Winners: November 2013: HDR Photography

On-the-right-track_E_FEAT

Thank you to author Harold Davis for acting as our guest judge for the November contest! The theme was “HDR Photography” sponsored by Harold’s latest book, Monochromatic HDR Photography.

General Comments from Harold:

Judging this contest was difficult because there were so many high-quality entries. In addition, HDR is a set of techniques—and neither a style, nor a specific genre of subject matter. This means that there was a great deal of variety in the submissions, and it is always difficult to compare apples to oranges.

So in order to judge the competition I primarily looked at three image characteristics:
– Artistic conception and photographic vision
– Effective use of HDR (and suitability to concept & vision)
– Technical execution and finishing

Based on these metrics, my winners are:

First Place: “On the Right Track”
by J.J. Guy Longtin, Renfrew, Ontario, Canada

What Harold had to say:

I am so totally in love with this image. Everything about it was done perfectly, including the title, the subtle HDR, and the gentle sepia toning. In terms of the artistic value of the image itself, this shows the majesty and power of photography when used correctly to take the chaos of a fairly everyday scene—railroad tracks and overhead wires—and turn this well-observed chaos into an orderly visual essay on the nature of choices, chances, and organization.


Second Place: “Abandoned”
by
Robert Coates, Mount Nasura, Australia

What Harold had to say:

While decaying buildings are almost cliché as HDR subject matter, this image is one of the best executions of the theme I have seen. The continuity from inner space to outer space is extremely well managed. From a technical perspective, halos can be a problem with this kind of subject, and these are entirely avoided. The exterior landscape has some interest on its own, but the nifty conflation of exterior space and interior space make this an extraordinary HDR image.


Third Place: “Rockport Reflection 2011”
by
Richard Tranfaglia, Southborough, Massachusetts, USA

What Harold had to say:

Rowboats and their reflections in a Maine harbor of course are a natural subject for color photography. This HDR image works to exaggerate the color, but not so much as to be offensive. In other words, the photographer has used a photographic and post-production technique (HDR) to enhance the natural painterly qualities of the scene that they captured.


Thank you to everyone who entered! Below are some honorable mentions chosen by Harold.

Don’t forget to enter December’s contest!  Theme: Seasonal Inspiration

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Ely Cathedral—for the excellent monochromatic HDR execution.

Toolshed—for the very cool rendering of translucent containers.

Badlands—for the abstract rendering of the Badland landscape, making it seem almost like fabric rather than hills.

Gardeners Reserve—Nice rendition of potentially troubling lighting.

Taajmahal—Excellent HDR rendition of a commonly-shot landscape without crossing the line to cliche.

Walk through old Panama—Courageous tackling of an extreme exposure problem.

Philadelphia Center City—Genuine HDR enhancement of an urban landscape from potentially over-dark foreground to background horizon.

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