B-Rad (Brad to those who don’t know him on the mean streets of NAPP yet) took a break, just long enough to pick our 5 winners this week. Topping the list is an image that’s 100% graphic (as opposed to photographic). It’s a beautiful poster from NAPP member Greg Anthony called Redsox 2013 Beards.jpg. It’s a clever simplification of the shape of 12 players’ beards that adds even more interest by cleverly naming each of the beard styles. The project is simple and clean. There isn’t a lot of unnecessary “designy” stuff added to the poster. In fact, the extra simplicity that comes from not even using the players faces and focusing in monochrome only on the shape of the beards, is really cool looking. Keeping with the theme of the team, the simple red, white, and blue color scheme adds to the impact of the design. I can see something like this being a huge hit with BoSox fans!
A NAPP member whose work I’m am especially drawn to is Steve Augulis. He does some really cool (occasionally dark, moody) things with post processing, and he really understands capturing light. His recent self-portrait entitled HaIrSpRaY made the cut and brad said he loves the expression. The post processing treatment is really interesting because it’s such a high key, high contrast black and white image that is loaded with foreground detail. This is one of those images where blown out highlights are used artistically. The balance of the composition is interesting and the isolation of the subject make the piece especially strong. There’s so much energy in this image, the only thing we’d change about it, is that the title needs an exclamation point!
When you’re flipping through the NAPP portfolios and looking at all the various images people post, when you see a subject or a style that’s different from the masses, it stands out a bit. First rate stock photography is a craft unlike other types of photography because usually, there are a bunch of things the photographer has on his or her checklist. • Perfect lighting for the mood/scene, • crisp details • perfect color • and here’s the kicker… a stereotypical image that looks like what you’d see in your mind’s eye if somebody said the name of the thing, like “surgeon.” The images posted by stock35 like this image of a surgeon called SGN72.jpg, are a perfect example of somebody who has nailed their craft.
Yet another great image is the microphone with vapor or smoke whisps floating around it called AJ_462a.jpg. While there were just under 50 images in this week’s judging pool, 2 from the same person doesn’t happen that often, unless they just post some really impressive stuff. That’s the case here. — We need to give you a little peek behind the curtain here though. First of all, Brad and I don’t look at the names of the winners until the judging is done so we didn’t know these 2 were from the same person. Second, we didn’t look into the NAPP member records database for stock35 and since the portfolio has zero information about the person, and since the only image info is metadata, these images could be from a photographer or a designer or maybe even a group of photographers using one NAPP account. We don’t know. All we know for sure is that the images in this portfolio are first rate, high quality photos and designs that could easily make someone working for a stock agency a nice living.
NAPP member jeffwickliffe took a photographic element we’ve seen before and did something really impressive with it in his image Break on Through. We’ve seen burning steel wool and sparklers photographed with a long exposure before. Making it so the person holding the burning element is invisible, is much more rare, but we’ve even seen that. What makes this image even more impressive is the composition. The burning sparkler flames are hovering in a perfect circle. It’s perfectly parallel to the ground. There’s a beautiful reflection in the floor. And it’s indoors. The clever composition and the fact that it’s indoors are 2 things you almost never see with sparkler and steel wool photography. As photographers, this makes us smile because we know what went into doing this and we share, as viewers, in the success of this well crafted image.