Thank you everyone for your participation and truly excellent entries.
As mentioned and you can imagine this is very difficult for me. The level of imagery in this post is quite overwhelming.
I've been going back and forth and whether or not to comment on every image. I don't feel I have the knowledge or expertise to do it properly
but it also seems unjust to comment on but a few since the overall level of every entry is so high. I apologize for this.
I do have the confidence in saying that every single photograph has quite a high level of execution and relevance.
But first, what is Chiaroscuro to me?
It was one of my favorite grade school teachers, Mr. Violante, taking me aside and showing me an old book. I had asked him how to give my pencil
sketches more depth. He smiled and said Chiaroscuro. He had quite an accent and my new word sounded incredible in his voice. It's been with me ever since.
Ok, here we go.
Right from the moment I saw Bruce's(Brupri) entry I knew this wasn't going to be easy.
I was immediately overtaken by the subject and their posture. It actually made smoking seem elegant again. Such style. Great processing.
Entry after entry after that. all excellent.
The I came to Karen's(Briar's) portrait. The beautiful subject and her piercing, yet melancholy? gaze. Haunting, enthralling, and every time I see it I feel intrigued, emotional.
Wonderfully captured and processed, this is my choice for the winner.
And congratulations Bruce on runner up.
Thanks again for your participation and especially for your patience in regards to my blunder.
My sincerest apologies.
I hope, besides that, everyone had a wonderful time.
I'm very proud to have participated and hosted this challenge.
Congrats to Karen (Briar)! And to everyone else. And most of all thanks to you, John, for truly coming up with a subject that has obviously both challenged people - and forced them/us/me to dig deep into those places where we store our creativity....and where it intersects with our photography.