A bit of a twist this month, folks: Our judge, Suzanne Kreiter, liked four of your Loving Portraits photos so much that she asked if we could award a prize to the 4th place finisher in addition to the usual Top 3. As I think you all know by now, I'm pretty easy about these things. Besides, what's another 25 bucks?
So here are her Top 4 choices, followed by a link to a full-screen gallery featuring those 4 as well as the other 6 Honorable Mentions.
FIRST PLACE - $100
Suzanne writes: "I LOVE this portrait. Not only does it perfectly fit the contest criteria, but it's a gorgeous photograph. It's got so many great elements going for it. The lighting is perfect, soft yet clean, coming from a defined direction, but not in a way that makes you think about the light. The framing is great: my eye is drawn to his face, held there by the artful framing of the bed around him. The photographer has wonderfully used some elements of the young man to slightly disarm the viewer. His hair is uneven and discordant. The piercings in his lip are eye-grabbing and rebellious. The young man has a baby face, but his hair and piercings suggest something other than innocent youth. Not to mention that he's photographed in a bed. The photographer captured a really telling expression on his face -- he knows something and he just might tell you, or maybe he won't. I think he told his secret to the photographer. Bravo!!!"
SECOND PLACE - $50
Suzanne says: "Congratulations on winning a portrait contest without showing your subject's eyes. That's very hard to do! Your photo strongly and boldly shows the reader that your subject is loved, adored. Your eye goes to her beautiful neck, and then the framing artfully draws the eye to her shoulder and cheek. You've captured a wonderful zigzag of the human body. Placing her in the left half of the frame very nicely leaves the negative space on the right. This gives the feeling of dreaminess, which we project onto the subject. Very, very nice!"
THIRD PLACE - $25
Suzanne writes: "I kept this image up on my computer and walked to the other side of my kitchen, and THE BABY'S EYES FOLLOWED ME! Now, that's a good portrait. Okay, this baby's gaze is so intense that it's almost creepy, but what a powerful portrait. There looks like there might have been some manipulation in the eyes in Photoshop, but it works here. The photographer really let the baby's intense face and eyes do all the talking here. The framing is good -- the baby's head is in the center of the round tunnel. The baby's red hair pairs nicely with the pink shirt, making a good north and south border. The pink lips are a slightly more saturated color in the same family so they really pop off the page. Nice job!"
FOURTH PLACE - $25
Suzanne writes: "This is a really arresting father/son portrait. You've said so much with hair -- or lack thereof! The eye goes right to the thinning hair of the father and then your eye goes to the nearly matching just arriving hair of the baby. Such a clever statement on the life cycle. The subjects are framed in a very symmetrical fashion that really works. The light is perfectly placed on the baby and father's face. I can't see anyone's eyes, but your portrait make me want to -- you've left me wanting more!"
Here's a full-screen gallery of all 10 winners. Congratulations to everyone!
Our March contest, with the theme "The Items We Carry", is open.
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