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02/23/2015 12:22:22 AM · #1
Introductory Remarks

I don’t think of the photos below as winners. The winners are already on the front page. In my opinion, art isn’t something you win at. Manet was shunned by the Salon. Now he is highly regarded. In the next generation, he might be shunned again. There is no final score on a work of art. There is only the art and how it affects the people who see it. With that in mind, the jury’s process was geared toward emphasizing these effects. Art, as much as it is anything, is conversation. So, instead of witnessing a triumph today, you will be merely eavesdropping. But don’t worry, we're still giving out bling!

All of the photos below receive the Honorable Mention splat. They are listed alphabetically by title. Their achievement was to inspire at least one of the judges to write, to respond, to converse with the piece. This is no small achievement, because writing is hard, and none of us want to do too much of it! We did not find any clear winners across all the jurors. You might think of this as a weakness in the pool of photos, but I think it comes from strength, from an abundance of good, provocative photography appealing to different tastes. And I think all of the judges would agree this abundance extends beyond the photos picked below. A great showing, DPC.

One more thing. You’ll notice that our comments are not anonymous this year. This is also in the spirit of conversation. We are not a chorus. Our opinions were generated in isolation and no effort was made to bring them into harmony.

How do these three photographs (Atwater, Sunrise through the kitchen window, always after rain) maintain a presence in a mind so full, whirling around, bumping and colliding with things from now and way back when? Never mind the question, “are they art?” My personal requirement for something being “art” is its ability to resonate with me on some personal level…be it emotional, physical…a memory, experience, etc. There must be some sort of kinship between myself and what I am seeing. Even a remote connection or spark will do, as long as a journey is begun. You can be pretty, you can be ugly, I don’t care…you just have to take me there…you have to make me feel something.

I don’t want to define what is art; I feel that is limiting freedom of expression. I want to experience an ‘emotional’ or ‘intellectual’ reaction before exploring any craft or technical elements of an image that is presented as art. Rather than be in awe or wonderment of an image because of its sheer technical prowess, I want to explore other aspects of the image that connect me to its’ emotional or stimulative value. Ideally, I have to spend time with an image, explore and prod it, build scenarios around it, challenge it, see if it warrants building that imaginary (or real) world. When and if I’ve built that world, does it support me, do I still feel secure in those feelings, does it reciprocate, and do I want it to reciprocate. I’m having a dialogue with the creator of that image as well as with the image itself. I expect to be let down, disappointed, just as much as I expect to be supported, stimulated and vindicated in my feelings and share what I bring to the interaction. I’m not looking to make everyday sense in the content, I’m not going to struggle to make out objects as such, but explore how whatever content is there is used to imply other meanings and expressions of feeling.

The only person that has any say in what art is is the person who's poured their passion into the creation of it. It doesn't need to be validated in any other way. The greatest service an art jury can perform is to prolong the conversation, to make us look with renewed or even skeptical interest, to pause and think, to talk about it with others. And, unlike a figure skating or kennel club judging panel, an art jury has no checklist that needs to be completed, no preordained criteria that needs to be met, no difficulty levels -- it's an entirely subjective, emotional reaction, with every reaction being unique. The jury for this Art of 2015 challenge had the enviable opportunity to share our unique reactions to entries submitted by our peers. It should be said that every one of us has this same opportunity in every challenge, but here our interpretations and reactions are being shared publicly as a group. It'd be impossible to consider continuing a juried format at DPC, but I hope this exercise provides momentum, because upon reading the words of my fellow jurors it's clear that the passion, creativity and courage of challenge entrants can been met with the passion of a viewer who is courageous enough to share their views and creative enough to do it well. Prolong the conversation. Make art the response to art. -bohemka

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9:17:32 by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chazoe

Our eyes perceive this image in a pinwheel movement trying to find a resting place to give us an answer but there is not such thing and we are forever searching. There are all kinds of elements here. There is graciousness, power, tiredness, acceptance, fear, violence and in the end some hope. It’s an imperfect photograph of an imperfect world. It belongs to a series of snapshots on a theme that only this photographer knows about. The awakening of ideas.

A moment in time, a juxtaposition of the older and the younger – touching, reaching, being ready for interaction, an offer of assistance, a request for help, elements of interactive anticipation through the triangulation of hands. I think the hands speak volumes towards the mood and intentions of the subjects, a story so loudly unspoken in its’ familial affirmation and gestures of emotional sensitivity.

they lead us out of frame, in all directions. In the center there is nothing. Or rather, there is no center. Or rather, the center is everywhere.

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always after rain by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' tate

I have to admit this is the one image that never left me, not even for a moment. This looks like home. It’s simple, so nonchalant, uncomplicated and unpretentious. Good things happen here. Good life is lived here. I want to hang out here. I see the fishing net, the garbage can and a place to build a fire. The creature…I can’t be sure what it is…a dog, and small deer…what is it? And that silver the rain has lain on the wood, heart achingly beautiful against the wild woods and water that envelope it. And those two planks that cross from here to there, full of wobbly uncertainty and foolhardy fun. This is a place where recollections are made, filed away a brought back out later on down the road when you see that same sheen on a surface somewhere else, and you remember when…always after rain.

the detail that takes this over the top is the strange angle at which we see the dog, so that it is transformed into something else, perhaps another piece of furniture from another universe.

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Atwater by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' davidw

Emptiness is a beautiful thing. So are harsh environments on the other side of a monitor screen. Lush tones give this a calming feel (though I can’t imagine it was a holiday retreat). The power lines into the distance create a depth that you cannot see in any other way. That’s a nice visual trick. Immense spaces, a mysterious place.

Atwater Atwater Atwater. What is it about you? This is the sort of photograph I wish I could step into. It’s an inhospitable looking place, but so striking, so quiet. I still want to be there even so. I can’t tell if it’s sand, snow or maybe mist. Is it windy warm or cold? The wonky little signs, the power lines that fade into infinity…small touches of humanity. Is that a mountain range in the far distance? I want to know, I want to find out for myself. This photograph is a happening.

Is this the Atwater vineyard? Am I missing the meaning of the title? At water?

In any case, its solitary despair is beautiful and timeless. It’s a place in a world, anywhere really, lost in time and engulfed in its seclusion.

I got an even more intense feeling of suffocation when I cropped by mistake the bottom part of the picture.

A landscape with nowhere to stand. It looks more like light than snow. We don’t have the place, only the markers.

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Balandra Breakfast by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' vlado

The Last Supper reimagined as an absurdist working class cabaret. The indifferent Jesus, the stares into camera, the ridiculous interaction with a miniature tennis racket. As with a great Renaissance depiction of the Last Supper, we can only marvel at how much is going on, at the excess of beauty that we can appreciate so much better than the actual participants in it.

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bring in the clouds by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' PennyStreet

Artifice (the graffitied wall) separates the parasols from the sky, which is oddly appropriate since the parasols themselves seem so artificial… and the sky seems so real, but also so lovely that it can almost seem decorative. I would even say that “decoration” is the main feeling I get from this image. Not that the image is decoration, but that it is art about decoration.

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Buddha nature pervades the whole universe by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tiberius

I wish I did not read the title. I don’t want to be fed with a big spoon. Wished I could have thought: here is a reclining man, a modern Buddha in his last stage, during his last illness after he accessed full insight and arrived at the real enlightenment… or something of a kind, about the death and rebirth and the acceptance of life, about the wisdom that we have to discover by ourselves after a journey from which no one can spare us.

An ineffable calmness invades the viewer and this is what it’s all about.

The horizontal lines and an almost imperceptible tilt are full of graciousness.

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The Cape by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' backdoorhippie

As close to a classic of street photography as an image can be.

Sort of a Pippi Longstocking encounter.

This is a fraction of a second of stillness that might pass invisible in our perception had it not been captured and frozen in a felicitous moment; not too intense but inducing a mental processes. What could be the next succession of events? Something bad can happen or something really comical or the whole thing won’t lead anywhere and was just a fleeting juxtaposition of elements without any connection between them and without any consequence.

This is a “photograph of possibilities” in the same way as Antonioni’s films were defined as “cinema of possibilities”

I am taken by the sauciness of the girl and I love the greyness of a newspaper image.

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"Chaos is the score upon which reality is written." -- Henry Miller by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MaryO

Irresistible moment to witness without trying to save it forever. The photograph has the quality of a tapestry. It is a fragment of a very large tapestry, something on a vast subject such as "the music of the spheres".
The four horizontal registers are so perfectly interwoven. The grayness of the image can be probably still fine tuned but as it is we look at a fascinating photograph.

The three bands are standard, but blended so unusually together by the flock of birds. My eyes wander through, always going to the forest first. Probably because it's the clearest part. Then they automatically start wandering down with the few strays flying in front of the stumps, to where it's just a maze of rocks and wings and resting white spots and more rocks, round and round and all over the place, going more out of focus all the time. Just when it seems to be much, the eyes can rest over the water, and slowly exploring the detail be pleasantly surprised by a raptor or two.

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Chasing Pavements by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Melethia

It’s not often a scene from your own memory is presented to you in a photograph taken by someone else. More important than the fact that I swear I’ve been at this exact spot, or dozens of places just like it, the elements captured and presented here portray the very essence of why I love waiting around doing nothing but staring at stuff. Light, glass, metal and water make a fantastic team, and what an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts this is. This is a photograph taken by an observer. And the stories? Oh, plenty of stories.

I stopped at this image because in spite of its quite pedestrian title it contains something that I call sensory ghosts.
A mundane scene fixed as if by mistake, incomplete and faulty but containing an uncanny feeling that makes one pause.

I love this for its use of subdued light to enhance colour and mood. Dark light contrasts against leading lines of the concrete runway, making me feel like I am part of the scene and compelled to stare into the scene of a for an extended time, or at least until my flight departs. There is a feeling of a foregone conclusion, something so absolute in its completion that there is nothing possible to do but await the inevitable.

gorgeous light, beautiful clipped composition. the truncated "STOP" seems so appropriate.

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city sunshine by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' tvsometime

Waiting for the other shoe to drop. That sliver of light means so much. Lines up and down and back and forth and, for the obsessives, one of these even perfectly connects corner to corner. Rays of light lead us to the character we’ll never meet, because we’re anxiously waiting for him to take that next step and enter our lives. And while he’s about to, he never will.

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Contemplating Rothko by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/30861.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/30861.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bear_Music

Order is reassuring, said the former resident of Germany. I look at this photo and my mind finds corner after corner and line after line that square up. It’s an amusing scene. A person is looking at a painting of a shape within a shape, and a person is looking at this person looking at a shape within a shape, and we’re looking at this person looking at that person looking at a shape within a shape. It’s a visual Russian nesting doll. Notice the shapes on the floor, and the spaces to the sides of the painting, the hallway sliver, and, in the top right of the photo, the perfect gradient step. And General E will swear that the top left corner can be used to calibrate your monitor. Here I am poking fun at a person looking at a rectangle in a box but I’m actually enamored with how well this photographer has presented all of these lines and angles and gradients in Russian-nesting-doll fashion. I think I’ve been punked. This is a math-rock photo, damn it, and the vivid colors and contrast between the viewer and Rothko’s work are just a distraction. Right?

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Dancing in the Street by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' gsal

You found that perfect tilt, a tilt that dances with the tilt of your subjects, who are themselves mirroring each other’s tilts. You have not merely created the sense of dance, but the sense that I am dancing with them, too. A shot that goes to the next level generally has some detail which takes it there. In the case of this photo, it’s the aluminum can she is holding precariously. It shows how fragile all of this is, not just the fragility of a little girl but the fragility of connection, the fragility of art, the fragility of a moment, which we tend to forget in photography’s Deep Freeze.

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descent with modification by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Marfun

This is a beautiful implied transition from a societal to a natural organic culture. It suggests a metaphor of the passing of the present, into an evolutionary past. Darwinian overtones represent a clawback from modern technology based communities into a primordial base, an evolutionary regression. But I wont say it again ;) While it is a dramatic visual transition, it feels as though there is inevitability to the process, and quite advanced. The unsuspecting crowd is complicit in its demise to a more paradoxical but simplistic ascendance – or dependence?

All current thoughts used to be there.
Nothing lost. Nor the same.
Straight is gone, links randomised.

Who ordered it scrambled?
Never liked eggs that way, even. Fried for me.
As is the top shelf.

Take a simple shot of room-people and windows
Downwards with recognition
Bombarded ears fail sorting the layers
turning it to green mush.

Precious memories come out skewed
with clouds at the bottom and sunlit areas
all impossible hanging unsupported.

So, be gone the will to sort and measure
better to embrace the feel
and treasure being loved after.

A primitive painted landscape turns into a tribe of silhouettes eating the sky world of the future, where all life is poured into convenient boxes, and ends without anyone noticing.

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Enjoy Yourself by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' njsabs

This one slowly bubbled up. It started somewhere above 20th, but after three days of looking and re-looking at the lot, it is my favourite.

I know it is not a new or unusual image. And quite mainstream.

This gives me affirmation. Of what – of all that I, as a half-full optimist believe of the human race.

The photograph was created by all the normal good rules. Well, except levelling the horizon. There's a subject to hold one's eye, situated at the two-thirds rule, good soft reasonably bland background, and a complementary carpet of flowers. The balance between the subject, foreground and background was handled really well, and the B&W is perfectly soft.

But that is not what won me over.

It's the “ being-in-the-moment” with no pretension, as only children can be. With that hair! And the tongue just sweetens it a tad. It may well be that she was running on instruction of the photographer, but, for sure, if she was asked afterwards about the time spent, she's not going to mention anything about doing something for the camera. This is living life, simple, pure.

I need to do this. I hope you did put your camera down after this wonderful image, and joined her in hopping, skipping and jumping. I cannot imagine anybody going back home to design a bomb or write a phishing program after this exercise.

Thank you.

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His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' rooum

I’ve read this sentence before somewhere and had to google it; it’s a title of a book in Oprah’s reading club.
I’ll stay with the photograph because I like a lot its look reminiscent of a magic lantern glass slide. In our days of intense sharpness, vivid colors, HDR and such, this type of image has a very attractive vulnerability. The undulating line of the horizon is musical (alas, there is a little halo there)

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my feet don’t touch the ground by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jmritz

Art can seem so stiff, so dead. You can’t eat photography. All you can do is look at it. So how does one make a photo that is alive? This is one way, by making us dizzy, by putting us in the middle of a motion, never letting us settle in. Your title shows an understanding of your own achievement. On a metaphorical level, this photo could represent being in love or, more aptly, falling in love. Or it could just be a moment’s chemistry, or a stranger inspiring a daydream. It can be any of these things, because it is not a thing at all, it is the energy of it.

Life is light and shadow and motion and nights out. Or so it should be. This photo is abstract in its proximity and ethereal in sensation, yet it is absolute reality.

I find this a somewhat sultry and sensuous image, the bare shoulder, the strap of the bag, the flowing hair – is she an angel floating or am I, a male viewer, being swept along in a voyeuristic male gaze. I suspect it is an image that says more about who the viewer is than the scene, but there is a lot more going on here than we think. The shadow and light that envelops her arm is a wonderful lead in into the other facets of the image. The technical aspects are subtle but the subject is strong. This is powerful and strong imagery that commercialism strives to attain, it contains statements of cultural artefacts, revealing information about the culture of its creator and users.

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no going back by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jagar

There are no rules for composition. There is no math for composition, unless it includes the measure of emotion. For example, this composition consists of two major vertical elements. The first is a spiraling hedge, and the second is… an illusion. The illusion of a statue on a pedestal. Who is to say that these two elements are properly balanced? What calculation proves it? More room is given the hedge, which is counter-intuitive. Surely the interest is in the man, not the hedge? But the idea of looking in a photo for a subject to be interested in is vanity. The interest of the photo is not the man, but the smallness of the man, the obscurity of the man and how the man obscures himself, contrasted with his illusory pedestal. Because of these non-mathematical considerations, the composition is correct… a composition of illusions, eradicating the reality of a wall between viewer and subject. This real, massive wall of stone melts away because of the composition. It almost seems as though the wall is tilted because it has been defeated. A slight change in the composition would ruin these effects, this occult balance. The man could have been too small, conveying a simplistic notion of man overwhelmed by surroundings. Too big, and he would lose his “pedestal” and the spiral hedge would lose its ominous power.

I have to ignore the title that does not help me and just look at this still. A behind the scene moment, the film director at work. The picture is ultra saturated and has an unappealing fuzziness that makes sense though in the context I just mentioned. An interesting find.

Such a wonderful use classic shapes, lines and curves. The man’s gaze beckons us to an off view event, we are distracted by his distraction, his alignment with the lines of stonework for some other event. Perhaps the corkscrew shaped manicured bush implies a posible emerging event, not unlike the arrival of HG Wells’ mole drilling machine from Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The whole scene creates a quaint tension between the movements of competing stories.

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Noontime in the garden of enlightenment by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' blindjustice

The blind seer, who turns leaves into butterflies,
under trees of unfinished photosynthesis leaking light,
is the eye of the scene, the dark pupil whirling into iris.
She holds a hand up to her head, the ache of memory
a burden even to big arms, erasing her countenance
like a dream upon waking.

A most wonderful title coupled with quite a heart-warming scene. And it has such a pleasant compositional balance. It evokes freshness of life and vitality with slightly comic overtones.

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Nothing will work unless you do by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jjbeguin

It’s so difficult to keep a photo from being a minor work. A photo will never be a novel, and is usually closer to a lyric poem. It’s a rare photo that needs to be looked at longer than a minute. This photo is that rare exception, a piece with some breadth and depth. It reminds me of Dali’s epic wall-sized paintings. I see the riggings of great galleons. I see the saints in their poses of torment and ecstasy. The spareness of the palette makes it seem like a painting as well. When an image is deep, you feel as though you will fall into it. When an image is broad, you feel as though it will surround you. When an image is both, you become disoriented by it. You are falling in love.

These workers are perfectly integrated into a complex web of infrastructure. They are inside the outside. They belong in the in-between. Most photos of workers outside buildings leave me cold. I feel as outside as the workers are. But in this photo, I feel like the outside is richer and more beautiful than the inside, hiding the beauty that is sought by those trapped inside their lives.

Looking at this picture made me think of waiting for a polaroid image to get developed. The more I look the more I keep finding details. I go inch by inch and observe and get engaged in the action. This image is humming and visually it keeps me going from one place to another looking for more clues.

But it’s not only this that goes into my mind. It’s what “art” is when we talk about photography. I think that an artistic photograph is one that keeps the viewer engaged and curious and the mind alert. It does not have to do with any formula; it’s not a dreamy picture, it’s not an impressionistic one, it’s not blurry or “unfinished” processing wise or trying to step out of any conventions. Far from it.

I totally agree for instance with what Marcel Proust wrote :

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

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on tilt by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' flaherma

I am waiting for the ball to slide and keep looking and looking – we do live in a dangerous world full of bittersweet longings for what's gone and what we can still lose.

Stonargee felt the itch in its normal place again. Oh no, he thought another bad patch coming up. Itching where one can't scratch. Not that he can really scratch anywhere, but still.. It was the fourth time it has happened, but the other times were when the road was not even tarred yet and the leaves fell on ground, not paved sidewalks. It happened just after being placed here by the Planspewer, with instructions not to move. Yea. Great.

He has worked out that the itching only happens when the leaves fall early, and they start decaying while still green. When he reported it to Smotherhip they said he should grin and bear it – such a lame joke. He was in a good mind to not send so much detail about the locals, as Smotherhip now imagines that it has enough data to start bantering in the local's dialect.

Ah well he thought, only about 479 more presidential elections of the locals to report on before his first break. He must remember to request the newest brochure on the middle-stellar dead stars for his getaway. He really was looking forward to a little R&R.....

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Precaución by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' lei_73

Weird. My kind of weird.

Somebody's being interrogated. Framing could be going on. No escape route. It seems to be a thorny issue. The thick-skinned perp is keeping his trap shut.

Meanwhile, just look at the symphony of shades created by the lack of evidence box.

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Reclining Nude by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' PennyClick

I’m drawn to chaos/order scenarios, and this is a perfect visual representation. There are so many levels of contrast. Warm rust vs. the cold and colorless, angular and geometric vs. the reclining nude, brittle rust vs. weathered board. It’s a study in texture, the eye moves from imperfection to imperfection, scar to scar, and how they work in shadow and light; the photographer has an eye for abstract. And then you move to the fringes and realize it’s also perfectly naturally framed. Built-in borders, squared off. It’s the kind of rich and reassuring image that also lets you dig into its imperfections, which, of course, have been perfectly presented. It’s a wonderful guilty pleasure.

The title shows me how the artist sees the image, and thus transforms the image, making me feel like an artist, too, as though the revelation occurred to me on its own, before there was even a photograph… the kind of revelation that makes us all take photographs.

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Sci-Fi by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' mqnaufal

I enjoy reminders that we’re part of a machine — a machine we’re designing around us, for ourselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum from intimate-life, character-capturing street photography is a view of how we are engineering our species’ patterns and behaviors on a macro level. What a view of one such design. There are many complimentary things to say about the lines and framing and all that, but it’s a wonderful observation of this phenomenon that’s occurring at an increasing rate worldwide without a whole lot of awareness, as our focus narrows to our immediate situations out of necessity or design. The title couldn’t be better.

Some of us can remember the 60s when there were these predictions of what the 20th century might bring: pills instead of food, robots in charge of everything, architecture yet to amaze us by its out-of-this-planet look…

We played with simple pieces of lego, we were half in electronic noise, half in earth-centered paganism, we imagined people dressed in white overalls, Bond- James Bond paraphernalia and so on.

And here is a contemporary photograph of a 21st century place, Hong Kong or Japan, who knows, built somehow the way we played with our building blocks; the city of the future is the city of the present and there are these ant like things under the suspension spider web concoctions that probably move by themselves or with remote controls operated by invisible things. In any case, there are no people in the urban sprawl.
A deft photograph.

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Sunrise through the kitchen window. by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' 2mccs

I know you. I’ve been there. This photograph is a familiar meditation. It’s a dirty window, a ghost of a tree and that white hot flash of sunshine. I can feel it on my face as you felt it on yours, feel it sinking into my skin even though it’s winter. You tell yourself you need to wash this window…eventually, maybe, but for now you’re happy with the patterns the crud makes when addressed by this warm early sun. For just a moment you forget the weightier things of the day, week, month…year. In this moment you just let yourself feel, satiate and forget. You close your eyes and see the uncertain outlines of sticks and branches mingling with light…if there is a breeze…oh that lingering breeze. The means there will be dancing and you love what that light does when that happens. You snap yourself out of it and make breakfast. At least there is a moment enjoyed simply for what it is and not what it could have been.

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Tables in Waiting by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' crik

A clever scene of alternate coca cola and designer water bottles coupled with organic floral displays reminiscent of Bernie Boston’s 1967 photo of George Harris placing flowers into the rifle barrels of military police at an anti-war rally. There is a subtle oddness in the scene with the alternate tables and the mismatched chairs. It is more of a study than a statement. It sits quietly and patiently for the players in an unplayed scene, laughter and wine, stories untold, tears and tales, reunions and separations.

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time by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' marnet

This is not making nice. No toddler wallowing towards his parent. Such tension between the two corners. Coming in and going out. Colour to mono. Soft and sure to harsh and wobbly. Floating vs stomping.

With a blankish, patchy period in-between. Even if you think that you may cast a shadow here during your time, just see how even that reflection disappears with your next step.

Still, we keep on walking. Looking to follow in the footsteps of those before us.

Make the next one a double, please.

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under cover by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' nixter

There are many candids where one person looks at the camera, but these looks can have different meanings. In this shot, the look interrupts the candid, is about to escape it by stopping short and backing out of it. There are other interesting things about the shot, and it’s well composed, but really it’s this guy that makes it my pick. The stroller that seems like an afterthought, the bravura smoking gesture, the ferocious brow, the glorious slouch out of frame.

An amusing street shot. Where would you find a man smoking pushing an old fashioned pram? In Liverpool or Manchester or even further North? Almost the Beatles era. Just wonderful.

A creative street capture of odd pairings. Combining a smoking parent and an unseen baby in the pram, it is truly classic decisive moment stuff, and I like the clean lines within an ordered clutter. A wonderful chance capture of that could just be an ordinarily common scene given credence by the craft and good luck of the photographer. A very ‘in your face’ image, where the photographer must have the courage to confront the participants without hesitation, carpe diem indeed.

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the usual suspects by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' NiallOTuama

Shimmering tones, abrupt yet smooth contrast, graceful flow of line throughout the entire photo, and a rock-solid foundation at the base. The characters have magically lined up in a pleasing diagonal, and into the light they climb. I’ve gotten lost in the banister finials, repeatedly. I’ve explored their surroundings, the shadows, the detail of the stonework, the flow of the stairs, that wonderful base, the bald spot, the hanging lights. And into the light they climb. Fantastic stuff.

What a great marriage between the image and its title!

I’ve seen another version of this shot and I liked it then and I like this one even more. A good photograph stays with you.

What comes to my mind immediately is the feel of a Melville movie or a French gangster movies – The "Sicilian Clan" is one of them with its music by Ennio Morricone. As we watch from the balcony edge the suspects going to their fateful destination I hear the repetitive theme song spasmodically following every step, every thought, every breath and a great fog covers our eyes …or the François de Roubaix theme song of Melville’s "Le Samourai" with its profound feeling of solitude….

The fact that this photograph worked on my mind so quickly making all these connections is the greatest accolade that I can give you.

A dark hybrid HCB styled piece. Architecturally, a demon faced structure in attendance by unholy human like creatures. This is the face that begets the belly of the beast. It conjures evil, foreboding and ominous tidings. It could be dismissed as a common H.R. Giger inspired piece, but there is movement through its use of line and symmetry. In its dark ritualism there lies the entry to the unknown.

Message edited by author 2015-02-23 14:46:07.
02/23/2015 12:32:13 AM · #2
Congrats ya all!
02/23/2015 12:35:52 AM · #3
[Edited to remove introduction that was later added to the original post.] Thanks for putting me in line, Don!

Message edited by author 2015-02-23 18:15:07.
02/23/2015 01:51:15 AM · #4
Well done Jury, some really good entries in your final result I can see why you picked them!

Thanks for your analysis also.
02/23/2015 02:23:55 AM · #5
Thank you to the jury for your time and for sharing your choices with keen insight and care and love for this art form.
Your work really enhances this community and I appreciate that really exquisite work has been singled out for a second look
which it really deserves.
Thanks guys! Really great work and great choices!
02/23/2015 02:34:18 AM · #6
Well done jury, for choosing interesting photographs and for draping them in such thoughtful comments. Thank you as well for opening my mind to some photographs that I'd neglected or under-appreciated.
02/23/2015 04:37:14 AM · #7
Wow. Really appreciate the mention! Thanks!

Was it coincidence, by the way, that these were released the same night as the Oscars? :-)
02/23/2015 05:44:47 AM · #8
I am honored to be numbered among such a wonderful group of photographs. Thank you, jurists, for taking the time to seriously consider and comment so thoughtfully on all these works.
02/23/2015 06:06:31 AM · #9
Thank you all for the effort you put into this, skillfully done I'd say.
02/23/2015 07:42:49 AM · #10
Thank you for the mention, I am truly honored.
02/23/2015 07:52:54 AM · #11
Thanks to the jury for a fantastic job done - and some great choices. Thanks also for the mention!
02/23/2015 08:38:39 AM · #12
So honored to see my photo here!
02/23/2015 09:05:40 AM · #13
Thank you so much! It is indeed an honor to have my photo included here.
02/23/2015 09:12:36 AM · #14
Thank you for the mention and big a big thank you to the jury for doing such a great job on this.
02/23/2015 09:59:06 AM · #15
Blown away to be included in a list of wonderful images. Thank you Jury... not an easy job, but at least it's not thankless.
02/23/2015 10:19:36 AM · #16
Thank you jurors for suggesting different ways of looking.
02/23/2015 10:25:47 AM · #17
WHat a fantastic group of images. And the comments and observations by the jury are truly exceptional. Thank you so much to all involved. This is truly my favorite challenge of the year and I assume will be annually. I don't participate as much as I did a few years ago, but this challenge really always feels fresh and reminds me how fun DPC can be.

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' RKT totally nailed it on my image - to the point that I was nearly brought to joyful tears. THis is from my uncle's home, where my family (myself, wife and 3 kids -sometimes my mom and grandma) have explored and enjoyed the wonders of a small wonderland in Florida; Be it picking eggs from beneath hens, holding their chicks, riding a pony, kayaking amongst ducks, staring at goats, chasing lizards, picking produce from the garden, picnicking with family, or making coladas and lounging in the sun - it has always been a great memory each time we visit. To the point that it was my substitute for Disney World until last year when we finally did both! ;)

And ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' posthumous, yes, the dog's awkwardness certainly contibuted to this one being my final choice. Thank you for your great observations, as always.

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My daughters with their cousins and grand-uncle.

Message edited by author 2015-02-23 10:44:17.
02/23/2015 11:07:31 AM · #18
What a wonderful experience looking much closer at these artful images and being enlightened to perspectives that hadn't formed in my mind yet. I think your analyses are brilliant, and now... I want to group them all in framed pieces on my wall! What a touch of class this process gives to this site! THANK YOU jurors for your thoughtful effort in doing this! And congratulations to the Honorable Mention recipients! Very well deserved!!
02/23/2015 11:10:14 AM · #19
I'm thrilled to be included on this list. And big kudos to the jury for an articulate and revealing look *into* a wonderful collection of images.
02/23/2015 11:19:59 AM · #20
I love the concept mentioned by Don ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' posthumous in the jury's summary, and again by Scott ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' bohemka, of prolonging the conversation. Many thanks to the jurors for that undertaking. I was thrilled to be included in the list.

Message edited by author 2015-02-23 11:20:30.
02/23/2015 11:20:00 AM · #21
Thank you all!
02/23/2015 11:30:05 AM · #22
Pleased to see my image here, but more pleased to be able to soak in the photos, perspectives, musings and feel like part of the process-part of the community.
Huge Thanks to Don and jury- for the organization and effort; for the overall benefit to DPC.

It is so easy to feel alienated, alone and speed voting-unable to truly focus for more than a short time providing only a quick vote or jotted phrase- but here, this process and this thread, the way it should be.
02/23/2015 11:35:23 AM · #23
I am deeply honored to be included in this list. Many thanks to the jurors for revealing their observations and thoughts on a most engaging group of images. Wow. I am smiling from ear to ear!
02/23/2015 01:17:38 PM · #24
Wow what a great response. Thank you for noticing our efforts.

A public answer to a private question about our process:

I did comment on photos without nominating them. The photo had to inspire a mini essay at least before I would nominate it. Some photos I loved and said as much, but I just didn't have enough to say about them. Indeed, a couple photos came close to that line.

All nominated photos were included in the results. No juror's choices were vetoed.
02/23/2015 01:29:58 PM · #25
I know it's real time consuming for you guys but I'd be up for more challenges juried by the same group, it makes for a far more interesting experience and it doesn't take away from the scoring challenge. I'm probably just being greedy but that doesn't bother me.
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