OK, thanks to all who entered. I have hosted a couple of these in the past and this is one of the hardest to judge!
It just reinforces why I stay around this list, there are some remarkable photographers here. I am proud to be amongst you.
So my schedule is outrageously busy and I don't have the time to note what I like about each image.
I will just say that from start to finish all 11 submissions are great examples of 'contrast'.
I have looked at all of these many times but a couple really stuck in my head. @MiguelATF face on the poster is a remarkably complex and compelling image - my runner up @Briar is the winner with what I think is an outstanding image that speaks to me of the western USA. It is like a surreal vacation image that haunts yet documents using contrast on a technical and metaphoric level! Great image.
Congratulations Karen you win the honor of hosting the next challenge!
Congrats to @Briar on a stunning and to me brilliant image - and one which truly embodies, in more ways than one, the original complexity of the challenge of creating an image with 'contrast' - it's truly a fine fine photograph. Props to Don for thoughtful judging and for his choice....of a worthy winner.