Winners: July 2013: Black & White


Thank you to author Michael Freeman for acting as our guest judge for the July contest! The theme was “black & white photography,” sponsored by Michael’s book, Black and White Photography Field Guide

First Place: “Fishing” by Mithun Saha, Gangarampur, West Bengal, India

What Michael had to say:
It’s not just the excellent timing of this shot, but the way in which several image qualities mesh together to create an image which unusually has immediate impact and yet is worth lingering over. The boat is moving diagonally towards the camera, so from this high viewpoint there was only one chance for the shot. See also how the connection between the top of the net and the dark area of ripples top right initiates a long sweeping curve through the men, craft, pole and wake. And in the context of this month’s theme, this is an image that uses black and white purposefully: the contrast of silhouette and the surface texture of the water. Cropping is entirely justified here, holding the three points left, below and right.

Second Place: “Praying” by Guy Dahan, Sceaux, Ile de France, France

What Michael had to say:
Personally, I like ambiguity and uncertainty in pictures, and I don’t see enough of it these days. There’s a sly sense of humor at work here, and I certainly did a double-take when I saw it as a thumbnail. Images that start off as one thing, and take a short while to resolve themselves as something else will almost always get my vote. Beautifully processed, by the way, holding not just the texture of the pale hair but of the dark felt hat also, so it also qualifies nicely in the black-and-white department.

Third Place: “Vintage Shay #5” by Cynthia Sperko, Marietta, Pennsylvania, USA

What Michael had to say:
Irresistible! I’m not even a great fan of steam trains, even though I had an uncle who actually drove them in Yorkshire, but this captures so much that I can feel the appeal. The combination of billowing, tactile smoke from the stack and white steam from the whistle (they couldn’t have filled the upper part of the frame more), and their contrast with the sheen of machinery make this a thoroughly textural image in good black-and-white tradition. Well caught and framed too, even if it has, as I suspect, been cropped a bit to tighten it all up.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Don’t forget to enter August’s contest!  Theme: Surreal Photography

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  1. Mithun Saha’s avatar

    Thanks FP
    Thanks a lot Sir Michael for your valuable words..

    Congrats to Guy Dahan & Cynthia Sperko


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