This week it was especially difficult to narrow the list to just 5 images to be featured, but we did it. Next, it was tough to pick image of the week because so many images were so powerful and resonated with us on a number of levels. So this week’s winner jumped to the very top of the list by simply mentioning in the caption that this image was planned for months. It definitely paid off! Of course draxo38′s image The Red Dress has all those artistic and technical details nailed, so discovering that this was a work that was envisioned months earlier and then executed at the perfect time, means that it gets “bonus points” for vision and craftsmanship. Of course things like the brilliant red dress in an otherwise earthy scene is striking. But so is the composition, depth of field, and even the fact that the model seems so beautifully dressed in such a perfect outdoor environment. This could be the cover of a novel and it seems to tell a story without saying a word.

Greg Waters has a really nice portfolio, filled with a variety of photography, but his image Birds-in-the-Mist.jpg breaks away from his other style by delivering a very simple, high-contrast black and white that could easily be mistaken for a graphic art print. Of course there is beautiful composition and layering created by the mist, but the flow of the flock of birds through the image creates an interesting pattern and movement within the image. The result is the kind of “high art” feel that helps us imagine this on the walls of an upscale home or business.

Capturing fire on film (or a digital image sensor) can make for a compelling image, but when that fire is moving, that adds drama. Now get the fire moving in a circle and center that in the image space, then put a person in the middle of the flames… That’s a great composition. You can’t capture something like Ua Chamberlain did with the image Flec Mindscape, unless you know your craft! Then considering the visual interest of the content… there’s light and color and texture in the flames. There’s movement and concentration in the eyes of the subject. And the overall piece is especially compelling.

Christine Moody is back with a piece called 6 day Newbie and once again, we love her vision. The viewing angle is something rather unexpected in that it’s straight down and perfectly symmetrical in the frame. There’s an unique, colorful environment of natural materials throughout and everything seems to center around the newborn subject. But one of the most impressive things about the image is the sharpness edge to edge and the beautiful balance of soft light that amplifies the textures. In spite of what must have been bright light, the newborn still has plenty of light in his or her eyes to make the blue color pop. And with her focus on the overall image and capturing the subject as she is without an artificial attempt to get the baby to giggle, there’s a real connection with the subject.

Nothing like a cold-blooded, permanent grin to make you smile. Maybe that’s why Kermit and the Geico gecko are so popular. Well Jacqueline (Jackie) C. Verdun has captured that same magic in her piece called Smiling Salamander. Obviously she was macro close because the depth of field is so shallow, but the crisp details in just the right part of the image make the composition a real winner. Just look at it and try not to smile. :-)

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