiti has itself been defaced, and there is a tender icon to contrast will all of it. Red doesn't actually go with my living room, but this is a thoughtful, engaging and powerful piece of art, nicely done.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    zEdge: “Chicago Skyline”
    Judge’s Comment: Completely abstracted from both time and space, this is a delightful graphic, capturing space along the horizontal, and time along the vertical. The fine lines add "texture." The brilliant yellow in black nicely balances the hues and pastels elsewhere. Knowing that it's a "city in motion" simply adds to the enjoyment of this image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    vonderrusch: “Light at the End of the Tunnel”
    Judge’s Comment: Ahh... the mystery of the disquieting legs. This is obviously a very strong graphic image, with a lot to notice and question. Technically, the tones are excellent, with the right fading perfectly into the black on the left. But why does that person look like two long legs? Is that his arm on the railing? Where are we, and where are we going? What is that hidden just beyond the light, in the depths of the tunnel, along the left hand railing? Quite a provocative image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    sbarrphoto: “Red Abstract”
    Judge’s Comment: This makes me think of Autumn, heading into Winter. The old weathered board and rusting hinges tell me this place has seen many seasons before, but there is a sense of joy and pending rebirth here as the red (leaf?) falls across the image. This is a memory of a season, where colors once strong, are fading, but also awaiting renewal.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Lesley Ackman: “Bog Blur”
    Judge’s Comment: This image is just sweet (as in nicely done.) It looks effortless, and is thus very convincing. There is no mystery as to what it is, but that merely enhances the feeling it gives off. That the reeds (trees?) taper off, and there is only a hint of the waterline, turn this into a very engaging image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Bugs, Bees & Butterflies’ — judge: Andrew Darlow

October 9 – 16, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Mikael Sundberg: “The Fly”
    Judge’s Comment: Incredible! Though a bit difficult to look at since I really dislike flies, the technical merit of this photo is undeniable, and the color (especially of the eyes and yellow parts), sharpness, lighting, cropping and deep black background are all superb.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    dubiedoo1: “Geranium Bronze”
    Judge’s Comment: This photo was a top pick because I was enamored by the way the photographer captured so much of the flower while still making the butterfly the star of the show. The flower almost looks as though it is floating, and the center of the flower and butterfly are very sharp, which helps direct the viewer's eye. The color contrasts between magenta, green, and the muted butterfly all combine to make this a special image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    leka huie: “Honey… I Am Coming”
    Judge’s Comment: The purple-blue flower in this photo on the ethereal, watercolor-like green background would have been enough to make this a fantastic image. By adding in the sharp and well-placed bee (whether photographed as we see it or cropped later on), the photo was elevated to a whole other level of excellence.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Sandeep Kumar: “Tiger Butterfly”
    Judge’s Comment: Though I may be dating myself, this photo reminded me of artwork one might have found on an inside double-panel album cover for a 1970’s band. I can almost hear "Hello Sunshine, Goodbye Rain," by Simon and Garfunkel when I gaze at the beautiful interplay between the detailed butterfly and the out of focus foreground and background that complement it so well. The warm color temperature also helps to set the mood.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Lesley Ackman: “Praying Mantis”
    Judge’s Comment: This praying mantis made me laugh a bit thanks to its "smile," and I was very impressed by the way in which the photographer used selective focus to draw the viewer toward the mantis' head, allowing the rest of the image to gradually fall out of focus. The white background with pleasing shadows and darker areas all work together to make this a winner.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Christian DeBaun: “South African Dung Beetle”
    Judge’s Comment: "Luke, I am Your Father" was the Star Wars quote that immediately crossed my mind when I saw this photo :). This picture is so unique, interesting and amusing due to the interplay between the insect and the man that I had to choose it. I also like how sharp the beetle is in relation to the soft focus on the man and his surroundings.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Smile’ — judge: Mike Pasini

October 2 – 9, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    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?
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    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!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    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!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Mobile Floral’ — judge: Lisa Waddell

September 25 – October 2, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Mikael Sundberg: “Mobile Floral 1”
    Judge’s Comment: In my opinion this image has it all. The minimalist, still-life composition gives the impression that the flower is coming out of the fog. The texture of the flower is evident, which adds depth to the image. The colors are fabulous and pop against the understated background. I also like the element of grunge; also understated yet effective. This powerful image definitely has a story to tell. Well done!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Sandeep Kumar: “In the Back Yard”
    Judge’s Comment: This is another well-composed shot, even if maybe bottom-heavy. There are great lines with one bloom curving to the left and the other straight. The shallow depth of field is good, and the bug on the bloom in front is an added bonus. This is an image with great character and lots of originality.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Stefano M: “Mobile Floral”
    Judge’s Comment: This image has a sharp, clear focus, and the colors and contrast are great. The background could be a little less busy, but I love that this photo reminds me of a piece of paper that has been wadded up and thrown away.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    hollyoverton: “After the Rain”
    Judge’s Comment: I like that this photo focuses on part of the flower and not the whole plant. It makes for a much more interesting image. The lighting is lovely and the colors are soft. This image conveys a peaceful feeling.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    dubiedoo1: “Passion Flower”
    Judge’s Comment: This is a good straight forward flower shot that maximizes the uniqueness of the Passion Flower. Although the colorful red objects at bottom right are a bit distracting, this is still a great detail-filled image that pops with color.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Debora: “Never Give Up”
    Judge’s Comment: This lovely rose looks like it has been lit from within - it just glows. The background is a bit busy with bright areas, but the flower dominates. It’s an electrifying image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Solo’ — judge: Richard & Abigail Marks

September 18 – 25, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Sandeep Kumar: “Waiting for Good Times”
    Judge’s Comment: Gorgeous image. We can see that this woman is in a marketplace surrounded by many people, and yet the photo allows us to see that she is in her own world. We are able to take a look at her in an unguarded and truthful moment. She is dignified, present and also somewhere else; lost in her own thoughts.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Audiosavas: “He Will Come”
    Judge’s Comment: We like the enhanced colors in this image, and we enjoy the haunting and mysterious tone set by the subject. We are left to wonder if the subject is coming, going or waiting. The twilight and the “Brigadoon-ian” fog are transient and only last as long as it took to take this photo. We like it.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Charlena: “The Future...”
    Judge’s Comment: We imagine someone leaving a Commencement ceremony, which evokes thoughts of both beginnings, as the word truly means, as well as endings. Having the subject walk through the rain in a field full of beautiful colors allows us to revel in both the beginning and end of the journey. The unknown future at the end of the rainbow and mourning the loss of the past in order to charter new territory both exist in this instant.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    mhilbush: “Peekaboo”
    Judge’s Comment: This image is a window into an unknown world. Far from living in a glass house, this structure allows us only a peek, which piques our curiosity and preserves the mystery of the moment.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Sandra A.-B.: “It’s a Big World Out There”
    Judge’s Comment: This image of an alien being looking into the green abyss is artistic, striking and evocative. It certainly is a big world out there for this little creature!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    by Stefano M: “Solo”
    Judge’s Comment: This is a technically proficient and emotionally open image. Our hats are off to this photo artist for his beautiful photograph.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Drinkography’ — judge: Christina Børding

September 11 – 18, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Mikael Sundberg: “Whiskey”
    Judge’s Comment: This is a perfect product photo. It really appeals to the senses, and you can almost taste the whiskey and hear the crisp clinking sounds of the ice cubes against the glass. The wide aperture and selective focus, perfect lighting and reflections demonstrate great technical skills and make this my absolute favourite in this competition.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Sandeep Kumar: “A Lot Can Happen Over a Cup of Coffee”
    Judge’s Comment: The DOF and bokeh in this photo create a great atmosphere and a really interesting setting for the motif. I think this has a nice artistic feel to it and is a great example of a photo that is not technically perfect but works really well nonetheless.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Lesley Ackman: “Five O’Clock Shadow”
    Judge’s Comment: This photo has a bold composition and is really well-lit and crisp. I like the play with lines, light/shadow and reflections, and I love that it kind of breaks the standard rules when it comes to composition. It makes me curious, and the depth in the color makes me crave a glass of red wine :).
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Stefano M: “Whiskey Neat”
    Judge’s Comment: A close to perfect product photo. Crisp, sharp, skillfully lit and with great reflections. Photographing glass on black and still bringing out all the details in the glass is not an easy task, but the photographer of this photo has done a great job. Personally, I would have preferred the photo not to be tilted, but that is a matter of personal taste.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Charlena: “Drink to Dreams...”
    Judge’s Comment: I'm a sucker for lens flare and this photo has some great flares! It also has a great atmosphere, and I love the raindrops on the surface under the glass in combination with the setting sun. It makes me think of the feeling of sun after rain and lazy summer nights with chilled wine and good friends. I am a little pedantic when it comes to angles, and if I were to give any critique I would probably have tried to straighten this a little bit.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    edwardolive: “The Waiter”
    Judge’s Comment: This is such a great and timeless candid photo that captures the moment perfectly. I really like frozen movement in the photo, and I think the post-processing is well-executed. It is a little tightly cropped, but that is hard to avoid when capturing this kind of moment where you have to be fast on the trigger to even get a shot at all before the chance passes. I would have placed this higher if not for the fact that this is slightly more about beautiful women than the actual drinks :).
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Mono Landscape’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

September 4 – 11, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information
NOTE: click images below to see each 3-image story series

  1. First Place

    Mikael Sundberg: “Foggy Morning”
    Judge’s Comment: Two living beings. Simple and direct, this is not only "man in the landscape" but there exists a sense of mutual reverence here, and a sense of place in the scheme of things. Serene, humble and un-cluttered, this image whittles away to leave the universal. The sense of connection is that in silhouette, the man and the tree seem even more a part of the earth, and thus a single thing.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Charlena: “The Field”
    Judge’s Comment: It took me a moment to realize that the power of this image is from an unusual source – the image is divided into quarters: dark sky; light sky; sunlit fields; shadows... and the tree at the junction in the center. It is as if the tree is holding this whole landscape together. Very powerful.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Stefano M: “Road to Oblivion”
    Judge’s Comment: This image is completely made by the tiny human figure at the vanishing point. Everything points at it, including the horizontal branch at the upper right. Chilly and moist, a solitary walk, wrapped in the environment… this is a perfect time for reflection.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Sandeep Kumar: “Life in Dhanushkodi”
    Judge’s Comment: For most of the people on this planet, the landscape determines our lives, and it isn't always lush. Water may come and go; supplies may be meager... but life goes on. We adapt with some resignation, and even a bit of pride.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Subhash Limaye: “Dawn Near a Lake”
    Judge’s Comment: I chose this one for mention because of its impeccable composition. It is quiet and still and inviting. The tones, as well as the composition, lead the viewer deeper into the image. Very nicely done.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    kendraleonia: “The Escape”
    Judge’s Comment: This is not "just a cow in the road." It has strong composition: a vanishing point that is repeated through the road, the power poles and the brush. Then it slams into the horizontal horizon and the use for all that electricity: the processing plant on the left (slyly counterbalanced by the distant road sign pointing to the right.) The ominous clouds speak to the immediate future, and the cow asks "what are you doing in this, my reality." All this works to place me in the image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Story: In 3 Acts’ — judge: Eileen Fritsch

August 14 – 31, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information
NOTE: click images below to see each 3-image story series (takes a moment for all 6 to load)

  1. First Place

    leka huie: “The Story of Peter and Mary”
    Judge’s Comment: This series reminds us that stories happen everywhere, everyday among all life forms. In this case, two creatures floating independently come together with a funny story. And the colors, shapes, and lighting evoke a sense of mystery and wonder.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Stefano M: “Icarus’ Dream”
    Judge’s Comment: In Picture 1 (left), the viewer gets a sense of the problem (assembling a flaccid, tangled, grounded kite). Picture 2 shows progress toward the goal. Picture 3 shows success in creating something beautiful that is ready to fly; hopefully not with the failed ambition of Icarus!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Charlena: “You First, No You First...”
    Judge’s Comment: In Picture 1, the expression of the childrens’ faces hint that there’s a conflict and present the question: Who’s going first? Picture 2 shows how they have resolved the problem—they’ll go down together. Picture 3 shows the happy landing as a team.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    nance kay: “Ready - That’s a Hit - Safe at First!”
    Judge’s Comment: This series moves from quiet contemplation (Picture 1) to action (Picture 2) to successful result (Picture 3) as the determined young baseball player reaches first base.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Lesley Ackman: “Life Cycle”
    Judge’s Comment: This series of striking compositions can be interpreted as a metaphor for the stories of our lives… Photo 1: As we mature, we can be edgy and uncertain. Photo 2: We bloom and show the world our best colors. Photo 3: We age with dignity, accumulated wisdom, and unconventional forms of beauty.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Tanguero Chino: “Half Standing - Rubble - Gone”
    Judge’s Comment: Places have stories too. This story starts with deterioration, proceeds to collapse, and ends with the hope for renewal. The coloring of the sky brings cohesiveness to the series. The starkness of the trees in Pictures 1 and 2 and brightly lit building in Picture 3 convey the changing mood.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Architectural Details’ — judge: C. David Tobie

July 31 – August 14, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Lesley Ackman: “Shaker Stairs”
    Judge’s Comment: Architectural detail photos are often studies of beautiful staircases, one of the most organic and carefully detailed elements of architecture. What makes this staircase shot stand out from others in this contest, and others in general, is that it forms a very powerful visual form, and a very powerful puzzle at the same time. By bringing the image to a high key state, where the whites in much of the plaster lose all detail, the darker elements seem to hover on the white of the image background, much as staircases seem to hover against gravity. But, in addition to the dramatic and symmetrical graphical form the dark elements create against the white of the background, there is the puzzle of what the viewing angle is, and just what the large white element in the center represents. No “spoiler alert” required: I'll leave it to the viewer to attempt to solve the puzzle; but I will say it is real, it was not done in Photoshop, and other than helping the effect along with the high key highlights, the image is very much as the eye would see it, in the Shaker building in which it was photographed. Sometimes, all that is needed to create an award winning photo is a unique viewpoint and the eye to see it.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Kay Beausoleil: “La Maison Chevalier”
    Judge’s Comment: Architectural detail sometimes shows components of multiple structures and relates them to one another. Here the image relates roofs, chimneys, and windows of an organic group of buildings to one another in a way that creates a dynamic, but balanced, composition. The photographer skillfully avoids any image content that is not about this theme. The controlled color palette (reds and tans) brings further harmony and graphical strength to the image. While this image may have been an after-the-fact crop from a hand-held-shot image, the result is extremely pleasing and very powerful, showing that formal shooting techniques are not the only way to take great architectural photos.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    leka huie: “The Way Out...”
    Judge’s Comment: Architectural details sometimes contain great depth, while still expressing only a detail-sized portion of a building. Here the image covers a few feet of width but many feet of depth. When shooting a symmetrical structure, taking pains to create a totally symmetrical image adds to the power and satisfaction of the image; here that is done so perfectly that one needs to examine the details of the structure carefully to be sure that this image is not actually created by mirroring one half from the other. In addition to choosing the exact right spot from which to shoot, and capturing (or HDRing) a very effective exposure of all elements, the photographer also managed to choose exactly the optimal time to shoot. The person in the distance, at the focal point of the image and at the one-point perspective point, is the highest contrast element in the image, drawing the eye into the depth of the tunnel. This image shows superb control of many difficult elements in architectural photography.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    JanMaklak: “Abandoned”
    Judge’s Comment: Architectural details are often about zooming in on a tiny part of a structure and describing it in minute visual detail. Here a single porcelain door knob, and a small portion of the door and jamb, form a complete and full composition; the essence of detail. The photographer’s choice of high contrast black-and-white, to the point of eliminating virtually all grays from the image, accentuates the detail and texture of the cracked paint on the door, while at the same time accentuating the smoothness and whiteness of the porcelain knob. The highly graphic result tells a powerful story, and tells it clearly, at a glance. Tiny details, such as the screen door catch, the keyhole, and the knot in the wood play supporting roles in this small, but compelling story.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Stephano M: “Architectural Details”
    Judge’s Comment: Architectural details are often tell compelling stories about easily overlooked details. This image captures a particularly whimsical set of chimney tops. What brings it to the winner's list is the angle, and the composition, which incorporates the chimneys with other architectural elements, with strong components in all three dimensions. It then displays all these in a well-related, dynamic group of warm components against the cool sky. Local contrast has been heightened to a satisfying, but not artificial-looking, degree. Lightening the shadows on the foreground elements would make the image even more transparent and dynamic, and could have bumped this image to a top prize position.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    Matt Heffernan: “Stairs”
    Judge’s Comment: Architectural details are often about singling out one particularly beautiful element, and then relating that element to the structure it is part of. In this image, the photographer avoided the deep focus so common when shooting architecture, and used a very shallow depth of focus to accentuate a beautifully carved handrail element, from an unusually low angle. This is then related to the rest of the winding staircase, which stands back from the handrail detail by its out-of-focus state. The off-angle of the image accentuates the sense of vertigo open staircases create. Black and white avoids distracting colors and emphasizes the graphical composition. Avoiding deep focus results in a refreshingly soft, smooth image with only the key element sharp and detailed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Floral Magic Macro’ — judge: David J. Gubernick

July 24 – 31, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    Jodie Marsh: "Lotus"
    Judge’s Comment: This is a wonderful image with strong graphic elements and lighting. Excellent flower choice - intriguing, strong graphic elements within the center of the flower, complemented by the wavy petals. It looks more like an undulating sea-creature, which takes the flower to a different level. Well-composed with the center just above the midline and facing up and to the right, giving implied motion. Wonderful lighting, great detail and colors. The vignetting all around the flower keeps the attention on the middle where all the "action" is located.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    Mikael Sundberg: "Red"
    Judge’s Comment: There's a wonderful spot-light look on the stamens and pistil combined with darkening around the edges creates a wonderful mood and helps keep attention on the center area; it creates the feeling of peeking into the inner workings of the flower. The stamens and pistil are nicely sharp with little overlap so they stand out distinctly from each other. The red flower petals serve as the background and complement the yellow stamens. Red flowers are often difficult to capture and render well without either losing detail or over-saturating them -– well-done!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    Stefano M: “Floral Magic Macro”
    Judge’s Comment: Striking color, lighting and detail. Virtually every part of the flower is sharp which helps make this image jump out. The flower parts stand out because they are sufficiently separated from each other. Nicely composed with all petals going out of the frame and thus anchoring the flower, while the center parts (stamens and pistil) and flower petals all move in the same general direction, from lower left towards and through the middle of the frame with enough space on the right so that the flower does not feel cut-off.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    Kay Beausoleil: "Blush"
    Judge’s Comment: The angle of view, soft colors and texture, sweeping lines of the tulip itself, and a nicely blurred background come together to create more of an abstract, almost blown-glass look that takes it beyond being just another tulip portrait. Well-conceived and executed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    Lesley Ackman: “Canadian Thistle”
    Judge’s Comment: Great detail in this thistle, with good textures and color. The white background, cropping and post-processing makes it look more like a botanical illustration than a photograph, thus taking it to another level. Nicely conceived and executed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    leka huie: "Colour"
    Judge’s Comment: Strong, bold colors of the flower are nicely complemented by the blurred background whose colors mimic the pinks and yellows of the flower itself. Nicely composed with the center of the flower to the right of center and the petals moving left into the frame with enough room around them so they don't feel cut off. A great angle of view.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Mobile-icious’ — judge: Lisa Waddell

July 17 – 24, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    “Crevette” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: Simple, elegant and fantastic composition. This image combines all the elements I like to see in a photo. With a splash of color Mikael has elevated the common shrimp to fine art.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    “It’s About the Tomatoe” by Armineh
    Judge’s Comment: Great close-up of the tomatoes and all the yummy herbs and oil. The border adds a nice finishing touch. Armineh has done her job. This photo makes me hungry.
    (iPhone4, apps: 645 PRO MkII, Photowizard)
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    “Sweet” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: Nice lighting and composition in this image with the Tootsie Pops taking center stage. With the edgy background Stefano gives this iconic food a 21st century twist.
    (iPhone, apps: 645 PRO, Snapseed, Photoshop)
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “Sweet” by Andrea
    Judge’s Comment: There is just enough grunge effect in this image to make the texture of the strawberry pop and the border keeps it in perspective. The fact that Andrea chose a berry not fully ripe is perfect.
    (iPhone, apps: DistressedFX, AltPhoto, 645 PRO, Jazz)
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “My Favorite Meal...” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: I like the subtle tones and the composition in this image. The lettuce hanging over the side of the plate is a nice touch. Charlena has done her job; this salad looks delicious.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “Study in Blue and Yellow” by AlyZen Moonshadow
    Judge’s Comment: This image is a good example of the depth and breadth of mobile photography apps. Alyzen Moonshadow has created a still life painting full of awesome color and texture.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Oui!’ — judge: Philippe Serenon

July 10 – 17, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    “La Tour Eiffel” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: One could say that a picture of the Eiffel Tower is the simplest choice a judge could make. In fact, there are not so many photographers capable to do a shot that stands out on a subject which everybody knows: Billions of pictures have been taken of the tower, but this one “talks” and has a lot of power. In a time when France is struggling, this image comes as a sort of hope and concentrates in the movement of the tower an incredible energy. It reflects perfectly the theme, both “yes” as a sort of motto which could also be “go for it!” as well as the exclamation point that adds a level of enthusiasm and positive spirit. On top of this, the execution is perfect: The composition and the distance from the Tower, the frame, the light, the perfect symmetry, the focus from bottom to top are clearly controlled.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    “La Musicienne” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This picture is quite unusual, and I have to say that I have been influenced by a physical presence that was missing overall. Of course it is a mannequin, but it is quite expressive. The “Oui!” here is more the one of a whisper of content, a sort of silent orgasm. The soft colors add a subtle touch that make this moment of personal happiness quite romantic. The photographer has been very smart in proposing this picture upside down! It changes it all and is a sign that the author has been working on his editing, which is so important. No need to say that the “piano à bretelles” (piano with suspenders as French say) makes it very French. The movement of the instrument and the girl together as a bow and the strips with the background décor makes it very Art Deco.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    “In the Vineyard” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: I would love to see this picture printed: With a good printer, the various gray tones would probably make a magnificent print. Concerning the Black-and-White: When one thinks about the variety of colors of a vineyard at Fall, one might wonder why the image is not better in color. In fact, it is enough for me in gray tones to add my mental colors to it. So I feel like being a sort of virtual co-author of this picture, which makes me proud. The composition is both unusual and excellent. The contrast between the winding road and the alignment of vines create an immediate interest for me. And then you discover this little farm house and its question mark: Why is it there? What does the owner want to say? The uncertainty of what the wine will come out like when done? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, the opposition between this “?” and the “!” of the contest title is well-spotted!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “A Couple” by Karana
    Judge’s Comment: This photo reflects the “fun fair” (traveling amusement park), which is very much a French tradition. It’s an unusual and interesting treatment of the theme.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “Mon Coeur, Mon Ame” by Armineh
    Judge’s Comment: Le Louvre Pyramid is a modern add-on, but the shot is treated in a way that makes it look like the early days of photography. Interesting contrast. With modern software embedded in cameras and smartphones, I very much doubt that it has been manually done with an old camera. Overall, composition is quite nice, and the effect is good.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “Closer to Paris Sky” by allaki
    Judge’s Comment: I stick my neck out with this selection as it similar to the fun fair, but this image says a lot to me... It is an uplifting of not only the cars but of the spirit. The French spirit, which must now look more upward and to the sky. And the photo technique is excellent.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

’4th of July – Celebration’ — judge: Kevin O’Connor

July 3 – 10, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. First Place

    “Amusement Park at Iranian Celebration...” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: The more I look at this image , the more I see. This type of image is very hard to create in such a successful way, but the photographer made a great image here. The compression of the image could have made it look very flat, but instead the heads at bottom right looking right at us balance well against the houses at top left, providing multiple levels of depth. The use of light and color is superb. Everywhere I look I see something I like; this image captures the density of celebration at an event like this beautifully.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    “Floral Fireworks” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: This elegantly shot, beautifully composed image should be made into a greeting card and used to brighten people's days all around the world. Great image. Kudos to the photographer for seeing and capturing this joyful scene. Great exuberant color. Thank you for seeing and making this image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    “The Peace Tower” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: Images of fireworks with a building or other object to add scale and depth are usually significantly more effective than fireworks alone in the sky. This is a nicely done image, with lovely color, and excellent balance between the exposure of the tower and the exposure of the fireworks. Very nice job.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “Water Fireworks!” by Armineh
    Judge’s Comment: Who knew the water drops were bursting forth in celebration? What a great eye this photographer has to see celebration here, and capture it so effectively! I smile every time I look at this photo.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “Celebration” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This image uses layers of depth very effectively.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “Here’s to Celebrating Friendship” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: A toast to this photographer's very good health is in order. The depth of this image, with multiple layers of bottles and glasses softly out of focus going back, is very nicely composed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Four Elements’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

June 26 – July 3, 2013
Click here for the full results post with images and more information

  1. 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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. 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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. 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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Summertime’ — judge: Mike Pasini

June 12 – 19, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. First Place

    “Whirlygig” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: You might find yourself in front of this scene and think: wide angle, but would you set your shutter speed to 1/8 second? That gave this image a strong sense of joyous motion. At the same time, the 18mm angle captured a lot of fun signage, both on the ride and surrounding it. Summer is all about reading signs to get somewhere. And this image of a ride that goes in circles took me right there.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    “Keeping Cool” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: With its cool white balance, this image turns all the travel brochure clichés on their head. But coolness implies heat, and with just the tip of his head in the water, this guy has found a relief that seems echoed in the reflection of his blue trunks breaking up in the green water. You can't help but ripple with laughter. Beautifully executed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    “Even the Policeman” by Matt Heffernan
    Judge’s Comment: A wide open f/1.8 aperture on the old standby 50mm lens captured this smile anticipating the first lick of an ice cream cone. That the constable is on duty at some well-attended outdoor event put a smile on my face, too. The ice cream is center stage, the constable nicely offset, the background beautifully blurred by that f/1.8 aperture. And taken in the shade, the face is so well-rendered it says it all without whispering a word.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “Care to Jump In?” by Armineh
    Judge’s Comment: The color in this image is so vibrant I just couldn't look away. The reflections on the water tell you this is outdoors in the sunlight. The angle is a little disturbing, but it puts you at the edge of the pool, leaning over, ready to take the plunge. It's an image you do want to dive into. Even fully clothed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “Summer in Sweden” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: The warmth of these daisies is what sold me on this image. The clouds are cool in the deep blue sky, the building in the background cool along the water's edge. But the summer daisies, chatting among themselves while one looks over with a smile in your direction, radiate so much warmth you have to smile back.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “Summertime” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: Almost a monochrome image, this beach scene holds onto just enough detail in the shadows while featuring a beautiful gradation across a sky that’s mirrored in the absolutely still body of water. Again, the color was compelling. And the simplicity of the pseudo silhouette, which would never have survived travel brochure printing, adds even more interest to the image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Elements: Fire’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

June 12 – 19, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. First Place

    “Ready for the Show!” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judge’s Comment: This image combines color compliments; cold and hot; and geometric lines vs fluid fire along with the entire mystery of why that torch is there in the first place. A very graphically strong image, and for me, the choice for overall winner.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. Second Place

    “Chaos Theory” by Matt Heffernan
    Judge’s Comment: Here is a radical interpretation of fire in the broiling tumult of the trees in a strong wind. Compare this to a roaring fire, and you'll feel the connection of shape, form and energy. Even the sound is similar. Thinking "outside the box" succeeded here.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. Third Place

    “Fire...” by Armineh
    Judge’s Comment: I suspect this is sunlight and a hand, but I'll admit it took me a moment to recognize that. As an abstract of fire, the intensity of the white flames combine with the rest of the image in a collection of contrasting angular shapes. I'm drawn in to ponder it – one of the criteria for fine art. Very inventive and well-done.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “Darkness in Me Burning Bright” by Samina Farooq
    Judge’s Comment: I like the symbolism in this image, as well as its production values. The choice of a dirty hand that could almost be charcoal; the control of the flames on the burning paper... all speak of the utility of fire.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “Fire” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: Choosing black-and-white for this image is a bold move, because on first viewing, it appears to be a photograph of smoke. Only on a second viewing do we see the silhouette of the wood and conflate the smoke with flames, making it nearly impossible to tell which this image presents.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “Nuclear Explosion” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: Notwithstanding the “nuclear” aspect, for some reason I see it as a sunrise rather than a sunset, and I love the intensity contrasted with the serene; the organic with the man-made detritus. That the green of the landscape reflects in the clouds only adds to the image, and together they contrast nicely with the grays of the foreground.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Cat’s Meow’ — judge: Andrew Darlow

June 5 – 12, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. 1st Place

    “Cat’s Eye” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: This ‘dark and brooding’ cat photo is masterfully done. The sharpness is quite incredible, and the way in which the cat's eye is captured from the side makes it look almost like a statue. The black background also perfectly complements the image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. 2nd Place

    “Mystery Lane” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judge’s Comment: I was really drawn to this image for a couple reasons. First, the garden, its colors, and the way in which the light is captured from foreground to background are spectacular. Secondly, the cat is captured at just the right time, and in a way that makes me believe that he or she is just taking a leisurely stroll while making sure that all's well.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. 3rd Place

    “Fedota from Gatchina” by Zima
    Judge’s Comment: I chose this image because it's a ‘perfect cat portrait,’ captured by the photographer at just the right moment. The sharpness of the cat's whiskers, the great light on the cat's face, and the highlights in the cat's eyes drew me in and made me feel as though I was there. The rich dark table and out-of-focus background with more wood tones all add to this photograph's allure.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. Honorable Mention A

    “Watcher in the Woods” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: This cat in the woods looks to me as though it could be a film still from a movie. The color palette is fantastic; it's muted but looks completely natural. I also really like the contrast of the cat in its surroundings.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. Honorable Mention B

    “Paw Prints” by Samina Farooq
    Judge’s Comment: The warmth of this photo, combined with the glistening and ‘lion-like’ fur and paws of this feline, really attracted me to it. I also love the soft light and the wet paw prints in the foreground.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. Honorable Mention C

    “Black Cat” by Anton. Lef.
    Judge’s Comment: If HM_A looks like a film still, this photograph looks like it should be on the cover of a mystery novel. The cat's location in the scene, including where his or her legs are positioned at the time of exposure are both picture perfect. There's also just enough information for us to get a feel for what type of environment the cat is in.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ — judge: Clay Swatzell

May 29 – June 5, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ – 1st Place

    “Silo...” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: The composition of this photograph displays the subject as still having some power and position of its previous “life.” The sun in the left corner gives me the feeling of the silo wanting to rise up and work again. The photograph is dark enough to generate some mystery but also just light enough to provide the viewer with details. The composition is simple with only two elements -- the silo and the sun, and the viewer is contained within the frame by use of a dark vignette. Good job!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ – 2nd Place

    “Beached” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: The boat reflects the theme’s core elements of ‘forgotten and abandoned’ very well. The condition of the vessel with sand inside really drives the theme home. I like the simple composition that also gives the viewer a sense of the entire scene as being a forgotten beach. “Beached” gives me a true sense of isolation.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ – 3rd Place

    “Dodge” by Bob Welch
    Judge’s Comment: This is a wonderfully composed photograph that images the theme well. The truck appears to be quite abandoned and forgotten in plain sight. The photograph’s composition, like the 1st- and 2nd-place images, is simple with the main subject clearly defined. The background provides leading lines that keep the viewer focused within the frame.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Forgotten & Abandoned” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This photo gives me the feeling of a child’s toy carefully placed on a bench looking out the window and waiting patiently for the child’s return. The composition and lighting are simple but fitting to the story being told.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ – Honorable Mention B

    “At Sea Shore” by Samina Farooq
    Judge’s Comment: Here is another example of a simple composition that interprets the forgotten-and-abandoned theme very nicely. The haphazard positioning of the shoes gives me a sense that the owner abandoned them as they were walking along the shore. The bright red colors also serve as a stark contrast to the drab color of the sand and water.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Forgotten & Abandoned’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Broken Grave” by Anton. Lef.
    Judge’s Comment: This image is representative of many cemeteries that have been forgotten, leaving the elements and nature to reclaim them. The photo is processed in such a way as to give it a soft, mystical look that adds to the abandoned feeling.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Elements: Air’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

May 22 – 29, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘The Elements – Air’ – 1st Place

    “A Windy Second in Time...” by Armineh
    Judge’s Comment: The clear winner for my tastes, this image's use of reflection, and its intangible nature mirrors the invisibility of air. The breeze is there, but like the air, almost invisibly. There is a lot to reflect upon in this photo. It is very interesting graphically and metaphorically. It could find a place on my wall.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘The Elements – Air’ – 2nd Place

    “Clear Air Preserved” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This is one of those images that takes a second glance. The first glance shows us a jar; the second shows us that it is a clean jar, sitting amid industrial decay. Further, the jar is closed. It has obviously captured something special, and apparently more pristine than the detritus around it. AIR! Clean, pure air. Interestingly, even the crack behind the pure air in the bottle is somehow more distinct. Not an obvious photo, but well-conceived and well-executed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘The Elements – Air’ – 3rd Place

    “Air 2” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: This is a non-intuitive image whose strong horizontals capture an abstract of the air in motion. Not wind, per se, but a time-lapse of the effect of moving air: clouds and water. It is particularly clean and involving. Nicely done.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘The Elements – Air’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Foggy Morning” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: This use of fog to represent air is particularly well-done. The detail softens as the eye first moves left, and then sweeps to the right as the trees fade into the mist. This would make a beautiful print.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘The Elements – Air’ – Honorable Mention B

    “Sand Storm” by Samina Farooq
    Judge’s Comment: Hey! Buddy! You wanna see the power of Air? Strong, dramatic, forceful, the tilt of the camera/subject makes this photo. Choosing black-and-white was perfect for this image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘The Elements – Air’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Blowing in the Wind” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: Air serves many purposes, and here the photographer thought outside the box with this unique submission. For inspiring creative thinking, it gets an honorable mention... and a smile.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Architecture Nights’ — judge: C. David Tobie

May 15 – 22, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Architecture Nights’ – 1st Place

    “On the Charles Bridge” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: This image is a strong, poetic composition, balanced without simple symmetry. The fog provides depth and atmosphere. The one-point perspective is further strengthened by the foreground figure aligning with the vanishing point, under the pointed arch beyond. The lights move the eye progressively deeper into the scene. The sculptures high above on both sides loom over the human figure, adding to the mood and the human aspect. The buildings, bridge and sculpture make this a strongly architectural image, but with an engaging human story.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Architecture Nights’ – 2nd Place

    “Times Square” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: Times Square is one of the most photographed locations in the world, and night shots from there are common and, even when well composed and shot, seldom have anything new to say. The simple choice of shooting vertically, with a wide lens, created an eminently recognizable, but uniquely composed, image that gives a powerful and fresh view of Times Square's often-seen lights and buildings.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Architecture Nights’ – 3rd Place

    “Architecture Nights” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This classic, and classical, black-and-white night shot does something very traditional, but does it very well. The symmetrical composition and centered location complement the historic nature of the subject matter. The excellent exposure offers a smooth and full tonal range from black to white, and the long exposure time makes the fountains dreamy and attractive, contrasting the softness of the top plumes with the sharpness of the architecture surrounding them. The choice to correct the vertical perspective also works well with this subject matter.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Architecture Nights’ – Hon. Ment. A

    “Hong Kong Skyline” by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: This is a well-shot city skyline over water. The contrast between the sharpness and detail of the buildings and the dreamy softness of the slow-exposure clouds, and also the contrast between the yellow and black of the architecture with the purples of the sky above and the sea below, give this image extra interest and emotional power.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Architecture Nights’ – Hon. Ment. B

    “Blue Moon” by Anton. Lef.
    Judge’s Comment: This image emphasizes unusual and powerful architectural elements against a dramatically dark and saturated sky. There is a consistent level of unreality -- in the architecture, in the lighting, in the sky -- that defies easy categorization, and produces a memorable, if somewhat troubling, impression. This is the stuff of dreams.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Architecture Nights’ – Hon. Ment. C

    “New York on Fire” by mhilbush
    Judge’s Comment: This Manhattan skyline from across the Hudson is the iconic view of NYC. Its the painting you buy in Times Square, the poster teens wishing to escape to Broadway tack to their bedroom wall, the tattoo New York lovers consider getting. This image has been reduced to its iconic elements with the broad swath of dark buildings punctuated with window lights sandwiched between a hot sunset and its reflection. All elements that did not fit this concept have been avoided or removed, leaving the essence of the city.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘B&W: Curves’ — judge: Kevin O’Connor

May 8 – 15, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘B&W-Curves’ – 1st Place

    “drip drip drop drop” by Samina Farooq
    Judge’s Comment: We don’t think of curves and men usually; in fact, I was expecting to see multiple images of women’s curves entered, so this image was a complete surprise. Curves in this image join with its juxtaposition of light and dark to produce a masterpiece of technical and aesthetic elegance, winning this image first place and setting a high bar for the other contestants.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘B&W-Curves’ – 2nd Place

    “Ready to Fly” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: The curves here are both subtle and stylized; an excellent example of expressing the theme in an unanticipated and elegant way. This is a very difficult shot to do well, with all this metal and specular highlighting to manage, and you did it very nicely. Kudos to you.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘B&W-Curves’ – 3rd Place

    “Up and Up” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: We’ve all seen this shot before, but it’s done very nicely here. As a note to the artist, I’d like to see this image worked on a bit more. IF you were to modify the original file by burning down the edges on all four sides -- or, if available by using: Adobe Bridge/Effects/Post Crop Vignetting value of −20 -- the edges would darken in a subtle fashion that directs the viewer’s eye to the curve at the center, and enhance this image’s effectiveness.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘B&W-Curves’ – Hon. Mention A

    “Ottawa Museum of Civilization” by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: This image wins an Honorable Mention for the effectiveness of its composition. If this image had been managed more effectively, with the bright areas pulled down enough to show more detail, the dark areas pulled out to show more detail, and the sky darkened further down, it would have placed even higher.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘B&W-Curves’ – Hon. Mention B

    “Curves” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This image shows good mastery of dynamic range, holding detail in light and shadow. Note to contestant: this and another of your images would benefit from cropping that is not quite so centered. You might also want to investigate ‘focus stacking’ as a means of fully expressing the best of what your good eye is seeing.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘B&W-Curves’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Twisted Balcony” by mhilbush
    Judge’s Comment: This image couples curves with a repeating geometric pattern that’s quite effective. My eye kept hoping to discover a point of interest, such as a person, at one of the nodes of the Rule of Thirds. Had such a point of interest been present, this image would have placed even higher.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Elements: Water’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

May 1 – 8, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘The Elements – Water’ – 1st Place

    “Holy Water” by Uttam Kamati
    Judge's Comment: This is chaos; this is delight; this is life; this is worship. The infectious delight and mass of humanity at the water's edge is a deep and telling story. I'm a little surprised at my selection of this as #1, but it just kept coming back to me. This image truly ties water and life together. It is joyful photo.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘The Elements – Water’ – 2nd Place

    “Water” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: What a contrast in style from #1! But the simplicity of form and the elegant fading to paper-white at the top take the viewer on any journey he or she desires. I like the simple elegance of this photo, and despite its serious intent, it comes with a bit of whimsy as well.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘The Elements – Water’ – 3rd Place

    “Ripples” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: Here's one that could live on my wall, too. The two broad swathes of color have an intricate interplay, and the painterly vertical lines of the trees stitch it together. Print this large and hang it!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘The Elements – Water’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Rough Water” by Stefano M
    Judge’s Comment: This is another image that holds on to me and won't let me easily go. I'm going to chalk that up to its ambiguity: it's right between moonlight/daylight; the water on the sand is rushing back to the sea, and the waves are rushing toward land; that glow on the horizon... or is it just wave-mist? The strong diagonals in the sky. And that weather-beaten stump framed by the only serene flow in the image. Lots of ambiguity to chew on.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘The Elements – Water’ – Honorable Mention B

    “Harbor Reflections” by Jim
    Judge’s Comment: There's nothing deeply philosophical about this image, but the colors are simply striking. It reminds us that water is the source of unending mystery and beauty.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘The Elements – Water’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Soaring in Niagara” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: Here the power and majesty of water is on full display. The seagulls (wingspan: 4 feet) provide the size perspective, and the photographer has done a good job of capturing the shape of the rock pile as it spreads out from the center of the image. One can almost hear the roar.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Trio’ — judges: Richard & Abby Marks

April 24 – May 1, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Trio’ – 1st Place

    “Laughs in Uganda, Africa” by saritsal
    Judges’ Comment: We love that this image is full of joy. It looks like the children have sprouted out of the red earth beneath them. Our urbane knowledge of their potential material poverty is contradicted by the richness of their spirits. The earth and their playful harmony exhibits life force, and the viewer is privy to a moment of freedom.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Trio’ – 2nd Place

    “The Conversation” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judges’ Comment: We couldn't stop coming back to this photo, and we kept making up different stories for these three women. Did they have a fight? Are they related? Did two of them gang up on the third? Will they make up? Was this a painful goodbye? Who are these women to each other? Is life always like high school where someone always gets left out? We love the details of the women's hair and clothes and the contradiction of the modern and antique with the stone wall as the backdrop of the image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Trio’ – 3rd Place

    “The Look” by sujan-photography
    Judges’ Comment: We didn't want to like this photo because it's so sad, and we weren't sure if we liked the combination of color and black-and-white, but these children are extremely compelling. They are together, but they live in their own worlds, as individuals. Their eyes haunt us in their focus on the camera or away from it.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Trio’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Trio 3” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judges’ Comment: While we are incredibly glad to not be riding our bikes through the snow, we love the image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Trio’ – Honorable Mention B

    “Three Baobabs” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judges’ Comment: This photo can tell many stories: It's two Davids and a Goliath. Or, the silhouetted trees with their thick trunks and lack of leaves are a single mother with her two children just trying to get by. Or, the arid landscape with three leafless trees represents the life and death struggle that exists everywhere. Or, these three trees are the landmarks that mean one is close to home after a long day of work. And, simply, as the sun sets, it is beautiful.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Trio’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Spring Trio” by nance kay
    Judges’ Comment: These flower buds are very pretty and stand out from their black background in this technically proficient image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Small Is Beautiful’ — judge: Mike Pasini

April 17 – 24, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Small Is Beautiful’ – 1st Place

    “Thimbles” by Layton
    Judge’s Comment: I loved this image the moment I saw it. And I loved everything about it, too. The row of thimbles recedes from us, but even the last remains in focus (requiring a 30 second exposure at f/36). And the reflection only doubles my pleasure. But what draws me into the image are the thimbles themselves, each with a story to tell, a virtue to proclaim, a beauty to unfold.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Small Is Beautiful’ – 2nd Place

    “Bumblebee” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: You might think that a macro shot of something small would be revealing enough. But this unfamiliar look at a common insect draws you even further in to inspect the details: that "fur," the pollen stuck to it, and -- wait -- the lens of its eye (my favorite detail). What's to fear?
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Small Is Beautiful’ – 3rd Place

    “FLOWER-flower” by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: The composition delightfully leans the flower toward the little surprise you might not notice at first glance. The background nicely echoes the main subject's color without competing with detail of its own. Highlights on the main flower's petals are nicely held, setting off the droplet in its own little world.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Small Is Beautiful’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Daddy Loves Owen” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: I particularly applaud this heart-shaped embrace of little feet not yet pitter-pattering because it doesn't exclude the infant's sleeping face. The peeling skin, the tiny toenails have a luminance that's been nicely preserved in this non-flash composition.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Small Is Beautiful’ – Honorable Mention B

    “The Fly” by Jil Norberto
    Judge’s Comment: The almost abstract quality of this black-and-white shrouds the subject with an air of mystery. Looking more closely, you see it's a fly, and even more closely, a dead fly, it's wing angled in a last salute. The reflection is nicely blurred so the only sharp thing in this squared image is the wing that will never fly again.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Small Is Beautiful’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Barbie Vs’ Me…” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: I kept coming back to this one, unable to resist its humor. The real shoes cascade like a waterfall against the fabric background, the toes pointed outward in an asymmetrical arrangement I found just right. And when I looked a little more closely, the doll shoes mimicking the pose put a smile on my face.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Elements: Earth’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

April 10 – 17, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘The Elements – Earth’ – 1st Place

    “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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘The Elements – Earth’ – 2nd Place

    “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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘The Elements – Earth’ – 3rd Place

    “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... :-)
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘The Elements – Earth’ – Honorable Mention A

    “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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘The Elements – Earth’ – Honorable Mention B

    “Pollution” 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.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘The Elements – Earth’ – Honorable Mention C

    “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.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Foodtography’ — judge: Christina Børding

April 3 – 10, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Foodtography’ – 1st Place

    “Sushi” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: The photo has a very bold composition, is expertly lit and has some really nice reflections. The photographer has placed the focus perfectly on the hero of the dish and made sure that the lighting emphasizes that focus.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Foodtography’ – 2nd Place

    “Red Velvet” by HerThirdEye
    Judge’s Comment: Although a bit messy and slightly tilting, this photo does exactly what food photography is supposed to do: it gives you very sensory thoughts about how moist the cake is and just how good it would taste in your mouth!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Foodtography’ – 3rd Place

    “BBQ Beef Stick” by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: This is a bit psychedelic for food photography, but I think it works brilliantly. There are some really nice reflections in the meat, the food looks delicious and colorful, and in spite of all the different colors the photographer has managed to control the white balance perfectly.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Foodtography’ – Hon. Mention A

    “Snowing Flour” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judge’s Comment: The photographer has managed to make a less-interesting product look interesting by using light and motion. I think there is a brilliant atmosphere in the photo, and there is something intriguing about the flour frozen in time.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Foodtography’ – Hon. Mention B

    “Summer Fruit” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: This is a professional-looking photo with very bright colors in the fruit. The photographer shows good control over lighting and reflections, and the white background is perfectly overexposed.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Foodtography’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Breakfast” by saritsal
    Judge’s Comment: Beautifully lit photo with some very nice reflections and brilliant colors. This is a very professional photo. To me it seems a bit tightly cropped, but apart from that it could easily be used commercially.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Color Blind’ — judge: Kevin O’Connor

March 27 – April 3, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Color Blind’ – 1st Place

    “Smile” by venjinx
    Judge’s Comment: This superb image shows just how good street photography can be. The light in the eyes, the tonality, the non-distracting background, the expression — all combine to make one great image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Color Blind’ – 2nd Place

    “Color Blind? No” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: Beautifully shot. The nose, eyes and ears are razor sharp; luminosity is at its best. Could use a touch more detail in the lower chest, but easily done with one mouse click. Overall, a great image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Color Blind’ – 3rd Place

    “Peaceful” by steve67
    Judge’s Comment: The dreamy, Zen-like quality of this image, with the darker objects floating in the sea, makes me wish for a large print of this on the wall, so I could lose myself in the image. Ah, serenity!
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Color Blind’ – Hon. Mention A

    “kickin cancer in the ass” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: This image shows marvelous tonality and control of light and shadow. The composition is one of the most lyrical submitted. Very nice job.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Color Blind’ – Hon. Mention B

    “The Bird” by Jil Norberto
    Judge’s Comment: I have rarely enjoyed a composition as much as I enjoyed this image’s composition. It makes me smile, knowing that bird photography can be quite challenging. This photographer rose beautifully to the challenge.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Color Blind’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Step” by Anna
    Judge’s Comment: This shot shows mystery, elegant light, repeating geometric forms reinforcing the composition, and rich shadows. Where is she going? What is she carrying? We don’t know, and are left to wonder, while enjoying this excellent image.
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Spring Fever’ — judge: Andrew Darlow

March 20 – 27, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Spring Fever’ – 1st Place

    “Red Anemone” by saritsal
    Judge’s Comment: “This photo of a red anemone took the top spot in my eyes for a few reasons. First, it is masterfully framed (or cropped), with a ‘hero shot’ approach that captured my attention right away. Next, the bright red translucent color of the flower is very nicely paired with the olive/sage green of the leaves and background. And it just screams ‘Spring!’"
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Spring Fever’ – 2nd Place

    “New Beginnings” by Armineh29
    Judge’s Comment: “The beauty and exquisite lines of this nest make it look almost like a sculpture. Birds' nests are a common symbol of Spring, and the green foliage is a perfect complement to the main subject. The dark border, vignette and square crop (Instagram?) also help to direct focus toward the nest. And I’m left wondering: ‘What was inside?’”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Spring Fever’ – 3rd Place

    “Little Bluebird” by Lesley Ackman
    Judge’s Comment: “From a bird's nest to a lovely bluebird on a tree. This photograph reminds me of an Asian silk painting. I love the colors of the background, and the star of the show is truly stunning. The framing, with a lot of space at the top and quite a few leaves, gives it a feeling of space and being outside, which is another great part about Spring.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Spring Fever’ – Hon. Mention A

    Hyacinthus Orientalis & Honey Bee by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: “I chose this photo of a honey bee partly due to its technical merits: the bee is sharp, and the framing, beautiful colors and depth of field work together brilliantly. But even more important to me was the bee's head area, which is so well lit and defined that she looks almost as if she were drawn for a picture book. And there is no denying that, much like flowers, bees and Spring go together!”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Spring Fever’ – Hon. Mention B

    “Ducklings” by marlene frankel
    Judge’s Comment: “There is something very moving and delicate about this photograph, and it's that emotion that earned it an honorable mention. The ducklings look so determined to get somewhere, and they also look quite content in their surroundings. The bits of green in the foreground and background help them stand out in a landscape that matches their fur. The selective focus adds further interest to the image, and though I would have preferred to see all three ducklings tack sharp, the two that are sharp have so much detail that you can almost reach out and pet them (though their parents probably would not like that much!).”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Spring Fever’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Unfolding” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judge’s Comment: “Flowers are synonymous with Spring, and this photograph of a daffodil is truly stunning. I love the way the light falls on the flower, and I'm drawn to the subtle change of color between the outer petals and light pink corona. The framing is superb, with just enough green to bridge the gap between the background and the head of the flower. The black background adds mystery to the image, and leaves me wondering whether the photographer brought a black piece of paper or board outside, or whether this was done inside.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Bending Reality’ — judge: JD Jarvis

March 13 – 20, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Bending Reality’ – 1st Place

    “Seeding No. 1” by DgKaufman
    Judge’s Comment: “While the undulating black shape running horizontally across this piece encourages me to think of it as a landscape, the sensuality of the other forms suggest something quite different. It may have begun ‘with an apple,’ but the careful control of a distortion filter and a subtle application of an organic texture make ‘Seeding’ something much more. It is not a landscape; it is not strictly an abstraction; and it certainly isn’t only a photograph. Digital techniques and imagination have synthesized this image into something else and makes it a prime example of what I was looking for in this contest.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Bending Reality’ – 2nd Place

    “Letting Off Steam” by Armineh29
    Judge’s Comment: “Purely fun with a new toy, but there are some subtleties that make this composited-mirrored image my choice for second place. The distressed edge along with a sepia-toned, tintype effect is designed to make us think of traditional early photography, but the image itself is clearly not your great grandfather’s photo. There is the suggestion of depth, which may have been heightened by placing the central, sharply focused element a bit higher in the frame. And, the ‘shadow’ could express a greater sense of (sur)realism by incorporating the cigarettes into its shape. But, I like the use of new tools and the feel of spontaneous good humor that accompanies this piece.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Bending Reality’ – 3rd Place

    “Fly Away” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: “I chose this entry for third place because it pokes fun at the notion, so often promoted by software marketing, that you can make your photos ‘look just like oil paintings,’ which is exemplified here by the filter that has been applied to the background. But, here the butterfly is trying to escape that fate and keep it real. I appreciate that the artist sought to mix ‘photo art’ with ‘reality.’ So where is the butterfly’s shadow?”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Bending Reality’ – Hon. Mention A

    "Nightmare..." by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: "Nothing bends reality like a good nightmare, and this composite image does a good job of conveying that. The central compositional element is a distorted window, which is nicely placed. The bare trees could be mistaken for lightening bolts, and the eyes are, of course, almost a required element in any picture of a nightmare. I think this piece could have used one other element that is in sharp focus with clear, natural colors to complement and balance with the window. The spider, perhaps?"
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Bending Reality’ – Hon. Mention B

    "Beware of the Pear" by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: "Several people entered good examples of collage or montage. I prefer the term ‘composite’ to acknowledge this genre of contemporary digital art. This piece, designed to bring two disparate images together into a seamless, believable composite, is what I think of as an example of the older term ‘montage.’ Isolated in a white field, this object is very striking (pun intended), but I could also imagine a whole tree full of these. Can’t help thinking that using an apple instead of a pear would have given this image ‘biblical’ implications."
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Bending Reality’ – Hon. Mention C

    “MoMA Level Rhapsody” by zinetv
    Judge’s Comment: “W.W.E.D. (What Would Escher Do) if he had had digital tools? This image combines several photos into a new, somewhat-cohesive whole. But since each piece maintains a bit of visual independence, this is a good example of a digital ‘collage.’ I do have an issue with the piece that runs the length of the composition at bottom. I feel it cuts off the nice diagonal lines and forms that carry us from the top toward the bottom. Since everything else is at an oblique angle, this straight edge seems to put a halt to an otherwise activated composition. I appreciate the connection to a bit of art history and the excellent way this image allows us to rethink that work in the context of new digital tools and techniques.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Me, Myself & I’ — judge: Mike Pasini

March 6 – 13, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Me, Myself & I’ – 1st Place

    “A Farmer’s Hand” by vipfineart
    Judge’s Comment: “It's the simple unbuttoning of a shirt after a day spent working in the fields. You see it from above but rotated, subtly shifting the point of view so it isn't introspective. In painting this portrait the photographer also tells the story of a life.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Me, Myself & I’ – 2nd Place

    “Me Happy :)” by aggie
    Judge’s Comment: “The only full-body shot and the only entry shot within a landscape expresses a jubilance that looks strong enough to knock over stone obelisks. The landscape colors are nicely modulated with just a hint of vignetting to focus attention on the subject.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Me, Myself & I’ – 3rd Place

    “Who Am I Today!” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: “And these aren't all her shoes, the photographer tells us. But two things make us think about this portrait a little bit more. First, the rather shy unshod feet (they aren't tapping their toes) haven't made up their minds. Second, the muted colors of those shoes, which (ahem) are not paired with their mates. In the end, the high-key legs pierce the dark circle of muted shoes, asserting the person is the subject, the shoes just props.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Me, Myself & I’ – Hon. Mention A

    “Me, Myself and I Power Three” by Julien Labrosse
    Judge’s Comment: “The description reveals this shot is a compilation of 27 images taken in three minutes. Like Alberto Giacometti's drawings, in which the line is redrawn over and over to indicate something more than a static figure, here the subject is captured over and over, each new image superimposed on the others. Just before it turns into a Rorschach test though, the ghostly profiles and the haunting eyes reveal what you can't see about the subject.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Me, Myself & I’ – Hon. Mention B

    “Kafka and Me” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: “A projector casts the photographer's shadow onto a screen at the Kafka Museum in Prague. So no, those are not the photographer's eyes. But it isn't a homage to Kafka either. He appears like the moon, as an influence. The photographer's silhouetted hand on the camera looking back at those eyes are calibrating just how much influence. A haunting, dramatic, revealing portrait.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Me, Myself & I’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Red Corner” by Scott Galle
    Judge’s Comment: “At first glance it appears to be a conventional portrait but on closer examination, the face is screened with the same pattern of the red wall. The light from below makes it a spooky shot, but the screen pattern tempers it with a bit of humor, too. That's tough to pull off.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘A Still Life’ — judge: Bruce Frazier

February 27 – March 6, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘A Still Life’ – 1st Place

    “Nicki’s Silver” by marlene
    Judge’s Comment: “The unique composition caught my attention at first glance and remained the front runner. The geometric shapes, curves and straight lines, and the radial design of the element on the left, are well balanced. If not for the fork coming in from the right, the objects are unrecognizable, but it doesn’t matter; I don’t need to know what they are to appreciate the image.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘A Still Life’ – 2nd Place

    “Wooden Bowl” by Lesley Ackman
    Judge’s Comment: “For this image, it is once again the composition that won me over. It is much more than a picture of a wooden bowl. It is overlapping ovals contained by diagonal lines. It is the texture and the color of the wood and the fabric and the window sill that make this a great image.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘A Still Life’ – 3rd Place

    “Bokeh...” by aggie
    Judge’s Comment: “The colorful bokeh background, the blue reflection of the perfume bottle, off-center and framed in white, may appear simple, but this image is well-planned and difficult to achieve. It’s a well-executed camera capture.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘A Still Life’ – Hon. Mention A

    “Espresso” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: “Technically well-done, this looks like a commercial product shot. The various shapes work well together, and shooting from the side enables the coffee drops to be captured against the black background. One suggestion: I might have liked a more interesting background such as a graduated light-to-dark or a glow behind the product.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘A Still Life’ – Hon. Mention B

    “Shadow of What Once Was” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: “A unique approach to a rose in a bud vase. This image is, of course, as much about the shadow as it is about the the rose. It stands out against the stark white surrounding the image. I think a little more definition in the base of the glass and tighter cropping would help.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘A Still Life’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Sunshine” by Ran Dionysus
    Judge’s Comment: “Beautiful lighting and good exposure of the sky while still holding shadow detail. A nice composition of cute Milo balanced with the cloud and diagonal lines of the window frame. You can’t deny the cute factor, but still a very strong image.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Circles’ — judge: Tracy Valleau

February 20 – 27, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Circles’ – 1st Place

    “Knob that Leads to New World” by Crouddell
    Judge’s Comment: “Here the circles are on both the levels I was seeking: the doorknob is the obvious circle. The hallway leads to the door. One twists the knob, enters and exits... back down the hall. That implied cycle continues.. but for how long? Weeks? Years? How many different people turned that doorknob? Trod that circular path up and down the hall, in and out of the door? This image succeeds on both the levels in the assignment, and since it raises as many questions as it answers, could live on my wall.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Circles’ – 2nd Place

    “Circles and the Web” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: “The new, pristine, man-made circles -- the tube -- was obviously in place before the spider cast its web... but there in the center lies nature’s prototypical circle: the hub of the web. The lighting is wonderful, and the image shows technical excellence, including a great use of tonal range.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Circles’ – 3rd Place

    “Shaker Simplicity” by Lesley Ackman
    Judge’s Comment: “One of the time-tested techniques of photography: make it strong by stripping out the superfluous. Here the photographer has succeeded quite well. The strong line of the hat rack, and its dark tone (and small circular pegs), complements the large circle of the light straw hat. Notice that the image would not have succeeded nearly as well without the hints of the dark hatband. And, of course, the simple image would appeal to the Shakers, too.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Circles’ – Honorable Mention A

    “And the View Is...” by Armineh29
    Judge’s Comment: “What’s not to like? Framed by trees on three sides, the mirror points toward the open corner, and sets its place in reflection. That reflection of sky and trees merges with the background, providing a moment of confusion and inclusion. This image literally draws the viewer into the circle of the mirror and offers an intriguing glimpse of what lies beyond the frame.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Circles’ – Honorable Mention B

    “Daffodil” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judge’s Comment: “Simply a lovely image. Three circles, light tones, and the reflection of the flower balances the image. The large circle around the flower extends beyond the top and bottom edge, and the image has a great relationship to its frame. While there are no deep metaphors here, the image meets the requirements of the contest; it’s easy on the eyes and shows creativity.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Circles’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Steel Wool” by aggie
    Judge’s Comment: “Lit steel wool in motion isn’t a new idea, but it’s well-done here. Placing the actor in the center of the archway caused the embers to trace the “D” shape of the underpass, gracefully echoed in the framing of the shot. Cropping is excellent with one sparkling ember tracing its way directly to the lower right corner. The lines lead the eye continually back into the image. Nicely done.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Minimalismo’ — judge: Xavi Carerras

February 13 – 20, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Minimalismo’ – 1st Place

    “Ready for Take Off” by Lesley Ackman
    Judge’s Comment: “If someone had told me that I would consider an image of a bird taking off as a winner for a Minimalism contest, I wouldn't have taken it seriously. This photo has a lot of power, energy, strength, speed, motion, and other describers that do not normally "belong" with what people consider minimalism. But sometimes a brave and determined photo deserves the prize.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Minimalismo’ – 2nd Place

    “L.A. Street at Night” by Mark Mason
    Judge’s Comment: “This image has solitude, sadness, and all in a very nice color palette. I can imagine a complex story behind it.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Minimalismo’ – 3rd Place

    “On the Wind” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: “I don't know if the creator of this image captured it as fast as the wind blows the leaves, or if was just good timing or perseverance. Regardless, it looks great, fresh and energizing.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Minimalismo – Honorable Mention A

    “Alone” by zarnoosheh
    Judge’s Comment: “It's rare that a minimalist shot can be cropped or recomposed and still work. This is one of those shots. I have to admit that I did not see the man on the slope on the first round of the selection!”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Minimalismo – Honorable Mention B

    “White Moon Rising” by Armineh29
    Judge’s Comment: “I love the color palette of this shot, plus the lines and shapes. Forgive me if I consider it a modern pictorial-inspired minimalist shot.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Minimalismo – Honorable Mention C

    “Silver Sea and Distant Showers” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: “Yes, it only has a line, a couple of showers reaching the line, and some waves adding texture toward the line. But emotionally powerful.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Shadow Knows’ — judge: Margo Taussig Pinkerton

February 6 – 13, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘The Shadow…’ – 1st Place

    “Boogeyman” by samina-farooq
    Judge’s Comment: “This is an imaginative, well-constructed and composed treatment of the subject, both eerie and whimsical at the same time. And a case where only The Shadow Knows!”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘The Shadow…’ – 2nd Place

    “My Shadow Dog” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: “This is a strong graphic image, and there is no question of what the subject is without actually showing it. The shadow tells us the story. Oh, Noble Beast, attentive, perhaps hearing its owner.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘The Shadow…’ – 3rd Place

    “Heart” by aggie
    Judge’s Comment: “This image shows some forethought in its composition. Catching the light just right was critical to the success of the photo, and turning it into a friendship or wedding band by the shadow is wonderful.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘The Shadow…’ – Hon. Mention A

    “A Couple Shadow” by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: “This strong shadow image tells a story, perhaps, of a couple gazing at the Hong Kong statue.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘The Shadow…’ – Hon. Mention B

    “The Fence” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: “This conveys a sense of mystery. Why is the flip-flop there in the shadow of the fence? Where is the other one?”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘The Rural Life’ — judge: Clayton Swatzell

January 30 – February 6, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘The Rural Life’ – 1st Place

    “Morning Groom” by Talya Arbisser
    Judge’s Comment: “This is a wonderfully composed photo that also uses a grand example of backlighting. I get a great sense that the man and the horse are 'sharing' their moment together. I have the feeling of how those in rural areas not only appreciate the land but also the animals they often depend upon. This photo also makes use of only a couple of main elements keeping the composition simple and easy to view. And I like how the colors of the sky contrast with the silhouette of the subjects, being just vivid enough to give us a feeling for the quiet of the day.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘The Rural Life’ – 2nd Place

    “Red Barn in Winter” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: “This photo has wonderful leading lines, the fence guiding the eye towards the vivid red barn and bright blue sky. The negative space to the left of the barn is balanced by the fence starting at the left edge leading my eye into the frame to the right edge of the photo. The vividly colored barn with the contrasting sky and snow then pulls me back into the frame.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘The Rural Life’ – 3rd Place

    “Working in the Field, Georgia” by saritsal
    Judge’s Comment: “I felt like this photo told a very accurate tale of what life in rural areas is really like. The rugged look of the man with sweat on his clothing leading an animal pulling a wagon of his day’s work. The young girl gives the contrasting view of the man as she is enjoying the ride upon the hay. The subjects are well-placed in the frame giving me a sense of walking from right to the left. This also shows good depth of field with the main subjects in focus with a nicely blurred background.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘The Rural Life’ – Hon. Mention A

    “Red Barn” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: “This photo shows a dramatic sky with what looks like a typically serene and quiet landscape. The vividly colored barn contrasts nicely against the green grass and shadows created by the menacing clouds. I felt that this was another photo that kept the composition simple with the bright red barn as an anchor point in the frame.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘The Rural Life’ – Hon. Mention B

    “Staredown” by Kay Beausoleil
    “Staredown” by Kay Beausoleil Judge’s Comment: “Often in rural areas we find abandoned buildings near pasture areas that are being actively used, and this photo is a wonderful illustration of just that. The composition with the (softer) animal in the foreground also gives me a feeling of depth in the photo. The animal’s attention is toward the viewer’s position, effectively placing us into the scene.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘The Rural Life’ – Hon. Mention C

    “Blue...” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: “I was first drawn to this photo because of the richly colored sky. The colors are enough to capture attention, but when the setting sun is framed by the stark, barren trees with just enough foreground to anchor the photo, I felt it was a contender. The composition provides us with a leading line to the setting sun.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Duo’ — judge: Richard Marks

January 23 – 30, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘Duo’ – 1st Place

    “The Ultimate Duo” by Mikael Sundberg
    Judge’s Comment: “The beauty of the colors as well as the sentiment of this ‘going home’ photo make it especially memorable. Every aspect of it is wonderfully thought out, and yet it captures something ethereal and timeless.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘Duo’ – 2nd Place

    “Love Comes in Many Ways...” by Charlena
    Judge’s Comment: “The whimsy and calm of this photo make it very attractive and lend it substance. The horses are beautiful, and the gesture of kindness is thoughtfully rendered within the context of a soft world that appears magical. With its coloring, this photograph feels like a classic painting.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘Duo’ – 3rd Place

    “Swan Lake” by Matt Heffernan
    Judge’s Comment: “This is the moment between moments. The water ripples encircle the swans just before their heads come up. As a viewers, we are left wanting to know what's under the water, knowing we'll never see that view. I love the texture and the abstraction of the format and structure of the photo.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘Duo’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Exercise with a Friend” by nance kay
    Judge’s Comment: “A wonderful reflection image, although I would have liked the frame tipped down just a bit. Cute captured in duo!”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘Duo’ – Honorable Mention B

    “The Seagull Brother” by leka huie
    Judge’s Comment: “I like the meeting of urbanity and nature in this shot. The light through the wings of the birds is great, and their synchronicity is a sight to behold.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘Duo’ – Honorable Mention C

    “My Girlfriend and I” by Carlos Mateo Garcia
    Judge’s Comment: “Wistful and grounded by the road edges, this is the secret kiss but caught by whom?”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

‘Show that Song – The Beatles’ — judge: Harald Johnson

January 16 – 23, 2013
Click here for the full results post with more information

  1. ‘The Beatles’ – 1st Place

    “Yesterday” by Kay Beausoleil
    Judge’s Comment: “Here you have a great interpretation of this incredibly beautiful song (‘Yesterday’), which is supposedly the most 'covered' song in the history of popular music. What better way to illustrate the past and 'what could have been' than with a single wilted flower. And with a wonderful display of tonal range and lighting. Good job.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 25
  2. ‘The Beatles’ – 2nd Place

    “A Day in the Life” by Sandra A.-B.
    Judge’s Comment: “This great motion-blurred image captures not only the song's title (‘A Day in the Life’) but also the essence of its first lyric line (‘I read the news today, oh boy’) and ultimately its existential message of 'What is it all for?'. Well done.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 20
  3. ‘The Beatles’ – 3rd Place

    “Do You Want to Know a Secret” by epshita
    Judge’s Comment: “This is such a sweet and spontaneous photo that nicely illustrates not only the song's title (‘Do You Want to Know a Secret’) but also mirrors one of its classic lyric lines: ‘Let me whisper in your ear.’ The soft dreaminess of the image only reinforces the song's age and meaning.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 15
  4. ‘The Beatles’ – Honorable Mention A

    “Come Together” by leka huie
    Judge's Comment: "This gorgeous jellyfish shot literally illustrates this song's title ('Come Together'). It didn't rank higher only because the song is actually about keeping the four band members together, but if it had been four jellyfish here, who knows?"
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  5. ‘The Beatles’ – Honorable Mention B

    “Strawberry Fields Forever” by Armineh29
    Judge’s Comment: “A highly stylized image to illustrate this Sgt. Pepper song: ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’ The photographer quotes one of its memorable lines: ‘Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.’ And here you have a closed eye in sharp focus, and even a strawberry tint in the shadows. And FYI: Strawberry Fields is a place John used to visit as a boy.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10
  6. ‘The Beatles’ – Honorable Mention C

    “Help, I Need Somebody” by saritsal
    Judge’s Comment: “These song lyrics (‘Help’) were supposedly written as a plea (by John, I believe) for help from all the craziness of Beatlemania in which the group found itself trapped. And the photographer's photo artfully communicates this longing for Help.”
    PHOOZL POINTS: 10

 

ABOUT YOUR IMAGE RIGHTS

No rights grabbing here! You retain the rights (including copyright) to your photographs. Period. However, by submitting or uploading images here, including entering contests or competitions, you grant PhoozL a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide license to reproduce and display your submissions, and any related content submitted by you, but ONLY in connection with the contests or this site, including publication highlighting contest entries or winners.

CONNECTIONS

Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+



Orthographers take note! Correct spelling is PhoozL or Phoozl, NOT Phoozle, Phooz1, or Phoozi. You have been warned!

© 2014 PhoozL, LLC. All rights reserved. PhoozL® and Photo IQ® are registered trademarks of Harald Johnson Communications.


Bad Behavior has blocked 880 access attempts in the last 7 days.