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I am about 5 days short of being eligible to vote in this contest, since this one is FAA members over 30 days, rather than juried or general public.
Had fun with the project - But some of the people submitting worked MAGIC.
I ended up leaving ebulliently enthusiastic comments posted for quite a few of the artists - and adding a couple of the new artists to my watch list.
Among my favorites vying for first, second and third, if I could have voted:
1. "Winter At Lewis Falls" by Lori Deiter
She photographed the partially frozen falls several days into the contest time frame. She climbed a steep path and took a hike to get there. If the contest were open to images taken in the past 5 years, this would still be a contender. Indescribable skill and artistry. I was among a crowd of other artists favoriting and commenting on the capture - purely on the merit of the artist's skill and its power as an image.
2. "Busy" by Joe Russell
Brilliant choice for long exposure - laud and acclamation! The colors are effulgent blues and grays with the tiniest specks of gold. Beautiful rhythm. Perfect subject and perfect capture! -- basically, the rippled water is smoothed somewhat by the slower shutter speed while blues and grays of wild Canadian geese float fluttering in the water within the silver veil of twilight with only a few sparks of golden sun.
3. "Warm Winter Night" by Connie Zarn
Rough hewn mountains of wood spill a river of warm lava fire. Wonderful contrasts and very rich fiery hues - grounded by darkness and dark crevices in the logs. Perfect flame colors! Love how the spumes of firelight seem to flow and feather towards the top.
4. "Glowing Glass Knights" by Shane Bechler
The image is a close up of knights from a chess set owned by the artist. LED lights were used for illumination. Slow shutter speed was used to capture the light and detail in what would otherwise be almost lost in the darkness. I wonder if a macro setting was used. Thoughtful use of materials and response to the challenge.
"Sparkler" by Joel Loftus is crazy good. It is just a great piece! Love the energy of the lines and that is is neither too minimalist nor too busy. Other light trails provide variety and accent without being distracting. Lines are refreshing, non-monotonous and fluid with an almost art nouveau feel and excellent energy. The composition is such that I could easily see it as a painting. It belongs in my top four also!
NOTE: If anyone has not checked out "Rocky Mountain Orb" as posted by the contest owner, Gregory Scott, you really need to!
Am intrigued by the fortuitous nature of Carlee Ojeda's "Happy Accident". Brilliant serendipity! Gold shimmering against dark branches and dark midnight blue sky. I love how the strongest line of the tree branches and the streak of aeroplane light almost seem to be forming perpendicular trajectories. Becomes an ultra-minimalist composition.