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01/26/2017 07:35:52 PM · #1
Hear ye, Hear ye...

When I accepted this particular responsibility, I no longer had an interest in getting a group of people to agree on something. This time around, I let everyone be themselves and say what they want. The result is 22 winners, which I present in alphabetical order by title.

These are not necessarily the "best" or even the "most artistic" images. These are the images that got words out of us.

For those who ask, "what is art?" maybe a better question is "what does art do?" In this case, it inspires writing.

My thanks to the judges, who faced what turned out to be a very difficult task. You'd be surprised how quickly you run out of words, even for something you love.

Without further ado, your images and our writing, for your enjoyment... and oh yes, some brand new bling. Congratulations to the winners!


bigger the world not me by jagar

A beautiful shoreline with lots to take in. So many different layers working very symphonically together. Beautiful b/w toning and a balanced composition blend it all together. This images speaks to me any many different levels. Bringing back many memories. Evoking feelings I'd wish to feel again. I find the sea so inspiring. Anytime I feel a void or a need to recharge I head to the shore. So I do have a strong and hopefully good bias in that I hope to share some in depth thoughts. It appears as though as a storm is leaving, with the contrasting light as the sun is out, as the looming storm clouds are scattering and the current creates some sea spray. I can imagine the rush of salty sea air. Quite refreshing. The lone little bird (sandpiper?) balances out the shot and adds to the scale. I think it would've also been a good capture without it but it'd feel too desolate without a living creature and perhaps evoke another feel, perhaps a more negative one. I hope you've enjoyed the process of taking the photo. Thanks for sharing! I hope it does well in the challenge.


La caracola by the99

Powerful complementary colors writ large. Terrific execution here with intense colors leading the way in this handsome image. Then the degree of difficulty in getting this image cannot be ignored. Living at an ocean's edge myself, I know how perilous getting a photograph like this can be. At any moment, one of those crashing waves can inundate the photographer, equipment and everything else in its path. Still, this artist managed to capture the beauty and power of this natural setting and then processed it perfectly. The orange conch shell in the foreground, with its deep orange shadow, captured with the last bright rays of the day, is the perfect foil for the strong blue of the water and wave action.

I hope the photographer emerged unscathed from the acquisition of this wonderful exposure. It's an image that could hang in any gallery.


Curls by patches

This artist has taken a natural subject and interpreted it as a pure abstract image while keeping its original identity. Or at least that is my impression of this fine image. The carefully selected lights and darks, patterns and shapes, all combine to elicit a direct response from the viewer. That response could be melancholic or joyful; calm or frenzied. The viewer's own moods add to the interpretation. Through its shapes and its definitions - some are pronounced - some are hidden - there is always more to examine. Can you see the fanciful trees in the oasis, or the draperies from milady's costume? Perhaps there is joy in those playful swirling petals, or sadness in the hidden dark curves. Perfectly positioned in the frame and aptly titled Curls, this lovely low-key composition to me brings out the best in abstract nature photography.


Dog day afternoon by 2mccs

So this one made me smile. Like totally out-loud smile. I LOVE that wash of sunshine and the way it bathes everything and outlines the sandal things. It doesn't just wash through the picture, it radiates and echoes, bounces off the walls. It almost momentarily frightens the dog who seems just a bit reluctant to come out. But I think he will – how can he resist that warmth? Then there's the parenthetical wintering plant on the left, which forms a wonderful frame keeping everything from sliding out of the side due to the slant. And I'd give you credit for the slant, because it is brilliant, but I'm going to guess it's a wonderful happenstance instead. Inside it is just another day. Out here, in the back yard, it’s paradise.
- Melethia


There’s something to be said for making something visually stunning. It so clearly wins the day, but it’s tough to explain clearly why. Yes, it helps to have wild, even dangerous, flares of light. And so clever to have botanical claws on the other side, lit up by that same light, to form a balance of power. And of course, it helps to catch yourself standing above it all by lying down and photographing your feet. But why stunning? Why does it stun? Some credit must go to the outrageous tilt, which sends us off balance while at the same time perfecting the composition. And some to the dog and doorknob combo, sharper than merely focused. All this grounded by competing floor textures. Of course, maybe it’s the combination of all this and more, being set off balance and then thrown so many beautiful things all at once. It’s more than we can juggle and we fall over… some find it an unpleasant experience, I’m sure. They’d rather see a sunset. But others want the vertigo. Emily Dickinson said it felt like having the top of her taken off. She lived for that feeling, receiving and creating it for others. So do I.
- posthumous


Dreamtime by MichaelC

This image chose me, I think. The harmonious colors, the complete abstractness of the piece, all drew me in and held me spellbound.

First the placement. This could be an aerial shot or it could be the closest of macros. After spending some time trying to decide which it was, it suddenly just didn't matter. I was drawn in by the strong blue shape; was it a grove of trees or the print of a horseshoe? Or something else. Whatever it was, here were nature's patterns writ large (or small). The pronounced blue shape worked well with the greens and tans and other milder blue areas. This is a restful yet inquisitive piece. I could spend hours enjoying the patterns textures and objects contained within this image. Were those patterns tributaries of a giant delta or were they tiny ripples at the edge of a stream, or maybe a sea.

The artist found and photographed a most interesting and pleasing subject. It was my pleasure to appreciate it closely.


First Dance by docjonny

This photo is a great opportunity to discuss how photography “works” as an art. Each of the fine arts has its own technique, its own modus operandi, and we can gain insight into the different arts by comparing them. The comparison that this photo brings to mind is that painting is “additive” while photography is “subtractive.” The painter is faced by the abyss of the empty canvas, and bravely adds brushstroke after brushstroke of paint, laboriously building up an image. The photographer, on the other hand, stands on the cliff of TMI… every detail within frame bounces photons through the shutter of his camera: a wealth of detail that threatens to be nothing more than the chaos we see every day of our lives. The photographer’s journey from chaos to art therefore seems subtractive in nature. The challenge becomes how to remove information, to highlight and juxtapose certain elements, in order to do what art does, whatever that is.

In this case, information is obliterated by darkness, while what seems like a beam of light directs our eye to an extremely limited scene. And because photography is “subtractive,” this has an element of wonder to it, whereas if it were a painting or drawing it might seem lazy! And what are these elements? A stone wall, some chairs, and a girl dancing… or at least, what seems like a girl dancing. You could, in fact, argue that the photograph is dancing, that the dance occurs in our eyes differentiating the blurry spin of girl from the rough stone pattern and rigid row of chairs behind her. This analysis is on a mostly visual level. The title “First Dance” takes us into more literary territory, suggesting a symbolic or allegorical meaning: a spotlight on a new experience, an experience that is more universal than just one girl dancing for the first time. Blur is good for allegory, because it blurs out those details that make us individual.

But none of this really explains why I chose this photograph above many others. This choice is actually mysterious even to me. After all, when you tell your doctor about some pain or dizziness you’re having, the doctor doesn’t ask why you have it. Actually, you expect the doctor to tell you! Nevertheless, I will try to be the quack who heals himself, and guess at the reasons. It could be how solid (like a tightly rolled scroll) the torso of the girl appears even as it is spinning. I love the complexity of contradictions. I like how her head is tilted down in profile, reducing her face to just a couple of tiny strokes and emphasizing the graceful orb of her head, and I like how this downward tilt is in the same direction of the beam of light that is backlighting her. I like the composition, that pushes all the visible elements leftward, echoing the leftward tilt of the beam of light, and that makes the girl small in the picture, which doesn’t make her seem insignificant, but rather emphasizes the experience that she is having, and therefore makes her more significant. All taken together, along with elements I don’t even realize, this image fills me with hope and a sense of life. Even more, it suggests to me the ability to face something dreadful and reimagine it as something wonderful.
- posthumous


float by ubique

Why am I so drawn to this, this little white moth on a dark blurry background? Yet not indiscriminately blurry, but suggestive: moonlight coming from behind two lines of trees that converge, either at the end of a lake or, illusorily, at the turn of a wide river, moonlight shining hither and yon on a river or lake. It is even more absurd, this moth or butterfly, just slightly brighter, slightly clearer than the moonlight, and nearly smack dab in the middle of a black and brown and blah lighted obscurity. You can even see the patterns on its wings. Why? Whom will it attract or deflect in all this murk? And yet this pull. Dark times. Real muck(that brown). A glimmer, an articulated glimmer only just implied. In the end this is deeply personal, the few times when, unsought and in greater or lesser murk I have received a glimmer, a sense of reordering(the organic geometry of patterns, like the music of Bach), a sense of sense in the murk. There is nothing superfluous in this composition, nothing lacking.


fly-by shooting by saintaugust

We want to be together and we want to be alone.
Shadows flying motionless use birds as stepping stones.
But every pigeon pitches pennies into concrete lakes
to make his own resounding fortune and to drown in his mistakes.
The couple on the second floor doesn't see them rise and fall.
They only see the sunlight breaking on their furniture and walls.

For me this photo is a meditation on bliss, how we achieve it alone but also as part of something. You have a beautiful texture of pigeons but you also have the individual pigeons. Less separable is the light behind them, cast on a wall full of windows.

So, it’s like this: bliss is something that you, alone, must relax yourself into, but the stream you are going into is the stream of all of our being, so bliss requires an awareness of others, a deep intuitive awareness, and together you all begin to resonate with other layers of being, like the light on the building… and maybe those other layers will open into further depths, the way those windows lead to apartments.

And yes, this was difficult for me to write, to find the words for, but the image itself is the easiest thing in the world. It is instantly eloquent beyond my capability.
- posthumous


Ladder to Freedom by westford

Once we learned that all air travel had been halted, a feeling of certain doom arose. It was difficult to imagine getting home without a plane, although this grew more and more ironic as the water levels rose. We should have been able to float home. With the ever-wetter weather, the ground at Camp became a perma-muck, an endless squelching ooze with a voracious hunger for sandals and shoes. We belted ours onto our feet with clumsy bits of twine and rags in attempts to combat the vacuum. In time, we would grow nostalgic for that muck.

With the insidious rise of water, past ankles, then knees, groups of us would frequently wade-stumble out to the Camp wall as if mass-somnambulating. We would arrive and just look at it... longingly, lustily, indignantly, reproachfully. But this torrid affair was unrequited - the wall bore no reciprocal imprint of our existence. The structure was an odd hodgepodge of successive vertical barriers, about 20 feet high. The ground level consisted of massive boulders, upon that, masonry, upon that, chain-link with razor wire, and at the very top, a fine mesh in a wooden grid, stabilized by fat wooden poles. Rumor was that the seemingly delicate netting at the top was electrified or poisoned, that it couldn't be touched or hurdled. Mercifully, that rumor was as much of a lie as anything else the government had told us.
- skewsme


Life Lines by nam

Perfectly captioned, the artist's chosen title, Life Lines, truly describes this image. The strong earth tones were the first things to capture my attention. Then, once in the composition, the distinct patterns, vigorously flowing lines and deep shadows added their considerable charm. The artist has used light to reveal beauty. There is so much to discover here. This image could be a nature study; It could be an abstract. There is motion and depth in this image. Sharply delineated, yet mysterious. I want to get my hands in there and play with the leaves. The interpretations are endless. Is that a lizard's tail, or perhaps the back of a dragon sharply slinking its way down the frame? Is this an alien road map, or an ancient puzzle? When an image captures the imagination, as this one does, it seems to create strong emotions; then to me, it becomes art. I'd find an undecorated but heavy golden frame and put this image on my wall, any time.


The Long Summer Daze by Bear_Music

Quite a beautiful image with lots to look at. Splitting the image itself into 4 would create separate pieces that work on their own with their own stories to tell. So it's quite the splendid composition. The color palette is very reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner. The color portraying the mood, a hot Summer day, with the smaller human elements of detail and then the vaster landscape surrounding it. The subtle application of texture is perfect. Doesn't distract the eye but seems to add a considerable feature that tones down what might've been an overabundance and strips it down to the minimum. Yet plenty of focal points but not overwhelming to the eye. There's a sense that I can look into the image as far as the eye can see. An enjoyable image to come back to. It doesn't get old.


men by PennyStreet

The tones and combination of motion blur really suck me into the image. The title doesn't do much for me though. So I look at the image as if it has no title. I think you did really well in making the blur add to the story and feel to the shot than just being a part of it for the sake of making it look interesting. My feel for the image is that it's showcasing the hustle and bustle of the city. Fast moving, many people but not much interaction. Feeling more alone in a place of many people than sitting home alone, reading a book or catching a flick. A masterful exposure, the lush b/w toning with detail galore and excellent layering. Each additional viewing surprises with new details I haven't noticed before. The looming human shadows initially take stage and then everything else unfolds. The cab, the building facades. Has a bit of a gloomy feel but overall an interesting image and I do quite like it! I hope it does well in the challenge.


’Merica by RKT

Although the Camps had been established several years before the floods came, fate had been written in the sky long before, in fluffy chemtrails. At that time, sustainable farmers pointed fingers at urban entitlement and petroleum purveyers pushed flatus theory, but the truth was closer to what reverberated beneath tin foil helmets. The environment was being intentionally targeted.

It happened while intercontinental travel was still permitted, in fact, the price of jet trips had hit an absurd nadir. Cheap flights flew in the face of incredible inflation, flippant cuts of FHA assistance and a fundamental food insecurity. Aircraft criss-crossed in close quarters without fear of collision, owing to the advanced echolocation technology that superceded plain old radar. And flight times were wildly reduced once we learned to pre-pressure the air in the plane's predicted path, neutralizing the sonic boom carpet.

Each one of these jet planes might as well have been spewing contrails in the shape of skull and crossbones. Through the harvesting of oilspill-eating bacteria, new amphipathic fuel stabilizers had been developed which increased the half-life of avtur several fold. While this technological frugality made for very cheap plane tickets, the novel nanocarbons in the eventual breakdown products ate the earth’s ozone layer for breakfast. Several biochemical engineers were paid handsomely for their silence.
- skewsme


An Instagram’ish photograph of the highest order. It’s more than just a simple Instagram though (and perhaps it isn’t an Instagram at all, but processed to be one) as it has a photographer’s keen eye and sense of composition as opposed to a phone shooter’s arm’s-length point-click sensibility (or lack thereof). Love the sun… the flare, the fractured sunspots, the rays, the way it lights the contrails. It sets the tone for the whole picture. The inclusion of the house is the best part. Back yard view of the air show, the sense of being somewhere in the Midwest. Doesn’t get any more ‘Merican than that. And then there’s the opposing directions of the fighters themselves. How very apropos of where we are today.
- Melethia


America, in two opposite directions flying. Left, right, up, down. And look how personal it is, brushing the top of our heads. We can feel it in our topmost chi, where the eternal soul sits on the lotus flower of our buzzing consciousness. Do we have a shared consciousness? Is there anything totally shared by every American? Is there anything that we can point to and say, “if you don’t have this, you’re not American?” I don’t think so. America is a verb. It’s like a very aggressive variation of Mother May I. ‘Merica base on your island? ‘Merica pick your next leader to make you a better ally? ‘Merica send some drones in and blow up your terrorists?

Just look at those mighty warplanes hopping like robins from tree to tree. ‘Merica home and family? ‘Merica climate change? ‘Merica nuclear war? What a staggering question ‘Merica is. We should be careful where we point it. Your photo, with its outrageous sun flare, its pint-sized death machines, its shingled roof, its distortions and its focus… is America. What is the sound of two jet fighters clapping in suburbia? ‘Merica! Oh, say can I see! And to the gutter with everything else!
- posthumous

No time for “Goodbye” by JakeKurdsjuk

You can’t quite hear the “whoosh” of the wings, because they’re just out of frame. We’re left with just the quiet in that split second before the wings reverse and flap again. The timing here is exquisite – something I think is a touchstone of good photography. We can set up marvelous shots and get everything just so, but the little moments, like this, are what make a photograph stand apart, to me. The engineer in me loves the pattern in the wood, both the grain and the construction. The inept photographer in me likes that single green leaf. The detail on the feather is fascinating, mostly because of the lack of symmetry in the markings. But still I’m mostly fascinated by this wonderful, permanent suspension of the bird – it is in flight, but forever just right there. One of those neat tricks of a photograph.
- Melethia


Raindrops keep falling (and I’m dead) by PennyClick

The absence of day-end seagulls was acute. The railings and bulkheads that they joyfully decorated were now underwater, being swished clean by the bay's unfailing agitator. A triumphant double flag could still be spotted protruding from a cupola, signalling the existence of the now invisible boathouse below. The broken weathervane atop the flagpole resisted the winds. It pointed straight to Hell.

Following the most recent storm, pinwheels of dead fish could be seen swirling belly-up, their damaged bodies catching on submerged tin ledges near the marina. The downpour had slowed to intermittent pitters of rain, and although there was no sun visible to set, an eerie rose-gold hue fought to emerge from behind gunmetal clouds. Its shimmer jaundiced the silver fish scales, but did not warm the surrounding water.

The ruined fish were but a smelly synecdoche of the scene. Listing skiffs, clamboats, and chubby little tugboats alternated with catamarans, runabouts and sloops in starburst patterns, their sterns or bows leaning in to drunkenly kiss. The movement was radial, maintaining formation, choreographed by insistent underwater eddies. Every once in a while, a zombie boat would smack into a submerged section of dock, creating a winceful, screeching wallop. The one grace was that there was no one left to hear.
- skewsme


shoppers by tvsometime

Well, here's a kaleidoscope of color!

How could I not select this one for comment. It's abstract, it's full of life, and above all, it's full of motion, fanciful shapes and color. If ever one wanted to project feelings into a piece of art, this would certainly be a fitting subject. One might examine it closely to determine what shape might go with reality, or what color might determine substance. Or just sit back and enjoy the party.

Those disembodied legs and the feet, encased in pink, work nicely with that strong magenta in the upper left, to bounce the viewer back and forth in the frame, adding to the motion study. One is tempted to define reality in this piece, but the more this viewer was tempted to identify objects, the more mystified this viewer became.
It's impossible to look at this image for any length of time without finding oneself with a huge smile of delight that the artist found and made this fun piece.


The Stroll by timfythetoo

The calm and swaddling fog belied the strength of the storm now withdrawing its harrow from the sea cliff. Yet the ocean itself still struggled. The waves below thrashed jagged rocks, sending up spews of enthusiastic white water to intermingle with the gravid mists. The beach, dunes and bordering marshlands had hurriedly transformed into features of sea floor, barely visible in the persistent churn.

Further inland, freshwater fish clustered belly-up in hybrid tide pools, capitulating to the torrent of brack and brine which had poured into their pond, with the resulting effluent forcing meadow grasses into a seaweed-sway. Here no cricket chirps. There are no chastising calls from black-capped chickadees, nor squirrels to squawk back. Here where the tibias and fibulas of tree branches litter the muck and randomly stab the swirling snarls of winterberry and buckthorn, the only sounds are infrequent gurgles from the newly deluged gopher holes.

But this was not a bad day. Nor was it a typical one, if only for the reason that we had travelled beyond climatic conventions to a world of few weatherly habits. The growing ocean would continue to phagocytose its shores, erasing aged demarcations. Lazy hills become long sandbars. Repurposed cliffs gruffly greet the sea, their ledges on the precipice of extinction. Upon these embankments, we sashay defiantly, inhaling the damp, low sky into our lungs. The trees do not lean toward us in admiration. They cling to the edge with all their might. Like giant mangroves, they begin to equilibrate salt water in order to survive.
- skewsme


Composition is everything. It’s the only thing. Composition is the placement of the walker. Composition is the disruption of the composition by mad trees laying themselves down. The triangles and implied triangles of this photo are astounding. The light, absent from the trees, brings the pathway to life. The walker’s head tilts with the trees, as though infected by their madness. Art creates a world. And some of my favorite photographs come complete with a diagram on how to fold up that world and put it into your chest pocket. This one might even make a paper airplane.

This photo is barely there, barely more than some simple shapes cut out of black construction paper with dull scissors. This photo resists being seen, but then the eye breaks through it like a spoon through crème brulee… and finds itself immersed in composition, as awed with the view as that mysterious walker. I love where he or she is, in a cave of light, with his own little landscape behind him, but moving into the landscape in front of him. He is as delicate as the rest of the image. I can imagine the eye of the DPC voter crashing down in search of sharp detail, shattering everything like porcelain. No, this photo demands a gentle eye, moving slowly, so slowly it doesn’t seem to be moving at all.
- posthumous


Waiting for Spring by insteps

Sometimes with pictures like this I try to figure out what it really is. Not so much this time - I just love it for what it appears to be. Your sky is so rich and layered, and the winter rains just beginning to fall. (An aside, in LA, the air gets so dirty because we have rain so infrequently, that I imagine it really does rain "dirt".) Below, the last of the fall's harvest of hay bales wait in the field to be collected, the rest of the field fallow and waiting to be turned. I'm fond of found patterns and designs and this is totally delightful to me. I also like the "flatness" of it, because it is not at all flat, but richly patterned throughout.
- Melethia


The Wall by MAK

High key, black and white photography was invented for images like The Wall.

The solitary figure, the mottled and warn path, the forbidding walls, half dark, half light all combine to make this a compelling image.

Not only is The Wall compositionally excellent, with its leading lines, perfect balance and fascinating textures, it holds the possibility of much story-telling within its borders.

As we note those worn tiles and uneven edges along the pathway, we wonder: Is it a derelict building? Then, what could possibly be contained in those anonymous doors/openings in that long corridor. Why is there just one figure and where is his journey taking him? Is he the last or the first? And finally, where is the light coming from? It appears to be natural light, but from where?

The treatment of this image in black and white adds to the starkness and mystery of The Wall.

Excellent seeing on the part of the photographer. One wonders where he found this scene and how this photograph came into being.


We are free no more by Judi

I viewed the images numerous times and every time this image stopped me for an extended time. There are so many levels to this piece and each struck a different chord. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of excellent images in this competition. None made me think like this one. This was my journey with this image:

At first I thought of the conflict of being captured within the elements and trying to exist as you want. Elements almost surely placed there by ourselves - doubt, guilt, etc. But none of the struggle is evident in the models face or features. There is not even a hint of wanting to break out of what appears to be growing around her, keeping her in.

Looking closer, not only is there not even a hint of her wanting to break out, there really isn't a hint of anything keeping her in either. This causes me to further think the constraints are self imposed. We are never free of ourselves. It then became a matter of her expression. Is it self assured? Confident? I settled on content. It is not a smile or even a smirk or her lips. It is a look, to me, of knowing what one's own constraints are and being able to live with them and not sacrifice or cheat. "See, I can have all this hindrance and still be myself. I dare you to try!"

The smooth, almost void of any definition skin lends to the idea that any external struggle is not present - no restraint what so ever. Again, to me, this is suggesting any potential or perceived struggle is within. We trap ourselves in layers of protection of all types and even different types for different people or groups. A different view of her expression could then be that she does not know what to express to be real since everything is just another layer on or off.

I would say the image is haunting as all week it has literally haunted my thoughts.


Winter Blues by chiqui

Art? It’s in the eye of the beholder, I’d say, and I think this is lovely. It may be snowy and blue (and wondrously blue at that) but it has such warmth! Even though our two main figures are small in the overall picture (and rightly so!) you can tell by their postures that there’s a great day in store. The cars are snowed in (those right side guys have it worse than the left side), the light is soft and welcoming, the trees forming their quiet cathedral, and the sled puller has probably been blessed with a “snow day” off from work. How can it not be a great day?
- Melethia


Wishes sometimes do come true by Dennisheckman

Normally, I wouldn't pick a landscape type photo as "art" - at least not to me, since I'm kinda fond of people shots in general. But there are two things about this which make it more than a "landscape" shot to me: that arm/finger of a cloud reaching across from right to left, providing some sort of golden protection to the tableau below, and that wee bit of blue ice, somehow forlorn and lost, drifting amongst all that gold. For artistic balance, you have the blue of the sky, but it pales compared to the almost electric blue of the ice. The whole thing speaks to me of loneliness and loss, of the melting of the glaciers and our ignorance of it all. And yet with your title, you see it as something far more hopeful! Isn’t it interesting how we can all see the same thing so differently?
- Melethia

Message edited by Manic - fixing user credits.
01/26/2017 08:21:12 PM · #2
Wonderful collection of images and words. Thanks, Don, for always encouraging people to look beyond.
01/26/2017 08:21:12 PM · #3
Excellent work everyone, and thanks so much for your time and words...and the new bling, thanks thanks thanks!
01/26/2017 08:48:33 PM · #4
Thanks so much Don and to everyone who participated in both the jury and in the challenge.
Also, thanks to Ubique for his art and his essays. It is worth membership for this challenge alone.
01/26/2017 09:14:09 PM · #5
Thanks to the Art Challenge jury. No easy task with so many terrific images. Look forward to reading through your impressions and thoughts.
01/26/2017 09:42:42 PM · #6
I had had quite enough of the overwhelming distraction of the happenings in the USA today. I came home to silence with the exception of the welcome greeting from one of our cats. I went to my computer instead of the TV. I put on some music, drank some red wine, and relaxed for a bit. Then I went to DPC to find this most welcomely timed announcement. I then read each comment with glee and it made the rest of my thoughts vanish. Thanks to all the participants and all the jury volunteers for such an uplifting event. I will reread this in the days to come, because it's a bit to digest in one reading. Thanks to all at DPC.
01/26/2017 09:50:14 PM · #7
Well done to the Honourable Don and the Esteemed Jury on all of your efforts and wonderful choices. And congratulations to the winners here as they truly are beautiful works of art.
01/26/2017 10:33:53 PM · #8
Wonderful work everyone. Thank you for your time and efforts on a daunting tasks. There are so many wonderful images and I know it was hard to do what you did. Congratulations to the deserved winners.
01/26/2017 10:34:37 PM · #9
Thank you, Don, for orchestrating this - it was a very enjoyable task for me! And it was fun to see what the rest of you picked! (I do think skewsme might give you a run for your money in the writing department....)
01/26/2017 11:44:43 PM · #10
What a nice job you folks did! Very, very satisfactory jurying, indeed!
01/27/2017 12:00:55 AM · #11
This was a fun challenge and I too want to thank the judges and everyone who participated. Is this something to look forward to next year?
01/27/2017 01:19:50 AM · #12
Thank you to Don and all the jurors for the time and effort you put into this challenge. Wonderful choices, and may I offer my hearty congratulations to the winners!
01/27/2017 02:14:27 AM · #13
Excellent stuff - I wish we had these juried challenges more often. Very fulfilling.
01/27/2017 02:31:48 AM · #14
I greatly enjoyed this challenge, like paul said, we should have these kinds of juried challenges more often, thanks to the jury.
01/27/2017 03:28:30 AM · #15
I am humbled to have been included among these wonderful photographs. When I entered I did so with trepidation and little confidence in what I'd created. For once I didn't care about score, I only wondered if I'd managed to "inspire writing" in some way. Thank you, Melethia, for taking the time, thank you Don for organizing this, and thanks to entire jury for their hard work. Congrats to all.
01/27/2017 03:43:53 AM · #16
An excellent selection of writing on some excellent images. Well done all round. I missed entering and viewing this one but have been hugely enjoying looking through the challenge now. Great stuff from all that entered and from Don and the jury as well.
01/27/2017 03:49:52 AM · #17

There is amazing effort gone into these. I look forward to reading this later on tonight.

Superb work jurors! Genuinely.
01/27/2017 06:06:44 AM · #18
Originally posted by posthumous:

For those who ask, "what is art?" maybe a better question is "what does art do?" In this case, it inspires writing. ...

In addition to the official jury writing, the challenge also inspired 938 comments during voting and more afterwards. Very enlightening to read them all.
01/27/2017 09:32:51 AM · #19
Thank you jury members for all of the hard work you have put into this endeavor. It is a joy to read the comments. There are so many great images in this challenge so I know your job was difficult. Thank you.
01/27/2017 09:33:46 AM · #20
Thank you all for the comments and the nod. Much appreciate the time and thought given.
01/27/2017 11:08:44 AM · #21
If an ART challenge inspires 142 people to enter and 938 to comment plus a jury that spent even more time with the images and was prompted to respond in a very eloquent way...then we shall definitely consider more of these types of challenges.
01/27/2017 11:31:05 AM · #22
Originally posted by mariuca:

If an ART challenge inspires 142 people to enter and 938 to comment plus a jury that spent even more time with the images and was prompted to respond in a very eloquent way...then we shall definitely consider more of these types of challenges.

01/27/2017 11:32:31 AM · #23
I'm delighted to have my image included in this collection of works, pleased that it inspired such an interesting paragraph, and intrigued by seeing the same sobering theme also reflected in many of skewsme's other paragraphs.

Thank you to the jury for your hard work and interesting/intriguing/thoughtful paragraphs but most of all for being willing to share your reactions with the rest of us. I salute Don's ( posthumous's) decision not to subject the selection process to one that required any level of consensus among the jurors.

Message edited by author 2017-01-27 19:31:02.
01/27/2017 12:12:43 PM · #24
Like others who managed to stir a juror to a paragraph, I am honored and humbled. Thank you, sfalice You really can't know how moved I was when I saw and read - and reread - it.

And like so many others, I am thoroughly enjoying re-visiting all the entries so honored and reading the words written about them. I do want to highlight one of Don's ( posthumous) paragraphs - actually more a message to all of us than a preface to his commentary on a particular piece:

"This photo is a great opportunity to discuss how photography “works” as an art. Each of the fine arts has its own technique, its own modus operandi, and we can gain insight into the different arts by comparing them. The comparison that this photo brings to mind is that painting is “additive” while photography is “subtractive.” The painter is faced by the abyss of the empty canvas, and bravely adds brushstroke after brushstroke of paint, laboriously building up an image. The photographer, on the other hand, stands on the cliff of TMI… every detail within frame bounces photons through the shutter of his camera: a wealth of detail that threatens to be nothing more than the chaos we see every day of our lives. The photographer’s journey from chaos to art therefore seems subtractive in nature. The challenge becomes how to remove information, to highlight and juxtapose certain elements, in order to do what art does, whatever that is. "

I will take these words with me not only as I pursue photography but also to others far beyond this community with whom I know they will resonate.
01/27/2017 12:28:10 PM · #25
Originally posted by bob350:

Originally posted by posthumous:

For those who ask, "what is art?" maybe a better question is "what does art do?" In this case, it inspires writing. ...

In addition to the official jury writing, the challenge also inspired 938 comments during voting and more afterwards. Very enlightening to read them all.

I look forward to reading all those comments!

Thanks to the community for the appreciative response. It warms my stony, shrunken heart.

Message edited by author 2017-01-27 12:28:29.
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