This week I did something I don’t plan to do again… I asked both Pete and Brad to judge this week’s pool together. Neither one was serious and, while they picked some great images from the pool of 38 possible winners, it was like pulling teeth to get these guys to give me a straight answer about why they liked a particular image. There’s no question that these guys are fun to work with, but when Friday rolls around, they’re kinda punchy. – UPDATE: I just re-read this post and it sounded like I was complaining. Couldn’t be further from the truth! I just wanted to give members a quick peek behind the curtain that today’s judging was a gathering of 3 guys, each with a good sense of humor, telling jokes and making one another laugh while still judging a contest about images. I absolutely believe the judging was accurate but that part where a serious and thoughtful judge delivers insightful reflection regarding the artistic merits of a piece, was considerably less formal. (We had fun!!) If you ever get a chance, hanging out with Pete or Brad is a blast!! — Enough peeking behind the scenes and on with the results…

This week’s winner is Jack Dallas and his moving photograph entitled Speed.jpg. There are times when capturing an image of an object or person in motion can look amazing when it’s frozen and crisp. Other times there’s a dramatic feel when there is a frozen object amid blurred lines of motion. That’s what Jack captured expertly. And the high contrast black and white image lets you focus on the scene in a more pure way. Pete and Brad like the leading lines, the technical expertise, and the overall composition.

Regina Pagles is a name you should know if you’re a NAPP Portfolio visitor. That’s because she does such great work capturing powerful, artistically lit, beautifully finished portraits that scream personality, like The Pixel Peeper aka Scott Jarvie. We all like the post processing that amplifies the contrast and enhances the light and color. The backwards camera is great and the eyes just make the image. Brad really likes how the image is largely monochrome allowing the orange and blue to pop.

stevetrup made me smile with his image Girl Talk. Seems like the feel all of us got from this image was “the story.” It makes you want to know what’s being said and what’s so important. Then, in their current Friday mood, both Brad and Pete started creating the dialog themselves. While it was funny, it didn’t help me with this post, so I made ‘em stop and talk serious again. That’s when Pete pointed out that the girls are beautifully separated from the background with the shallow depth of field and rim light, and brad loved the vibrant colors and balanced light.

360kim360 is a master of surrealistic composites and this week adds Payback #3 to her portfolio. The guys liked the twist on the classic magnifying glass and ants on a sunny day, and both Brad and I like the light as an element in the composite.

Evelyn Murphy is a great photographer with quite a gift for crafting and capturing light in portraiture and her piece Red Jacket shows off this talent. The dark environment provides a muted backdrop that allows the subject to just punch through and stand out. The red lips double down on the red fur theme and allow the model’s light hair and complexion to stand in stark contrast to everything else in the image. Looking at the one visible eye, there’s no doubt the portrait lighting is perfect for the scene and further emphasizes the connection of the viewer with the subject.

Nice work everybody! (Secret hint of things to come…) And be sure to pay attention to the portfolios in the coming weeks. Something big’s gonna happen. :-)

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