RadioBDC Logo
Under the Shadows | Rae Morris Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Winners of the December 'Toys' contest

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  January 12, 2010 06:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Brian McCarty
, a professional toy photographer, has made his choices for the Top 10 photos in our December "Toys" contest. He had an interesting thought process as he set about picking the winners:

"For the purposes of judging, I placed most entries into three broad categories:

  • Narrative-based (the photograph is primarily focused on depicting the toy as a character)
  • Still-life-based (the photograph is exploring the toy primarily as an object in a composition)
  • Documentary-based (the photograph is primarily exploring the captured moment of real and imagined worlds blending)
"The most successful toy photographs, in my opinion, often build their foundation on one of these approaches, and then use elements from the other two to craft a unique perspective. The least successful photographs often focus too heavily on just one approach, or fail to communicate from a distinct perspective.

"Clich├ęd as this may sound, it was truly difficult to pick just 10 photographs to acknowledge; even more so to choose the Top 3. My final choices are:


01DavidLeeTillerKermitSnowAngel600.jpg"Kermit Snow Angel" by David Lee Tiller

Brian's comment:

"As mentioned above, I believe that the most successful toy photographs combine elements from a variety of approaches. The winning entry does just that, and it does it very well.

"Kermit is captured in an imagined moment of play in the snow. He's clearly been placed into a manufactured scene, but it is so successful that it feels like a recorded moment of an actual character in the process of making a snow angel. The shot is simultaneously narrative and documentary while featuring a strong, stark compositional perspective often found in still-life.

"My only critique is that I would have liked the composition to be a bit more balanced. I believe that the shot would have benefited from cropping or more negative space on the bottom. Regardless, the concept is executed extremely well, and the finished result speaks for itself."


Brian's comment:

"There have been countless photos of crayons shot before, but it's something deceptively difficult to pull off well. When a photographer chooses to focus on still-life scenes, it's only a very high standard of technique and composition that makes the shot a success.

"The purposeful use of low depth of field, lighting, and arrangement of crayons make this photograph worthy of recognition. While the composition is very strong, I feel there is always room for improvement and further development of a unique, still-life technique and vision. However, the photographer has done an excellent job with a difficult-to-master approach."


Brian's comment:

"A strong composition and captured moment of a child at play won me over on this shot. The blur of the train and purposeful focus draw your eye across the frame and connect you to the crouched child. My only real critique is over the lighting. The hotspot on the track is a little distracting to me and it competes with the rest of the frame.

"Overall, though, a great shot."

Here's a gallery of all Top 10 winners. Congratulations to all!

Here's a look back at the Top 25 finalists.

Don't forget to enter the January "What's That?" contest.

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.


Welcome to your community for New England's amateur photographers. Take pictures ... get published ... win money ... have a blast!
The Color Green
It's the color of hope, envy, regeneration, relaxation, and money -- as well as the theme of the October contest. Make it the focal point of your best photograph.
Upcoming events

Featured Photographer

Featured Photographer: Ben Rifkin
Life and wildlife in Madagascar
For years before I started college, I knew I wanted to spend a semester studying abroad, but I wasn't sure where. By my junior year at Brandeis, I made up my mind to travel somewhere off the beaten path, and, of course, Madagascar is pretty far off the beaten path for someone like me....
An essay about Rebirth Workshops
Now that it's been several months since I returned from a week-long Rebirth Workshop in Mississippi, I'm happy to look back and provide an overview of what we did that made it such an intense experience for me as a photographer....
Photography apps for your phone
Thinking of ditching your separate camera and moving to just using your phone for all your photos? What apps should you go for? Instagram made headlines recently after being bought by Facebook for $1 billion. What does it include, and what else is out there?...