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Winners of the February Black & White contest

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  March 16, 2009 01:33 PM

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Dive Dive Dive
Olympus E-420, 1/2000 sec., f/3.5, ISO 100, focal length 14mm

"This is a photographer who's not afraid to get wet!" judge Stan Grossfeld of the Globe Photo Staff said of the First Place finisher in our February "Black & White" contest. "This photo has great energy and feeling, and uses light very well. It's a beautiful composition, very clean, slightly off-center, with good highlights and shadows and a great full water splash. I can tell the photographer used a wide-angle lens, crouched down, leaned forward, and took one for the team. A high shutter speed was used to freeze every droplet. The fact that you can't see most of the diver is interesting ... sometimes what you don't see makes a photo more alluring. I'm sitting here on a gloomy winter day in Boston, and this photo transports me to where I really want to be!"


Trump Farm Horses

"This photographer recognized that when you have a high-contrast composition, you don't need midtones," Stan said during his judging session. "This photo makes a statement with just light and shadow. I know I said before that good black and white photos need black blacks, strong highlights, and midtones throughout, but all rules are made to be broken. A lot of photographers would have moved in and just shot the quartet of horses. This photographer recognized the conflict between man and nature, the clash of two cultures. Without the power lines, it could be a scene from the 11th century. The power lines add an almost spider web effect, and in some ways, the horses seem penned in by man. I would have tried to even out the sky and eliminate the lighter spot in the upper left corner, because light areas draw your eye. But that's a minor point; this is a great photo that makes a statement."


Stairwell at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art
Nikon D80, 1/60 sec., f/4.0, ISO 1000, focal length 12mm

"I just love the composition here -- it's very, very strong," Stan said about the Third Place winner. "And it's a beautiful print, with black blacks, detail in the highlights, and great tones. Not one part of the frame is unused -- there is so much to look at here. This photographer made good decisions about framing. If the photographer had pulled back, the photo may have included too much of the railings and not been so dramatic; closer, and you would have lost the scope, the fact that this is a four-story building. I would have waited even a couple of hours for someone to come up the stairs and catch them up against the white wall on the left one floor down to give the photo some scale, but maybe that wasn't possible. It doesn't matter; this photo still is very eye-catching. Congratulations!"

To see all of the winning photos, visit this full-page gallery.

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