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    Thumbs up September Photo Contest Winners

    Congratulations to the September Photo Contest winners.

    The theme was "Expressive Hands and/or Feet".
    1st and 2nd prize winners choose your prizes here: http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/showthread.php?t=40285 and please send me a PM with your choices.
    3rd and 4th place winners will also have a chance at the end of the year for the Photographer of the Year.

    1st prize winn
    er: #4 "The Promise" by zbahu - 117.5 Points


    Judges comments (underlined), Voting from 1-5 in each category:

    |4| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    The hand is an important part of this photo but not the whole story. Relies a bit on the body language of the girl to convey the feeling.


    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    B/W works well in this image. The tension between the man, woman and viewer attract a lot of interest.


    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    Great use of "rule of 1/3's", subject engages only with the viewer and not the secondary subject.


    |3| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    The lighting lets it down a bit - hotspots on the wingtips and the arms, not enough isolation between the woman and the man.


    |2| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Get back, use a longer focal length and a larger aperture. This image needed just the crossed fingers and the girls face to be sharp - the hand is soft and the secondary subject in the distance is too sharp.

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    |2.5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes, but the hands are only part of the emotions/expressions being portrait here. there are also facial expressions and body language in the shot, that explains the technical problems in it.

    |3| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    Yes, the idea behind the shot is creative and the B&W was a very good choice. Look at the last line that I wrote to understand why I took down 2 points.

    |3| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    Good positioning of the man and the woman, it centers the view right at the woman and from there to the man. i would like to see a composition that puts the center more at the subject (hand) and then relate it to the scene and not the other way around.

    |1| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    In this case, this is the fine line between a good shot and an o.k shot. the lighting is not well balanced. it seems to be more focused on the facial expressions of the couple, in order to convey the message of the shot. The palm of her hand should be lit a tiny bit better. It's bottom and left side, tend to blend a tiny bit with the uneven light at this area. this and some technical issues cause the most important part of the shot to be a tiny bit soft. There's also no clear separation between the two subjects. They seem to blend since both are wearing black and the area between them is not lit.

    |1| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    No. the focus of this shot, was more over the facial expressions then the hand itself. That's why both faces are sharp and clear and the bottom part of the shot was poorly lit and exposed. The hand, as any subject should be, needs to be more noticable, sharp and better lit. You need a wider aparture with more focus at the hand. this with the shallow DOF will create a more powerful scene. We don't need to see the man's face to understand what's going on and that's true creativity.
    -----------------


    Overall: A different idea for a change and good to see some story telling in the photo.

    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes. Another shot taking the common and bringing it light.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    It wasn’t immediately evident what was going on here, and even when the full image was opened, it took a moment to realise what it was all about. I would have preferred the boy to be less in focus and appear smaller in the shot, to give the impression that the girl has just seen him from afar and has crossed her fingers hoping that he’s also the goods from close up.

    |3| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    The crossed fingers weren’t a strong point in the photo, both from a lighting perspective and subject composition. Both of the subjects were occupying equal space in the shot; whereas, the emphasis is clearly on the girl and what she’s thinking.
    Greater separation would have been good and changing the overall perspective would have given greater impact. It might have been better to have taken the shot from lower down, so that the hand was more prominent, with the head looking down at the camera for a more dramatic overall effect.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Overall, the lighting is good, but fades away somewhat from the important object; the hand and the girl’s eyes are under lit, so that you can’t see the important expression in her eyes.

    |3| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focussed, etc appropriately/correctly?
    The hand actually appears somewhat out of focus, yet this is the important part of the subject. The B&W effect is good, but there’s just a little too much dead black at the bottom, which doesn’t balance with the vignetting in the upper part. Again, I would have preferred the boy to be more out of focus, so as not to take attention from the girl.
    -------------------


    |3| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    The fingers, while not the main subject are the real expression, or rather punctuation for the image. While the interplay between the young people is important, the young woman's hands send the message.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    It's subtle, that's for sure, and it is an interesting interp. of the assignment.

    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    The composition works, but it's missing a certain "pop" in the desgin and this could be due to how it was lit.

    |3| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    The lighting really lets the conceptualization down, I think. Either go high key or low key, but choose one.

    |2| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    The young man didn't need to be in focus. If the girl had be tack sharp and the young worthy a bit blurry, rather than 1/2 of each...
    Over all the ideas are there, but a little bit of deciviness as to where things were going technically would have given this a much higher score. Give this one a 16/25.
    -------------------


    |4| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    I believe these are crossed fingers, and if so it does fit the theme.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    This photo seems to tell a story and that is why I gave it the score I did.

    |3| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    I would like to have seen the hand more as the main subject in the photo through placement or lighting.

    |3| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    The lighting is not bad. I would like to have seen the lighting on the backs of her arms flagged off a bit.

    |3| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    I like the DOF. I would like to have seen the focus more on her face and less on the wings.
    --------------------


    A neat take on the contest.

    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Great interpretation of the theme.

    |4| Creativity: How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    It took me a second to see the crossed fingers, but, once I did it all made sense.

    |4| Composition: Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    Not sure I get what the wings add, but, the overall composition of the photo is well done.

    |4| Lighting: Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Lighting isn't bad, it is a touch flat on the guy.

    |4| Technical: Has the subject been exposed, focussed, etc appropriately/correctly?
    I think the focus was on him, when I think it should have been on her, since, her hands are the focus of the whole theme of the photo.
    ---------------------


    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes, another which most fits the theme well, although I'm not sure what the costumes have to do with what the girl is trying to hide.

    |3| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    It is creative, although it uses other body language to convey a message.

    |3| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    The composition is interesing, although the young man in the background could have been a bit farther away since he isn't the main subject.

    |3| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Pretty good lighting, although maybe a little more emphasis could have been put on the hand and the girl's eyes rather than the young man in the background.

    |3| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    No. I think it needs less exposure on the lower half of the shot.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2nd Prize Winner: #2 Puppy Love by Jim Flinchbaugh - 90 Points


    Judges comments (underlined), Voting from 1-5 in each category:

    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes the hands tell almost all the story and show emotion.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    I loved the point of view, the low angle and the minimal look towards the head of the dog sends the message.

    |5| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    Great angle and most of all wonderful framing. the couple creates two triangles above the dog's head. one with their bodies that create the inner frame and one with their hands that shows the expression of love, for each other and for their pet. the torsos and the legs are closing the right and left side perfectly and even there you can see one body leaning (kissing?) each other. the sea is being hinted also in the small margins between the dog and the couple.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    The subject is lit perfectly and the tight frame prevents a distracting light coming out from the gap between the couple and the dog.

    |5| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Yes, the image is sharp, the focus is right on the spot and the lighting seemed to be well managed.
    And on a side note, it will be helpful to get an exif data from you on your next shot. it is a simple thing to do and i don't need to "chase" your exif data in order to judge your shot properly.
    ------------------------


    Overall: This one caught my eye first off, when I looked over the thumbnails, as being something a little different.

    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes. As I said, something different from the usual 'obvious' subject selections.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    The immediate impression is that of two people seeming to overwhelm the dog, yet the dog patiently sits between because of the gentle hands on its head; saying much about the relationship displayed in the photo.

    |5| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    A tightly cropped photo that avoids distractions, with the main subject being nicely framed.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Well lit, without excessive flare intruding from the background.

    |4| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focussed, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Assuming that this is a candid shot taken without the opportunity to pose, then the result is a good capture.
    ---------------------------


    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes the hands tell almost all the story and show emotion.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    I loved the point of view, the low angle and the minimal look towards the head of the dog sends the message.

    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    Very cool thought on how to showcase the dog. I think I would have liked it better had the dog been facing the camera with the same composition.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    The subject could have used a touch more light and the white background could have used less.

    |4| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Yes, the image is sharp, the focus is right on the spot and the lighting OK.
    --------------------------


    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes, it is one of several that most fits the theme.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    Very creative in that the viewer sees what looks like someone leaning against the other person perhaps to give or get some form of affection, while at the same time both are including the pet in the embrace.

    |5| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    I think this was perfectly composed without a distracting background. It definitely tells a story.

    |5| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Lighting was spot on.

    |5| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Yes, spot on. Good work.

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    3rd Place Winner: #10 "I Heart You" by arice - 86 Points


    Judges comments (underlined), Voting from 1-5 in each category:

    |3| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    A cliché, but the emotion is very clear.

    |3| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    The simplicity of the image concentrates on just the emotion.

    |3| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    The centered hands scream snapshot! Improvements could have been made by cropping the bottom dark area slightly and including a bit more at the top.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Just a hint too harsh - there is a couple of hotspots. Where it shines is the shadow area. The shadow of the hands emphasize the emotion and the darker left hand side emphasizes the darkness surrounding the unborn child.

    |4| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    The large Aperture with just the edge of the hands sharp keep the emotion and expression the main subject.
    -----------------------------------


    |4| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yeah, yeah, it's been done before, but it fits the theme.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    Rather than just cradling the womb, the use of the hands making a heart makes it work. Wonder how it would have looked with the hands "caressing" the womb, transferring affection...

    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    It works. It's well designed with no distracting elements.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    I would have liked to have seen the lighting bring out the strength of the hands against the softness of the womb. The hotspot on the ribcage could have been moderated.

    |4| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    With a bit of tweaking, this could have gotten a near perfect score. Give this one a 20/25...
    ------------------------------


    |4| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes, I believe this is a good example for the theme.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    I think much of the creativity in this shot comes from the lighting.

    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    It pretty much fits the rule of thirds.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    I think I would have toned down the hot spot above the left hand, but other than that, I think it is quite good.

    |3| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Hands are in focus, good DOF. The shirt hanging below the hand is competing with the hands for attention. I think I would have tucked this away behind her.
    -------------------------


    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Yes, I believe this is a good example for the theme.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    The lighting in the most creative part of this photo. I do have to say this is a very typical maternity shot.

    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    It pretty much fits the rule of thirds.

    |4| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Nicely lit except for the hot spots.

    |4| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Nicely done focus, ect.
    ------------------------


    |5| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    It fits the theme very well.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4th Place Winner: #13 "Expressive Feet" by NrthrnHrse - 20 Points


    Judges comments (underlined), Voting from 1-5 in each category:

    |3| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    I think it fits the theme pretty well.

    |3| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    Pretty dramatic shot. I can feel the excitement!

    |4| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    Very good composition to keep it interesting.

    |5| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    Perfect lighting.

    |5| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    Very well done/captured. Focus is spot on as well.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    More comments:

    #5 "Greek Feet" by halfwright - 16 Points

    |3| Subject (1-5): Does the subject fit the theme?
    Better than some others.

    |4| Creativity (1-5): How effectively/dramatically/interestingly is the subject presented?
    There is something about this shot that keeps bringing me back to look again.

    |3| Composition (1-5): Has the subject been composed appropriately/interestingly?
    I would like to have seen the photo cropped to remove the woman on the right. She is distracting to
    the dancing couple.

    |3| Lighting (1-5): Has lighting been used appropriately/effectively for the subject?
    The lighting appears to be all natural light, and you get what you get in this kind of a shot. I
    find all the shadows distracting.

    |3| Technical (1-5): Has the subject been exposed, focused, etc appropriately/correctly?
    The DOF could be a little shallower. The exposure and focus look good.
    Last edited by AnnF; 10-15-2008 at 08:54 AM.

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