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April's Final 50

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  May 18, 2009 12:56 PM

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Our April judge, Isa Leshko, has narrowed her choices of your best "April showers" photos to the Final 50. Her thoughts on your entries:

"Most people don't like getting caught in the rain and will walk hurriedly through a storm to avoid getting wet. Fortunately, photographers are hardy and quirky lot who relish spending time in the rain simply because it is a chance to explore what others often overlook.

"When looking through the April submissions, I was drawn to images that conveyed emotion or had a quiet sense of intimacy. I also appreciated images that had unresolved narratives or dramatic tension. One of my favorite quotes is by the late photographer Diane Arbus: 'A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.'

"I valued creativity and originality higher than technical mastery. There are a few images in my top 50 that I would have preferred to see cropped or color corrected or sharper in focus. But I couldn't resist selecting these images because their underlying ideas were compelling and unique.

"That said, I still evaluated images based upon their execution, especially with regards to lighting, composition, and darkroom (digital or wet) technique. I don't advocate strictly following a set list of rules for creating images. (I make images with plastic toy cameras, after all.) But I do have tremendous respect for craftsmanship and am a perfectionist in the production of my own work. It's important to know the rules before you can thumb your nose at them. Images that embraced this philosophy were decidedly my favorites.

"When making my selections, I tried to assemble a diverse mix of images. There were many images of glistening wet flora. I regretfully excluded a few solid images of this subject in the interests of showing other types of photography.

"I encourage you all to keep shooting and to continue submitting your work for critique. Equally important is to look at the work of other photographers for inspiration. One of my favorite pastimes is to visit a bookstore and browse through a stack of fine art photography books and journals over coffee. We are fortunate to have several Boston-based galleries and local museums that produce excellent photography shows. Take time to visit these venues and soak in the work."

Here's the Final 50 gallery. We'll post the Voting Machine this afternoon.

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