Brad was almost our judge this week but he missed  it by about 5 minutes, so he’s on deck for next time (alert concert shooters, get your good stuff ready). This week I not only picked the 71 images that were in the pool of possible contestants, I whittled the list down to the 5 winners. And starring at the top of the list is the image Shiney New Boots by Andrew Hughes. Sure, I’ve seen light painting before, but this is just cool. I think it stands out because it’s so different from everything else that was in the running this week. I like both the colors and the textures. And I like how the thin light streaks blend with the wider glows to light the old boots. And besides the obvious contrast of light values, there’s a great contrast between the old, well-worn boots and the futuristic glowing light trails.

There’s something compelling about abstracts and Kalei”dew”scope by jredmond blends several appealing photographic themes into an interesting abstract. I like that there’s beautiful, multi-colored bokeh and sharp water drops blended with fog and streaks of clear imagery. The angle and the rich blue are great compositional elements and the vignette finishes the composition, making it even more pleasing.

JF Jacques delivered a great image of a well-worn Converse high top called 010.png. Obviously this is appealing to Photoshop junkies because this is one of those supernatural things that has to be a Photoshop composition. But it’s especially well done and invites you to stay a while and study it. There’s no question the striking vivid red stands out and makes you pay attention to the subject, but the fact that that Converse high tops are so familiar and we all know they aren’t liquid, does something to capture your attention and make you smile.

High key images seem to be a resurging trend and when they’re well done I think I pay a little extra attention to them. Ken Greenhorn did a great job with post processing Baby Blues.jpg. I like how there’s absolutely no detail in so much of the image. Just white. That means the detail is especially important and it focuses your eye exactly where the artist wants you to look. The photography is strong and the composition is solid. But it’s the heavenly high-key that establishes the mood.

A repeat artist here for good reason, Mike Campau delivers a strong, familiar personality portrait INTROSPECTION – Alice Cooper. This is (appropriately) a very dark portrait with gorgeous lighting to capture black detail in the dark. Just a little light shows through and gives great dimension to this familiar face of rock and roll. When you shoot someone famous and familiar, you had better be good because people know what the celebrity looks like and they expect to see that person. And celebrities expect expert craftsmanship and Mike delivers. Interesting. Dark. Captivating.

Just a little side note here. I didn’t realize until all the featured images were chosen, that everyone is from outside the US except for Mike Campau. I’m not sure that has any particular meaning, but I love that NAPP represents internationally! Have a great week everyone!

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