I do not regret my topic choice one bit. This is great. Keep 'em coming, and remember, I'll be gone thursday this week to wednesday of next week, so don't take my silence badly. I'll be back to wade through these excellent submissions and try to justify why one of them "won" somehow. Great, great stuff so far!
Ok folks, I'm back, and I slogged through the arduous task of picking a winner. EXCELLENT submissions, and thanks to all. My thoughts......
ReD – I was hoping for as many alternate takes on the “theme” as possible, and this delighted me. I remember when my wife’s belly was this high, before it “dropped” in that last month or so. Seemed like it was suddenly a foot lower. Love hoe you centered the baby bump itself, and the tones are light and reverent.
Ray – We talk about Light, Composition, and Moment, and you really hit all three here, especially Moment. His attention is on her, and hers is on us, which sets up a nice “bank shot” for our eyes to go through the scene with. There’s so much life to it, and her eyes really draw you in.
Drd1135 – Another case of someone looking right at us, though of course this time it’s a turtle who needs a caffeine boost. I love the squared composition, and the red from the heat lamp. If only his little flipper hand were only reached out, touching the glass, as though he were trying for the mug…
Marlof – This one hits me hard, for some reason. It’s sparse, it’s off-center, with all the “activity” occupying the borders. But it’s got great balance, and almost slips into a geometric composition. It holds back as much as it shows, and there’s something really engaging about that. Almost reminds me of some of those oil paintings of empty 50’s gas stations…
Miguel – Spot-on with the theme, and full of humor.
Oldsmithy – Another clean, beautiful composition, this time suggesting that coffee time is over. Rather than anticipation, it conveys satisfaction. Rather than the “come hither” boudoir picture, it is the exhausted couple having a last cigarette before nodding off. An unusual take, and well done.
Amin – Wonderful b&w tones, perfect depth of field for this kind of scene, and both of them are so happy. Can’t look at this without smiling.
Livinius – This one looks so utterly “professional” in the best sense of the word, with the “lifted blacks” post treatment, the muted but vibrant colors, and that A+ bokeh. A gorgeous image, period.
Donlaw – That near-monotone red colorway is incredible. The colossal red sea of bodies, broken up only by the two white columns of spotlight on the stage, presumably on Bono and Edge, it looks so primeval.
Serhan – That face… that smushy face. My old cat used to beg for the bathroom sink to turned on to a dribble, and he’d duck his head under the flow and drink as it ran over his head. You did well to get down to his level here, I feel like a mouse who has seconds to live.
Tillman – I’m with you on that one – the wife and beer, and I’m set. And the finger she’s pointing at it, “this. Beer.” …is perfect.
Dougpayne – It looks real for a millisecond, and then you detect something “off,” and realize they’re mannequins, and once the momentary disorientation fades you begin to take it in properly. Perfect framing of the line, and the chromed lines of the bus are great.
Mister Bill Palmer – Here we see something squirting from off camera into a waiting glass, presumably something delicious from a wooden barrel. The delivery method and the barrel suggest fun, possibly of the alcoholic variety, is in store. And the b&w tones keep us focused on form and geometry, and not distracted by background elements. Most importantly, there’s just enough lack of specifics that you get to wonder a little, and that wondering really contributes. It takes what might be a snapshot and makes it something more. I need to remember that.
Christilou – Once again we see a great example of both Light, Composition, and Moment, particularly the latter. Such a gorgeous image.
John Flores – This one almost had me. The acting (if acting it was…) is convincing, and I can’t stop laughing. I wanted humor, and I got it.
Which brings us to my winner, Gryphon1911. And I’m struggling to explain why I like this image so much, so I may babble, but here goes:
The framing is wonderful, going from the pumps (just enough showing to identify them) to the right tail light. The young guy filling up looks like a character, but he’s still, quiet, and focused on a task. His jeep has a bizarre roof rack that suggests outdoor sports, probably fishing, and between that and his upper sleeve tattoo, and the wealth of bumper stickers, I begin to form an idea of who this guy is just from one picture. He’s traveled a lot – he likes the Broncos, lives in NC, likes Montana a lot, fishes in rivers, and fancies himself a libertarian. I know guys like this. They’re tricky, they like alone time, they’re kind at heart, but they don’t say a lot. This image turned into an entire scene and story for me. This one took me somewhere, and it fits the theme perfectly. Even the fact that it’s shot through a windshield somehow takes me farther into it. I’m there.