Beautiful work again this week, but I noticed that fewer images were uploaded this week than ever before. What’s great is that, even when the uploads are fewer than normal, it’s still a solid competition because there are so many great images uploaded anyway.

For example, VMPHOTO stands out again with a technically beautiful portrait called Poker Face that’s also beautifully post processed. There’s a soft glow that’s almost infrared, yet there’s warmth and personality in the face too. As with all portraits, the eyes are so important and they really pop here. They’re sharp and full of character. And because of how everything is so high key, the darkness and contrast in the eye detail is even more of a centerpiece. Thoughtful work. Beautiful results!

Doug Sturgess has a photographer’s eye and a command of the craft of lighting. Look at his piece called Repeating Patterns and you can see that his light, contrast, shadows and composition all come together to create an interesting image. I like that he didn’t just make it pure black and white because there seems to be a hint of warmth with an almost olive cast. I know we don’t normally think of metal or greens as warm, but it works here.

Christine Moody is back again with some gorgeous post processing on top of some solid photography and lighting in twins. Her non-smiling child portraits reach the viewer so differently that what we’re used to seeing in child portraits and it adds a level of dimension. As with the work of great portrait artists, her attention to the eye detail is obvious. The colors are soft and muted, as is the skin, but where texture is needed, it’s crisp and contrasty.

In spite of the fact that his avatar is a little scary, fishboy’s retouched HDR photo DHIEtownNY is an interesting piece. It’s a beautiful night scene with color and warmth mixed with the obvious cold. This is one of those images that both tell a story and invite you to be there. When a photo makes you want to be there, you’ve definitely got something.

How do you make a baseball, bat, and glove into an almost emotional piece with no people or animals in the scene to show emotion? Have a look at Jan Dastugue’s image called Spring Fever and you’ll see that the answer is great composition and well placed lights. This dark background lets the important things shine. Literally. And I just have to believe that this is a composite because it would be so hard to light the inside of the glove without over exposing the ball and bat. There’s some serious photographic craftsmanship and insight going on here.

Beautiful work again everybody!! Thanks for sharing inspiring images yet again this week.

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