Last month’s photo challenge theme was “Beat the Heat,” and we received a wide variety of shots with lots of people and animals enjoying the summer and staying cool.
Our guest judge this month was July’s winner, Sarah. See her pick for first place below, along with my picks for second- and third-place and honorable mention.
** First Place goes to Treva for “Dog days of summer”
** Second Place goes to sol for “The Unexpected Guest”
** Third Place goes to bscpremium for “Splash”
** Honorable Mention goes to LAGuzda for “Kayaks-PL”
FIRST PLACE — DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
The photo that I like the best is the “Dog days of summer.” It tells me that there is no better way to “beat the heat” than sitting in a lawn-chair in the lake, after taking a cooling dip in the calm water. I think black and white in this particular photo makes the image itself look cooler in temperature. It doesn’t have the sun beating off the water or the dogs, but the lighting is still good. It is so crisp and clear. Not to mention what it would take to get two dogs to sit still like that for a shot. Excellent job!
SECOND PLACE — THE UNEXPECTED GUEST
This frog shot just jumped out at me. It leaves no doubt as to the subject: the photographer filled the frame entirely with nothing but the water and got in nice and close to the frog, leaving no distractions. I really like the ripple reflections on the water, which break up the color and give the shot a great sense of depth and texture, as does the frog’s head breaking the surface. And, the frog is moving into the frame, which is excellent composition.
THIRD PLACE – SPLASH
A definite “beat the heat” shot — you can almost hear the girls giggling and the sound of the water splashing as they kick it into a frothy frenzy. The strong backlighting from the sun really provides us with the sense of summer heat. The photographer did an excellent job exposing for the girls, rather than all the bright direct sun in the shot, as well as stopping the action of the water splashing all around. And lastly, the expressions on the girls are charming … this shot has action and story, and it epitomizes summer.
HONORABLE MENTION — KAYAKS-PL
The colors here are tremendous — I love how the whole scene is a wash of soft pastel. The photographer’s perspective on this shot is key … getting down close to the front kayak so the water drops really stand out and let us know that these boats were just used. The angles and lines work really well here, too. The boats point us to the far left of the shot where our eyes are picked up by the s-curve shape reflection in the water, which leads us to the shoreline and back across the top of the photo. That is a perfect example of how to use composition (in this case rule of thirds, leading lines, s-curves) to keep the viewer’s eyes in the photo.
Congratulations to each of our winners!
The first-place winner will get a $30 gift certificate to the Great Escape Publishing’s E-Bookstore, and all winners will be entered into the Hall of Fame to compete for the $2,000 Grand Prize in October.
[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelly Perry from Portland, Oregon, specializes in people photography, what she calls documentary or lifestyle portraits. She is known especially for her imaging of children. Shelly’s concern for people is reflected both in her sense of purpose and the images she produces. Her images have been seen all over the globe on music CD covers, books, magazines, catalogues, websites, ad campaigns and even on TV. Her work has also appeared in several local exhibits and gallery shows.
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