Best of 2016 Photo Contest

Every month jpeg2RAW holds a themed Photo Challenge, except for December.  In December, we hold a Best of the Year Photo Contest.  In this Best of 2016 episode, Mike and Tim are joined by A.D Wheeler to analyze each of the finalist and to announce the winner entry.

Best of 2016 Photo Contest

 Judges:

Andy Wheeler
Andy WheelerAbandonscape Photographer
I am a New York based photographer specializing in landscape and a style I call “abandonscape” photography. The best place to see my work is here my website. I also sell limited editions of my work on metal at art festivals and galleries up and down the east coast. If you are interested in carrying my works in your shop or gallery, please contact me. I also host workshops and photowalks to help other photographers learn more about their art.
Greg Benz
Greg BenzPhotographer and creator of Lumenzia
I got got hooked on photography back in 2000, when I was living in London for six months, and have been obsessed ever since. These days I call Minneapolis home, but continue to travel the world in search of incredible cityscapes and landscapes.

My goal is not just to create art, but to connect with other photographers to share the vision, tools, and technique behind my work. I don’t believe I’ve ever found a camera that automatically captures the beauty of the world I see, so I use Lightroom, Photoshop, luminosity masking, or HDR for nearly all of my images. These topics can seem intimidating, so my goal is to help make them a bit simpler through tools and tutorials that I share on this site. And in response to many questions I’ve received, I’ve created a page about the photography equipment I use and recommend.

Mike Howard
Mike HowardHost - jpeg2RAW Photogrpahy Podcast
Mike Howard is the host of the jpeg2RAW podcast and creator of jpeg2RAW Photography Podcast. Along with his wife and two boys, he lives in the Atlanta area where he works as the Controller & CIO for a large national company.
Mike’s entrance into photography really began 2000 with the purchase of his first digital camera, the Fuji FinePix 2400. While this camera was very limited in capability, the images he created made him thirsty for more. He next moved up to the Olympus 2100 UZ and loved that little camera. After a short disappointing time with the Olympus E-10, Mike moved over to Nikon with his first DSLR, the Nikon D100, then a D2h and a D2x. Mike now mainly shoots with his Nikon D700 and IR converted D2x.
Tim Kemperle
Tim KemperleCo-Host - jpeg2RAW
Tim Kemperle was our guest on Show #4 and was hooked. Soon after that show, Tim joined jpeg2RAW as a co-host. Tim resides on Long Island in New York with his wife and son and works as a Risk Manager for a large international company.

Tim started with photography in the early 1990’s with his purchase of a Minolta Maxxum camera, the 7000i. While the camera had many functions available the majority of photos were taken in Program or Shutter priority. It wasn’t until the purchase of a DSLR (Minolta Maxxum 7D) that Tim started to learn how to properly take photos and understand the settings of the camera and how they related to the photograph. When Sony purchased the Minolta camera line Tim decided to stay with the brand because of the extensive lenses / flashes that would be compatible with the Sony line. Tim now shoots with a Sony Alpha A700 for the past several years and is considering the new Sony A77.

Tim’s focus on photography is related to his son’s soccer activities, family and vacation photography, mainly Walt Disney World. Tim continues to learn and shoots predominately in Manual Mode and RAW while editing in Lightroom.

Note:  judges listed below are NOT in the same order as above!

Winning Image:

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Greg Croasdill

Judge’s Feedback:

Great framing of the image with the lighthouse as the main focal point. Love the tone of the image. The waves breaking on the right, while calmer seas are on the left adds to the story of the image.

Excellent composition, leading lines, and mood. The blown highlights in the clouds hold the image back a bit, but a beautiful image overall. Bravo!

2nd Place:

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Bayarerdene Ulziisaikhan

Judge’s Feedback:

Love the ray of lights coming through the windows and hitting her dress. The blown out portions hit by the sun are fine for me. The light rays also draw me to the brides face where she is smiling and thinking about her big day, at least how I see the image.
Lovely emotion – the beams of light are amazing and create great leading lines. Highlights in the dress are blown, would love to see a little more soft detail there, which would also help keep the attention more on her face than the very bright highlights. Excellent use of shadows.

3rd Place:

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Darrell Harrington‎

Judge’s Feedback:

Well done Milky Way image. Taken above the clouds, with the observatory and city below, really make for an incredible image.
Beautiful Milky Way image. I’d love to see the stars used as a leading line to connect to a foreground or other subject on the ground. Shooting from a vantage point to the right to line up the stars with the observatory here would have heightened the mood significantly. Your processing of the sky is very good, put a little more emphasis on the composition and you’ll have a knockout image.

Finalist:

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Gina Parry

Judge’s Feedback:

The impact/emotion in this image is powerful. Love how the tear of joy is captured and the strong emotion in the child’s face. Also, love that the photographer chose a tight shot so only the child’s face is in the image. The B&W conversion is well done and IMO, was a great choice for this image. The object coming in from the left, however is very distracting.
Excellent eyes/tear. Would push for more drama through dodging and burning of the image to enhance the mood. Pushing the midtones darker and reducing the brightness of the bride’s dress would help direct the viewer’s gaze toward her eyes.

Finalist:

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Debi Henry

Judge’s Feedback:

Love the mood of this image. The sunlight the mist and even the dark trees in the foreground add to the mood. The pine needles coming in from the left should have been cloned or cropped out.
The sideways limb at the right breaks the composition and flow of the image, otherwise excellent. Love the misty moody, and use of a foreground element to create depth.

Finalist:

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Milen Vaskov Mladenov

Judge’s Feedback:

The lines of the path, which are dead center, bring my eye to the try. However, the tree is a little too dark and doesn’t hold me there. Love the colors in the scene and the dramatic sky.
The clouds are great, and the leading lines hold promise – but the image ultimately fails to drive real emotion as the small/dark/distance tree fails to serve as a real subject. Would recommend moving closer to the subject to make sure it has emotional impact. A lone tree against the storm is a great story, but we don’t quite feel it here. Cloud highlights are a bit blown, and shifting the green tint of the clouds towards blue may help heighten the tension with the beautiful yellow foreground. Excellent concept, I would just push it further to really put the viewer into the scene.

All images submitted to the Best of 2016 Photo Contest:

See also the Best of 2016 album in the forums – Best of 2016 Photo Contest Album

Discuss the show in our forums! – Forum Post

You can also see and comment on images from other contest our Forums – jpeg2RAW Photo Contest

Albums from previous episodes can be found here – Podcast Images