My friend and concert photographer, Brad Moore, was this week’s judge. As he started narrowing the field, we both realized that lots of his picks looked similar. He admitted that lately he has been leaning toward images of people with strong edge lighting. While we ended up with a balanced collection of winners, the edge lighting is a favorite these days with lots of photographers. That tells me that NAPP members should maybe try to master that look if they want to be up on what’s got strong appeal.

Now, before anybody posts, “hey, this guy gets featured a lot.” Allow me to say that this “contest” has no prizes and is totally fair. We look at every single image and whoever the judge is that week, picks his or her favorite 5 images based on their own opinion. No favoritism. Conversely, there’s no rule to avoid featuring someone with great work just because he or she has been seen here a lot. The goal is to select images that are appealing and inspiring. So if you’re good and if you post lots of fresh images each week, you have a good chance of being featured regularly. That’s the case with the well-deserved winner this week, Mike Campau. His image Chris D’Elia as the “Punisher” is a great image for lots of reasons. The image is well shot and well processed. The light and atmosphere is strong and the water guns add a fun, unexpected twist. The location and the expression are great too.

Glyn Dewis may be a Photoshop World instructor but that doesn’t keep him from being featured here because he produces awesome images like INTENSITY. —— No we don’t let staff like Pete, Matt, and Corey win regardless of how good their images are. The main reason is not because it isn’t fair to feature staffers. Nope. The reason is because we do all we can to keep them from getting a big head. ;-)  —— Anyway, Glyn’s image is one of those with strong edge light but the color is incredibly muted and the highlights still have great detail. That’s because the non-highlighted areas go dark, and the shadow ares are completely black. Beautiful craftsmanship, processing and composition. I’m gonna take Glyn’s class.

Nicolas Feret does a great job post processing his images and The Hockey Player 2 is a great sports portrait. This is one of those well-executed edge light portraits and this one has somewhat muted colors that are still strong enough to be interesting. Brad likes the contrast and the sharp detail. The composition crops in close but it’s not uncomfortable since it’s so well balanced. There’s even an art feel to it.

Every image with a pretty girl gets a little extra attention when Brad’s judging and, while David Rey’s image freedom may have started there, it has so much more that it’s worth a win this week. Brad likes the contrast of the beautiful subject with the dry, desolate location. The placement of the elements in the frame makes it interesting to look at and the post processing is great. Not overdone.

Finally, Brad picked a personality portrait of 4 dogs called Say What? by jackash. What’s so great beyond the technical skills, is the leaning stance of the outside dogs. All eight eyes are in sharp focus and the expressions and head positions are so consistent that they’re great! So much stands out with this capture. Sure, lighting and focus and color are great, but getting the poses for all four at once… getting them to all look in the same direction and even hold their chins and ears in consistent positions in spite of leaning is just great. Try to get humans to do that and you’ll realize it’s not easy.

This was a fun week and we had more images than normal. Glad there was such a great pool, which means you guys should look at the winners and thumb through the other images in the member portfolios too. Have a great week!

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