As expected, Alan Detrick, our judge for this month, had his hands full with a huge roster of entries for this first Picture This contest of the year. He did one heck of a job and we want to offer him a big thank you. Remember to check out his website and book, Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: The Essential Guide To Digital Techniques.
“First of all, I want to thank GGW for asking me to judge the January Picture This contest. And, second, thanks for all the entries. It was fun to spend the winter days viewing your choices.
Here is how the judging went. First I rated each entry from 1 to 5. Then I selected the top images and imported them into Adobe Lightroom. At this point there were fourteen contenders. I put all fourteen into a collection allowing me to view all of them next to one another. Then, just as publishers do in calendar image selection, I kept looking at the group to narrow it down to the strongest ones. Seven images were left at the end. I looked at every entry in the contest one more time to make sure I had the best.”
Here are the final seven, starting with several Silver Medals:
“Ice on crab apples in Frigid Friday is a simple, to the point image. MMD of Mr. McGregor’s Daughter has clearly shown us what caught her eye.”
“Marjorie of Molly’s Country Memories showed a wonderful winter scene in KapliPRO Picture Contest. If the sun had been placed off center, it would have been even stronger.”
“The image by Amy of Go Away, I’m Gardening in her post Winter’s Beauty Photo has a nice feel to it. The inclusion of some out of focus background gives the image depth as well as keeping it from being static.”
“Christopher of Outside Clyde gets credit for seeing the picture he posted in The Sun Came Out. In addition, placement of the shadow in front and including only what is necessary in the rest of the image took some thought to keep this picture from becoming a snapshot.”
“Most of us would have missed this fun shot by Darla of More Family and Flowers, in her post Picture This Photo Contest. Moving the main grass blade off center in the frame or maybe shooting it as a vertical might have been even stronger.”
“Captured by Laura at Through Laura’s Lens, the subject of the image in her post Winter Beauty is as simple and straight forward an image as possible. The leaf is placed nicely in the frame but it is the side lighting with a shadow in the back that really makes it.”
And the Gold Medal winner for this month:
“This winter scene of a storm just passing is very striking. Taken by Diana of Diana Lee Photography, it has strong dramatic lighting and good composition. If I looked out my window and saw this, I would race for my camera and coat. Each time I looked at this image, I liked it more. Well done.”
General Judge’s Comments
“I noticed some images were a bit dark or underexposed, especially when snow was included. Be careful when snow or sand is in an image that the snow/sand isn’t gray. Use the exposure compensation feature on your camera or adjust in the computer to give you better whites.
Light colored items in the foreground that are out of focus can be distracting if they occupy too much of the image.
Busy backgrounds or bright out of focus areas in an image can hurt an otherwise beautiful picture.
Last, the computer gives us tools to modify or optimize our images but too much manipulation can end up looking strange or unnatural to the viewer. Use the tools without making it obvious to the viewer.”
If you want to check out the past months’ photos, here they are:
Native Plants – April 2009
Containers – May 2009
Roses – June 2009
Flowering Trees – July 2009
Down On Your Knees – August 2009
Ornamental Grasses – September 2009
Abundant Harvest – October 2009
End Of The Line – November 2009
Winter’s Beauty – January 2010