Ever get slammed with a bunch of projects? Me too. Around here it’s when we’re headed into the holiday season. Late nights… weekends… you know the drill. Well, even during the busiest times there are breaks where we get to do the stuff we really enjoy and when I had a few minutes today I finally had a chance to go back through the member portfolios and really enjoy the great images that have been uploaded lately. I even had a discussion with Pete about how much more impressive all our member uploads are, across the board lately. Images that are “average” these days would simply crush the great images from just a year or two ago! Let’s have a look at some great images and enjoy the inspiration…

Corey Barker helped me narrow the field from more than 50 great images to just the 5 we feature here, beginning with an impressive composite called I’m Wearing a Suit by dav.d. Corey had it in his ‘finalists’ collection before I even told him it was a composite with colors painted on the aluminum surface. So that means this image is rock solid on its own, before you even consider the impressive post processing work done to make this a truly believable composite. The lighting, patterns and colors of the aluminum are great. Corey liked the composition and lighting, but he really liked how the orange tie was meant for the background. The geometry and focus on the background is impressive. The lighting and focus on the model is great. But the command of Photoshop and understanding of how someone would reflect on the textured surface, is the special skill that makes this work even more impressive.

judycurran brings us a mouth full of summer fun with her image Play BALL. When you click on the image and enlarge it to see all the detail, you realize what a shallow depth of field is at play here, and how she nailed the focus in the eye of the dog. Of course things like composition, texture, light, balance, and frozen action all come together to make an image you almost can’t help but smile at. And with zero detail in the background, all that matters is the dog with a ball. That emphasizes the fact that you’re about to get a little wet while you take the ball, then give the dog a thrill, running after your next pitch.

Terry Donnelly brings us a moment in time with a loving couple in a gorgeous environment, with perfect light, and just a little modesty. Southbank Smooch is so beautifully lit and has such beautiful colors, that it’s almost like a scene from a movie. Maybe that’s what initially attracted Corey (the movie guy) Barker to the image. I think what makes this image so nice is how the entire scene is naturally a warm sunset, and the people are artificially lit with a slightly cooler light. That makes it seem like they’re in the environment, enjoying the beautiful sunset, but the artificial light, combined with the umbrella, make it seem like they’re in their own little world too.

leonardridley did a great job of design by combining elements to make the ad/poster online.uark.edu – Delta Sky – HP. The concept seems well thought out and the longer you look around, the more subtle little touches you appreciate about the ad. Beginning with the combination of a modern airport terminal as a place for the message. The idea of travel is appealing to the target audience and folding the travel concept into the messaging was cleverly done. We like the “First Class” ticket and the seat designation. The really cool design element is how the red headline is beautifully reflected and slightly broken along with the tiles on the ground. That really sells the effect. Nice work.

360kim360 does some really beautiful, fun composites and always handles light in nature in a masterful way. Her work Summer Daydreaming is no exception and the surrealistic globes are beautifully added to the warm, innocent image of children. You can just picture this being a cover for a kids’ fantasy fiction novel. It’s always fun to stop by 360kim360′s portfolio because there are so many opportunities to invent stories while enjoying some masterful fantasy composites. Thanks for making my day better!

As I do every once in a while, I’d like to drop a hint for NAPP members uploading images to your portfolios. In spite of the fact that images are apparently scaled down for display, when a viewer clicks on an image, it opens as large as it can, and still fit in the browser window. That is, unless you have only uploaded a small version of the original image. As I flipped through the hundreds of images and picked 50, I saw several images that appeared to be nice, but when I clicked on them, they turned out to be rather small. I couldn’t see the details I was hoping for, and I’d be willing to bet that the original was actually quite big. So please allow me to ask NAPP members with images that are nice enough to upload to your portfolios, to consider making your upload large enough to display on a big monitor. It helps us all and it might just make the difference in the weekly featured image winners.

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