Chasing the Light “Red” Photo Contest Winners

FIRST PLACE: “Women in a Red Hat” by Shelly Lake


Comment from “Red” Judge Guy Tal

“I was struck by the way so many compositional nuances come together to form a seemingly simple yet imminently compelling image. Everything about this image speaks to the power of visual composition – from use of color and form to placement of various elements within the frame and relative to each other. At first glance there is no avoiding the main subject, shrouded in a rich red against a mostly monochromatic setting, and caught in what appears to be a moment of dramatic importance; frozen motion; a gaze leading into the frame, perhaps attracted to something outside our view, perhaps afraid of it. Then the rest of the story unfolds – the striking architecture; the passageway vanishing into the distance; the pigeons unafraid of the woman and lending her an air of kindness. So many styles and genres converge: a human image, an architectural image, a street image – a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts.”

SECOND PLACE: “Lava stream near the Pu’u O’o vent in fluid motion through grey rocky landscape” by Brad Lewis

SECOND PLACE: "Lava stream near the Pu'u O'o vent in fluid motion through grey rocky landscape" by Brad Lewis (G. Brad Lewis)

Comment from “Red” Judge Guy Tal

“Abstract compositions are often difficult in landscape photography as most viewers intuitively expect to recognize land features and phenomena, and usually favor representational/documentary images over those without obvious context. This image is a fantastic example of a well composed abstract that can deliver a powerful first visual impression independent of context, and becomes even more impressive once the literal elements are recognized. The juxtapositions work very well: the living, flowing hot lava surrounded by the hard, dark hardened textures of older flows; the bright red and orange framed by the cool blue surroundings; power and danger channeled into smooth and gentle flow, etc., all speak to the artist’s mastery of composition and color.”

THIRD PLACE: “”The Smoker” by Claire Lelli

THIRD PLACE: "The Smoker" by Claire Lelli (CLAIRE LELLI)

Comment from “Red” Judge Guy Tal

“This portrait stood out to me as exemplary in multiple ways. For starters, it does not attempt to glamorize the subject but instead tells a story about it, exposing many facts but leaving just as much room for mystery. The hand, the cigarette, the attire, all offer clues as to the man’s culture, habits and unique appearance, but without forcing a hard context on place, thoughts or character. Rather than the sterile look of well-placed studio lights, the face is illuminated by warm and somewhat harsh light that does not attempt to smooth blemishes, but rather emphasize them to striking effect. There is no looking away from the eyes. The wise, knowing look kept me guessing and wondering about his thoughts, his life, and how they are different from my own; transfixed, questioning and guessing for several minutes beyond the initial impression.”

HONORABLE MENTION: “Red Fire Alarm & Tixe” by Jeremy Walter

HONORABLE MENTION: "Red Fire Alarm" by Jeremy Walter (Jeremy Walter)HONORABLE MENTION:"Tixe" by Jeremy Walter (Jeremy Walter)

RUNNER UPS: Slideshow of the 20 runner ups

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