Photography forum winning images of the month — Round five 2014/2015

Hi pho­tog­ra­phy lovers,

In case you are new around here this is where the Admin (me) chooses one (occa­sion­ally 2) excel­lent pho­tos nom­i­nated by other mem­bers from the Member’s monthly choice forum. Once 10 images are nom­i­nated, I choose a ‘winner’.

Just so it’s clear, the photo(s) I choose are not nec­es­sar­ily the best ones of the month. I’ve come to real­ize it’s not really log­i­cal to pit images from totally dif­fer­ent gen­res against each other. That’s why there are cat­e­gories in photo con­tests. My goal is to sim­ply choose an excel­lent photo and talk about why I think it rocks.

This round of nom­i­na­tion yielded images of excep­tional qual­ity and now for the sec­ond time in a row I was unable to choose just one.

This round’s two win­ners are “If you wait by the river long enough, the bod­ies of your ene­mies will float by.” by mbrager and Fort Myer’s Beach Bird­ing by Mike Bons

I chose these images for sev­eral reasons;

“If you wait by the river long enough, the bod­ies of your ene­mies will float by.” by mbrager


“If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.” by mbrager

If you wait by the river long enough, the bod­ies of your ene­mies will float by.” by mbrager


1 — Mood/Contrast/Exposure — I like every­thing about this image but it’s the expo­sure itself and the sub­se­quent post-processing (which I’ll get to) that are the stars for me. This is a late sun­set shot and it looks and feels like it. The con­trast is low, as it should be, and yet beau­ti­ful shadow detail dances with vary­ing degrees of high­light detail. This cre­ates the won­der­fully gor­geous and thought­ful mood of the image.

2 — Com­po­si­tion — Extremely well framed image and I can see the delib­er­ate think­ing that went into mak­ing it. Very thought­ful place­ment of the focal points and other ele­ments that make up the image. I love the dark moody reflec­tions at fore­ground left that seem to play diag­o­nally with the brighter high­light reflec­tions in the water as well as in the sky. There are lots of gor­geous lines for our eyes to fol­low in this pho­to­graph. These include the snow­line at midground left toward the cen­ter, bridge­line in the cen­ter, ver­ti­cal lines in the trees and reflec­tions. There are even lines in the sky for our eye to explore and enjoy.

3 — Post pro­cess­ing — Fab­u­lous choices were made in this regard. Temp­ta­tion was surely there to pull addi­tional high­light detail as well as shadow detail from the water in par­tic­u­lar. This would have made the tones more dra­matic and excit­ing, but it would have for­ever changed the mood and turned this into a com­pletely dif­fer­ent, and less inter­est­ing photograph.

(4) — The title — I don’t think it influ­enced my deci­sion, but I’m a sucker for per­fect titles like this one.


Fort Myer’s Beach Bird­ing by Mike Bons (Red­dish Egret)

Fort Myer's Beach Birding by Mike Bons (Reddish Egret)

Fort Myer’s Beach Bird­ing by Mike Bons (Red­dish Egret)


1– Colour, Clar­ity and sharp­ness — All 3 are superb in this image. I really like the tones of grey in the feath­ers and the red­dish feather tones as well. The colours and con­trast look natural.

2 — Ges­tur­ing and deci­sive moment — The bird’s ges­ture is grand and Mike’s quick trig­ger fin­ger was there to cap­ture it.

3 — Expo­sure — Expo­sure is bang on for me. A nice high shut­ter speed cap­tures the lovely feather detail and a medium aper­ture on a long lens gets good eye and feather sharp­ness while blur­ring the back­ground for good fore­ground to back­ground separation.

For all these rea­sons, these are my choices for this round. Since we all have opin­ions, some mem­bers may dis­agree with my choices. That’s cool but THIS thread is not the place for debate over my picks, NOR is it the place to fur­ther cri­tique the image. The pur­pose here is to sug­gest strong ele­ments in the pho­tos that we may learn from.

Con­grats again to Mike Bons and mbrager!

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