Judges Comment: What an elegant photograph for many reasons - every element skirts the edge of something but the photographer demonstrates just the right amount of restraint. For instance, the filtering preserves details just enough to add visual interest but not so far that it becomes a distraction. The action of the bride's dress may be reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe's billowing skirt in "The Seven Year Itch," but there is no duplication here. The grouping of the subjects are haphazard enough to create a feeling of happenstance but not enough to make it awkward or contrived. This was among my top favorites. I think you will agree.
Judges Comment: There is such a lazy, carefree feeing to this portrait. It made me smile. Add to this those amazing pastels that permeate this scene like the scent of cotton candy and there's no doubt it was a winner at first sight.
Judges Comment: Luxurious and rich, there is much complexity involved in this portrait. You can spend a lot of time finding merit in this image, but my favorite elements are the seemingly haphazard placement of the subjects (which is anything but haphazard), the choice of filtering, which added some wonderful color to the scene, and the location, with each archway presenting a stage of characters.
Judges Comment: We've all seen this approach to a group photo. There's nothing new or original here. But that's exactly why it has gained high ranking in this competition. It's undoubtedly one of the very best images I've ever seen of a group of people shot from a low angle as they circle the camera. Rather than relying on the extreme angle to create the image (some would say, a gimmick) this image is actually filled with a lot of fun moments and, more importantly, the bride pursing her lips for a kiss is closest to the camera and remains the primary star of the scene.
Judges Comment: Here's another great example of a carefree style that works with great effect. What a wild scene. But the saturation of some key color spectrums has really made it pop. The increased hue saturation enhances the strangeness of the portrait.
Judges Comment: There's nothing particularly unusual about the photographic approach to this group portrait. It's not at all uncommon to line people up and take a photo. But the fact that they are mostly obscured by the tall foliage in the foreground works to isolate them from both fore and background. I think the post-processing is also quite effective in this image.
Judges Comment: I liked the idea behind this photo. It looks like the photographer was working on a solitary portrait of the bride as her bridesmaid looked on in the background. But, actually, it doesn't matter what the circumstance was - it's a fun approach to a group portrait.
Judges Comment: Simple lighting, a great angle, the perfect choice of lens, and a wonderful moment makes this photo a standout. But I particularly like the anchor point of the moment with the man at left, head tossed back, in raucous laughter. It provides the viewer with that necessary element of decisiveness that helps to describe the content of the image.
Judges Comment: I couldn't help but think that this image looked like an early '70s album cover. I like the heroics of this rather unique grouping. The location is certainly fitting and the fact that everyone is posing but also relatively indifferent to the camera, gives it a surreal form of spontaneity.
Judges Comment: I really like the lighting and color in this image. It's bizarre enough to be interesting. It's technically strong enough to be attractive. It's composition is inviting. All in all, it's a fun portrait with a lot of photographic and informational strengths.
Judges Comment: I like the street photography style of this image - the incongruity of those formal dresses flowing against a backdrop of industrial harshness. The composition is a lot of fun and the vertical shapes merely accentuate their attire from ankles to armpits.
Judges Comment: What an ironic contrast. Those lovely warm pink pastels are offset by the bride's threatening posture - her bow at the ready - as punishment seems to draw near. And then, add to this crazy mix the lighting and filtering used to make the image. It's harsh enough to create hard shadows on those soft curtains but soft enough to subdue some of the details. Overall, it's an interesting image that makes us want to know more.
Judges Comment: The HDR style of this image was a great choice for the industrial props and backdrop. What's not to like about an image that is beautifully lit and visually rich in tone, color and detail?
Judges Comment: With its strong graphic shapes and saturated color, this image strikes a nice balance through its use of compositional space and, of course, the all-important moment found in those faces.
Judges Comment: Those yellow ties are perfectly at home on a backdrop of yellow and green foliage. There is nothing pretentious or assuming about this image. It is forthright in its grouping. It's accurate in finding a great moment and has just the right amount of ego-less composition, lighting and lens choice.
Judges Comment: I couldn't help but think of Harry Benson's famous photo of the young Beatles bouncing on a bed. This photo certainly has a lot of similar attributes of controlled chaos. Isn't it interesting how a single photo can create order from a scene like this?
Judges Comment: Those wings, struts and props were a perfect fit for the antics of this group. They are obviously flying high in the moment and the photographer has provided us with the "airfare." I really enjoy these high detail images but they're never better than when they also include a great moment.
Judges Comment: I love this photo purely as an image. It's not the usual approach to a group portrait. The cows are as prominent as the human subjects. The pastoral setting is no less than either. Ultimately it is a visual tableau of shape and form that could find it's way to a gallery wall as easily as it could set the course for a treasured family album.