May LLTL Contest – The 26 Choices

Update May 31

Diane Varner has kindly agreed to comment on each entry in the May LLTL Contest and I have modified this posting to include Diane’s comments below each photo. Diane says of the contest:

What an honor it has been to look through all the participant’s images and portfolios of work. I’m humbled, amazed and inspired. And what a challenge!  I want to thank Darwin for this opportunity to really study each of your photographs and articulate the feelings they evoke within me.

Each image here, is well executed and exquisite in its own right. WIth that said, I wanted to take time with each photograph and let you know (briefly) my thoughts on each image….

 
©Dennis Chamberlain
©Dennis Chamberlain

Dennis, this is a dynamic composition with the placement of the textural rocks and the energy of the swirling water coming towards us  (feeling as if it could almost swallow us, if not careful). I really like the push-pull element of the clouds pointing toward the horizon and the foreground literally sucking us in.

 
©Lon Overacker
©Lon Overacker

Lon, I really like the delicate, lacy feeling of this image especially since it is a contradiction to the subject matter — tree branches that are solid and strong, able to withstand the winter that has left them leafless.  There is a sense of gracefulness in the composition in the way the branches curve towards the middle, creating a focal point that takes us beyond them and into the darkness.

 

©Arun Manohar
©Arun Manohar

Arun, your composition is provocative as the eye descends onto the footprint-like puddles (that make us wonder what formed them) and is then carried to the lone rock, surrounded by the quiet waters and sky. For me, there is a sense of “something about to happen” as all sits, very silent and motionless.

 

©Dave Taylor
©Dave Taylor

Dave, what a beautiful, majestic landscape. Your strong, contrasting tones are just outstanding, creating a very 3-dimensional quality to the entire scene. I especially like the dark sky that sets off the snow-capped mountains as well as the soft mist included in the composition as it brings another level of energy to the image.

 

©Giovanni Russello
©Giovanni Russello

Giovanni, I can only imagine what it must have been like to have viewed this scene first-hand. There is a sense of sweeping motion as  the eye is drawn in by the softly toned waters and is then taken back farther and farther into this vast landscape. You definitely captured the feeling of timelessness in this one.

 

©Tom Nevesely
©Tom Nevesely

Tom, your sense of contrasting tones to emphasize shape and form is exceptional in this image.  The dark, dynamic sky really sets off the rock formations and their corresponding textures and shapes. The light falling on the objects is just beautiful, creating the sense of solidness to the landscape’s elements.

 

©Dan Lewis
©Dan Lewis

Dan, this has a strong surreal mood that I really like.  The soft focus contributes to this but the flat pier, appearing to sit above a clouded sky (the reflection), is what really creates this dreamlike atmosphere for me. I like how the pier seems to invite us into the composition with its seemingly animated tilt at the end.

 

©Jordan Larrigan
©Jordan Larrigan

Jordan, the soft, tinted tones are just lovely. I really like the overall quietness of this image, coupled with the fine, delicate detail of the pedals that is created via shadow and light. This photograph has a whimsical, almost magical feeling that I really like as the blossoms seem to be softly floating within the frame.

 

©Victor Bushkov
©Victor Bushkov

Victor, this looks like “the land of perpetual winter.” A daunting scene yet beautifully captured with the perfectly toned, textural nuances and organic forms. I like how the lone pine tree is  is just above the skyline and how its sways to the right, pointing us towards the foggy horizon that we could easily miss.

 

©Wayne Simpson
©Wayne Simpson

Wayne, this image possesses the dynamism of a perfect landscape. First off, the exquisite overall quality, the very 3-dimensional detailed foreground that has energy of the swooping branch, the mirror reflection, the jetting motion of the clouds caught in the reflection, the light and finally, the overall composition that is perfectly balanced. 

 

©Darren Barclay
©Darren Barclay

Darren, the overall quietness of this image is what drew me in immediately. I like the perspective that you took this from, which allows the viewer to “feel” the textural quality of the rocks and ice along with experiencing the very shallow shore that takes us into the landscape. The reflections as well as the tones are soothing and dynamic at the same time.

 

©Floris van Breugel
©Floris van Breugel

Floris, I looked at this for quite awhile, marveling at the abstract, graphic quality of this as well as the movement of the lines as they seemed to literally “dance” in this photograph.  When viewed at a larger scale, the image “pops” with dimension that is created with the light and shadows that you captured with your perfect focusing.

 

 

©Kent Mearig
©Kent Mearig

Kent, this is quite the unusual “landscape” and begs the viewer to gaze upon it for some time to understand what they are seeing….. something from another world, perhaps. I like the contrasting foreground with the background which creates a line of separation from the opposing textures and forms. The tones are just beautiful. 

 

©Jim Bullard
©Jim Bullard

Jim, I am drawn to the simplicity of this composition that is formed through the use of lights and darks. There is a sense of movement in the shapes of the petals that gives this image energy. I like the detail and the highlights, right down to the way the petal seems to wrap around and caress the stem.

 

©Paul Marcellini
©Paul Marcellini

Paul, this is a wonderful, expressive portrait. I really like the negative space around the giraffe which emphasizes the elongated shape that these creatures are known for. The isolation of the body makes one really study the giraffe’s features, noticing the details that would probably be missed otherwise.

 

©Anil Sud
©Anil Sud

Anil, I applaud your courage to break away from the norm.  This possesses a strong, graphic quality that I have always admired in graphic design. I like the way the image cascades down from the tiny bird that becomes significant via the large shape below. This shape can either be a rock form or flat landscape—the beauty is, the viewer gets to decide.

 

©Andrew McLachlan
©Andrew McLachlan

Andrew, the detailed textures in this image are intense coupled with the contrast of the soft, flowing water. I found myself wanting to reach in and feel the roughness of the rocks. There is an abstract quality to the overall image that I find interesting as well, perhaps created by the even lighting. 

 

©Jack Johnson
©Jack Johnson

 

Jack, this is such a quiet, serene landscape. If I hold my breath I think I can hear the distant song of a bird. The horizontal composition somehow enhances the feeling of calm that stretches over the landscape. You could have used your artist license to heighten the contrast but by not doing so, you created an atmosphere that exudes tranquility. 
 
© Ilya Genkin
© Ilya Genkin

Ilya, there is a sense of vastness and infinity that really appeals to me in this panoramic scene. The contrasting tones are just as vast and capture that sense of infinite space.  The composition and perspective gives the feeling of being among the clouds as we gaze down and drift into the landscape.

 

© Seung Kye Lee
© Seung Kye Lee

Seung Kye, your tones are just beautiful as well as the perfect placement of every element in this image. This is one of those photographs that I could melt into, finding the sense of peace that I think we all long for. The way you’ve composed and captured the rhythm in the sand is outstanding as it ushers us into the calmness and balance of life.

 

©Tim Parkin
©Tim Parkin

Tim, this image grabs my attention immediately. I am drawn into the darkness of the shape that asks for recognition yet gives no clues. Still, I find myself admiring the beauty of the light in the folds that could be nature-based or not. Looking for a final hint but finding none, I imagine this to be a curtain, opening to a world of brilliant light.

 

©Dan Baumbach
©Dan Baumbach

Dan, I can feel the cool air and hear the stillness. This image holds a sense of the mystical with the soft, diffused light and the ancient tree limbs. The foreground becomes the vehicle that moves us into this realm. I really like the overall use of soft tones that help to create this quiet, undisturbed mood. 

 

Photo by Prashant Khapane
Photo by Prashant Khapane

Prashant, there is a minimalism here that is very compelling. The subtle tones in the landscape are rendered beautifully, especially in contrast to the very dark, graphic tree. You have brilliantly created a composition that contains just a few elements that explicitly expresses solitude, serenity and silence. 

©Ray Chong
©Ray Chong

 

Ray, the warm gray tones that you have given the overall image creates the perfect ambience for this scene. There is a softness and quietness coupled with the long-exposured, cloud-like water that possesses a sense of mystery. All this lures me in and makes me want to sit for a long while.

©Tom Kaszuba
©Tom Kaszuba

 

Tom, you have captured an image that exudes the power of nature. The eye quickly scans all the different textures and gorgeous tones, feeling the rush of movement of the cascading water in all it’s different speeds.  Your gradation of black and white shades in this image are just masterful.

©Brad Mangas
©Brad Mangas

Brad, the flat, textural quality of this image is wonderful and can only be really appreciated when viewed larger. There is energy in the vertical, pencil-like strokes of the grass that creates a wonderful, rhythmic tone to the overall image. In looking at it, I want to tap my foot to the “staccato sound” (if you will) that it makes for me.

 

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5 Responses to “May LLTL Contest – The 26 Choices”

  1. Dang, there are some great shots here!! I especially like the tones in Lon’s image, and the mystery in Jack’s image. Great work from all!

    Wayne

  2. [...] Diane Varner has finished commenting on all 26 of May’s LLTL photo contest entires here. Thanks to Diane for all her hard work and thoughtful comments. I also want to personally offer [...]

  3. Congratulations to the winners and a great thanks to everyone for posting such amazing work. Also, I would like to thank Diane for commenting on each photo. Although, I didn’t win, the comment was a prize itself.

  4. It was incredibly kind of Diane to comment on all of the images. I enjoyed her thoughts very much and have learned from them as well.

    Many thanks,
    Tom K

  5. Congratulations to all winners! It has been an honor to participate in Darwin’s contest with you all. Thank you Darwin, and thank you Diane, for all your comments and your time. Looking forward to doing this again!

    -Dan

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