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Friday, 18 November 2011

Comments

I would love to hang 104 and 112 on my wall. And between these two, I'd prefer 112.

Others are good photos in their own right but not wall-worthy, not something I would like to see day in and day out.

Very fine work, nearly all of those. I bought some prints in small sizes recently (but out of the erotica genre) - most of those presented here would not work as small prints, and thus would be out of my price range. Especially 101, 102, 111, 113, 114, 119 and 120 are really dedicated to be printed large (at least 50x75cm).

A second thought: Selling prints of concert photographs is (in my experience) near to impossible (compared to landscapes). So 106 (even if it is one of my favorite pictures of this collection) is perhaps not the best choice.

And, third: I like pictures that are special, where I think: "I've never seen that before!". The only "special" image of this collection is 113 due to its composition. Great. The others are very well crafted, but lack the certain bit - but I would for sure hang 105 on my wall, even if I have seen such images before.

Hard choice.

Best regards,
Markus

Number 102 is great.

102 gets my vote.

My favorite is No. 1, love the liveliness, the faces, the connections between the figures, and the colors.

No. 107 is grippingly organic, and hard to look away from. I'd put it on my wall.

I'm a sucker for trains, powerful locomotives and lots of steam, but I have several books full of 'em, don't need this one (No. 112), but it is good.

No 119 -- I like the idea of redoing the basic horseshoe bend pic with a road instead of a river. Like the purplish color of the road. A pleasant scenic. Not sure how long it would stay up on the wall, though.

scott

I can see why it was so hard choosing, they all have something worth looking at, I'd be pleased to have taken any of them. I like six of them enough to be happy putting them up on a wall - that doesn't mean I think they're better than the others, just they appeal to me more. Chacun a son gout etc.
I admire the idea Mike, but I think it may be even harder to do this than you might have thought.

101. I like the subject, but this seems too cluttered and insufficiently intimate. That might be different at a larger size.

102. Not the kind of thing I normally go for. But this works. Beautifully thought out and executed.

110. This looks oversharpened and/or HDRish. Could do with less photoshop?

118. Quite superb. My pick of the bunch. Beautiful and the restricted brown/orange/yellow palette really works here.

Lovely shots all, hard to pick standouts. For me at least, #1 for its tableaux feel, #2 for its abstraction, #4 for its Weston-like simplicity, and finally, #5 for its sheer "wall-hangability". Well done to all entrants, and thanks to Mike for putting it all together.

These are just my thoughts about some of the images. I think they all have merit, but some speak to me more than others. These comments just reflect some of my personal opinions and not intended as evaluations that other people should share.

101: I like pictures with stories and there are many stories in this one. Not sure if this would stand up on its own on somebody wall at home.

102: So simple and yet complex. Again lots of stories and leaving room for the viewers to create their own stories and questions to go with this picture. It certainly makes me think about things outside the picture. If the white is handled well this could be a great print.

103: A blast from the past? Or a wave of nostlgia? Good as part of a series. On its own I think the out of focus area in the corner is too large.

104: A bit too 'quiet.' The composition jars a bit. Maybe a bit more space to the right needed?

105: This speaks to me!! I like the underwater lines of stones, I like the rippling, I lke the colour. Provided this is printed tack sharp, this could be the winner for me, beautiful!

106: Good, but not remarkable.

107: too little going on in the picture and not enough context to make it interesting. I like the colours though.

109: Reminds me of an iPhone app that I had. The dark in top right will be hard to print. I can faintly hear the droplets of water falling into this pond.

111: Nice peaceful image, I like the pastel colours. The slanted pole on the right draws my eye, maybe intentional?

112: I like this! What energy, strength! Plenty of scope for a master of B&W printing to show his/her skills. Could be a winner!

115: Lots of symbolism here (possible only of my making, but the image gives me the scope.) Again, one of the pictures where part of the significance, meaning, impact, call it what you will, is outside the frame. Makes me think of the future. I like the woman in the distance, framed by the frame (nice visual joke, whther intended or not.)

119: I like the swirl of the road, and the colours are great. The way in which the man made object fits into nature works well here.

120: Man's insignificane in comparison to the forces of nature (could be a woman, actually.) Again this could be a great print, the tones seemed to have been handled very well.

Instant favorites are
101 -Norman Rockwell lives! Nice setup.

105 -clear light, cheerful abstraction

111 -contemporary landscape in a topographics vernacular

Instant deletions are

104 & 110 - no appetite for the subjects or the tones in these


Almost favorites are
109 - Wanted to love it. Almost loved it.

115 - Loved it until I noticed the gimmick of the man walking down the tracks. Too bad.

There are some very nice pictures in there!
But I have to say, I don't get 103, 104 and 118 at all.
My favourite one is 119.

My vote goes for the #101. Actually this is the only one I would like to have a print of.
I'm tendentious towards color photography and this photo has a perfect color palette, balanced light and so much elements and details to relationate and appreciate.
I think this particular one could benefit if printed on a largish format too.

If I had to choose another it would be the #118, I like the overall tone of this picture and the enigmatic expression of the model, only the composition is lacking a bit IMHO (I think it could benefit if it was taken only a bit backwards to have more space near her shoulder and knee and maybe don't cutting the feet off).

Many excellent photos there, however if I was buying as a print for myself I'd choose either 102 (Carpark Wall and Floor) or 109 (pond).

There are shots I like, there are shots that make me go `mwah'. There are shots that make me think they might mean more to me if I knew what I was seeing, there are shots that are good because I don't know what I'm seeing. There are shots that are obviously very well done, but not a style or subject that I like, there are shots I could have taken. There are shots that make me wonder, there are shots I wish I had taken.

But I REALLY want 105 for my collection.

I'm very pleased by the quality I see here. And I'm amazed, Mike, by your far-reaching appreciation of widely spread styles. Some individual images stood out and some pairs came forward, sometimes as contrasts, others as complimentary. 102 left so much unsaid but worked for me purely as a light-toned "colour field". 103 showed more but conversely left too much unshown for me to appreciate the moment.
105 I loved because that's what I love doing, with waterflows being my favorite (and least commercially successful) subject.
108 and 111 have that element angling in from the right-hand edge of the frame. That "accidental" casualness of framing. Not to my taste, but interesting.
113 and 114 seem to be the pleasing results of accidents of framing. 113 has a sense of space (for flight) I've rarely seen. But 114 tears me in two directions. The framing annoys my "conventional" leanings but it's like a curtain opening onto a vast panorama with mystery and a darkness so suited to the experience of night. I've seen many images of starry skies ruined by high ISO but this (in it's small size) is like a breath of fresh clean air....
The only image that jarred was 110. Skillful composition, wonderful texture and detail it has. But the strong and detailed contrast (almost like some HDR images) is fairly uniform across 90% of the image giving it a strangely flat look. Perhaps in print, though, it would look entirely different.
If I had the money, 105 would tempt me greatly except it's too close to my own work. 114 has the magic and mystery of a wonderful world that I could spend much time enjoying.

All are beautiful, and very diverse which is a plus. 101,112,118 are my likes!

Hmm, none of them really leap out as particularly extraordinary. Wait - Old Faithful is great.

Numbers 114 and 116 have my vote.

115 is lovely, but the greens have an 'antique' look rather than the verdant tones they deserve.

116 draws the eye through the frame and represents a great eye for composition.

To be honest, there isn't a single one I'd feel compelled to absolutely own a print of. Maybe 101, for its nostalgia... 113 for capturing the moment. Are you sure you don't want to put up a separate gallery of also-rans? I'm not saying that because I also submitted a shot that's not up here (lol), I'm just genuinely interested to know whether or not the "cream of the crop" among your readers are truly represented here, or whether your personal tastes and mine just don't match too well.

I find 101, 109, 111 and 120 really stand out of the whole lot. If I had to pick, it would be one of those. If I had to pick a single photo, i'd pick 111.

112, 113 and 114 are also nice. 112 is a bit too dramatic and 113 too minimalistic for my taste. Won't say anything more.

My favorite is #105 - if that brilliance and color can be captured on print it will brighten up any wall. Thanks for sharing.

What a selection. I can see real merit in each image.

But... it was quite amazing how quickly the group of four images from this list that stand out for me became apparent. In fact, the more time I spend with the list, the further these four images do stand out from the pack.

Which four? Well... ask me in a few days...

Easy. #102 (Car Park Wall & Floor) or #118 (Girl on Leaves). I am a bit puzzled by the cropped feet in #118. As it is, I think I'd prefer this picture with the elbow slightly cropped as well. Well done.

These are indeed all fine images but 3 stand out for me: the guitar, the steam loco and the hiker. It may be coincidence that they are all B&W in terms of my selection. The barber shop would be my first colour image choice. I suspect I find B&W more expressive and the work just speaks to me more. Technically I am in awe of all of them. Such a high standard. Nice selection, Mike.

The steam locomotive. And possibly the bird.

112 stops me in my tracks. There's something just so dynamic and powerful in the steam. And to see it statically as a photo, just makes me stop and wonder, what would it be like to be there: the noise, the movement, wow.

I'd love to see how it would be interpreted as a print. I feel that it has that aspect of mystery about it too when it finally does arrive as a print.

Pak

Great pictures all, and the wide range of styles and subjects is wonderful.

I'm normally a sucker for landscapes, but to my surprise I'm drawn to #112 over all the others. It's a great "David Plowden" picture, vivid and atmospheric.

Mike, image 105 really "rocks" for me.:) I think this image will have real lasting power. There is the overall mesmerzing effect of the shimmering patterns that you can get lost in and the colour palette is very pleasing. If this was offered and the price was right I'd buy it. Next in line would be #107 & 112

Great average quality.....and not the dreaded middle of the road. I like it.

Greetings, Ed

Pretty unexpected selection of print offer candidates. For some reason I'm having difficulties with the framing and aspect ratios of various pictures. However # 101 and # 120 are my favourites to be framed.

Interesting choice. All of them would make good prints and I would be happy to hang some of those on my wall. My impressions from some favorites:
101 - Excellent composition and capture, but the processing is too plasticky for my taste. Midtones too dominant and there is not enough texture in the surfaces. I like it that the seated gentleman's feet hang in the air. This little detail makes this image a success in my opinion.
102 - Great eye and very tidy execution. Love it.
104 - Very, very well processed and the composition is engaging. However, it doesn't offer much beyond aesthetics. Never liked Weston or Paul Strand. Sorry.
113 - Great humor . Would look even better as a large print.
118 - My favorite of this lot. The posture reminds me of Kertesz and Weston at the same time and the SX-70 colors are warm and cool at the same time and suit the subject very well. The model's expression fascinates me.

Good grief I never really stood a chance! Ah well, I don't intend to give any kind of critical response, but the ones I would buy (money and payment considerations notwithstanding) in order are:

112 - Stunning range of tones, a powerful shot that makes me feel the rumble and roar of the steam engine.

115 - Simple, and simply expressed humanity.

102 - Appeals to my inner Gursky :)

101 - (Intended to make this a top 3 but cheated and made it 4 :) I like this one because I find it such a great pleasure to watch people interact and this photo captures well the feeling I get.

While its interesting to my eyes, I don't think I'll hang #102 on my wall. It leaves very little to the imagination, or maybe the title gives it away.

104 and 112 are definitely my favorites. Disclaimer: I haven't bought fine art photography yet, though I mean to start gifting myself with some fine art every birthday.

Wow, you have a seriously talented readership Mike!

101 - I never thought I'd see a good photo under fluorescent tubes. Wrong again.

106, 110 - I'm musically inclined.

112 - An engineering symphony.

120 - tickles my 'outdoors' sensibility.

Looks like the TOP readership just graduated into something rather special.

James

My first instinct is to ignore those with a personal angle - photos that probably mean more to the photographer than to me. Conversely my own photography is personal, and I wouldn't presume to share with others.

Despite this, I really like 101 for an interesting scene that I want to see up close. I like 102 for it's mimicry of the typical sea/sky scene. 105 would make a great print - all those saturated colours and tones in the ripples and waves. The 111 landscape is appealing for the colours and patterns - alternating bands of colour and monochrome. 115 because I like bicycles :). 118 though apparently intimate would probably make a stunning print which is hard to resist..

Good luck!

If I could afford to buy a couple, 112 and 115 would be my choices. 112 just oozes "Age of Steam", and 115 is very clever with all the different modes of transportation visible (the person walking between the tracks off in the distance made the sale). 120 also had me for a while, but I eventually started to feel that the hiker was a little too posed (of course maybe they're not, but that's how it felt to me). 106 would probably get my money if I recognized the singer as someone whose music I liked. 102 and 116 are "I like it" photos that I wish I had thought to take, but that's not quite enough to get me to shell out.

Hi Mike,

All excellent photos. However, if I were to hang one on my living room wall it would be 102 (title: Carpark Wall and Floor)

Rory

A very interesting selection of photographs. I certainly wouldn't have guessed that you would pick some of them among 600. I think of this first round more like a practice run as I didn't have a good idea as to what kind of photographs you would prefer for prints. It would be useful to have the previous print photographs listed, with maybe an indication of how well they did, next to these.

This would depend on how visceral the selection process was, but it would also be useful to us if you mentioned why you picked these photographs, or perhaps (without mentioning any specific ones) why you didn't pick the rest of them. Of course, this also depends on how much time you want to spend doing that post :)

Also a question, in the next two rounds, will you consider the totality of photographs submitted for the selection (meaning including the ones that didn't make the previous rounds), or just the photographs submitted for that round?

Thank you for the opportunity!

I would like to participate but I've come to realization that I have no idea of what to look for in a jpeg to decided if it would make a good print. A consequence of only owning digital cameras and not having any money left to make prints after buying lenses. Please educate me...that's asking for to much, just point me in the right direction.

110 I can feel the music

Nice selections, even though mine didn't make the cut! The Norman Rockwell feel of the barber shop (101) is very compelling and timeless. The water fountain (107) has great color, but isn't something I'd like to look at every day, and the figure shot (118) is quite beautiful, but my wife would certainly tire of it hanging on the wall!

Apparently the readers of this blog actually get out and use their camera gear. Really nice work here. Congrats to the finalists!

#102 is a joke, right? Just to see if we're awake and paying attention?

Where are the titles? Seriously, I have always had the opinion that creating a proper title for a piece is as important to its "sell-ability" as is the quality of the artistry/craftsmanship.

Hmm, propbably nothing I would buy this time, although maybe "Carpark Wall and Floor", which I really do like very much.
But also congratulations to the numbers 116 (Statue of Liberty) and 119 (mountain pass road in autumn) as new approaches to well-known scenes.

102 (Carpark wall & floor) is in the aesthetic spirit of "Rhine River" but better IMO. 111 also leans that way. All (as you said) are excellent images. All have the sort of look that appeals to a magazine editor (not surprising) but while I enjoyed looking at them, none would inspire me to buy a print. They are great photos but not "hang on my wall" images.

Mike: several give me no reason to linger over them: 102, 106, 109,111, 113, 116. The remaining are interesting, though. Favorites would be 110, 114, 115. This will be akin to picking the best song, the best car, the best camera......

1/110;2/112;3/118

They all are quite good, though there are two I probably wouldn't include in this group.

My favorites are nos. 101, 103, 115, 118 and 120 (I have a tendency to gravitate to people and life moments and experiences.) If I had to choose just one to hang up, it would probably be 101 barely edging out 103.

One more comment --- about no. 118: it's stunning. Great concept, beautiful model, great composition and colors.

I quite like a number of these photos.

101 - has lots to hold my interest, plus reflections;

105 - I like the colours in this abstract, the mix of stationary and moving;

107 - just wonderful, beaut "slice of life", even though the composition is apparently symmetrical, I like how the colours of the basin and the wall provide a flow (pun intended);

115 - I like the figure in the middle distance; and

119 - I like the suggestion that the two roads are really the one.

Thanks too, to the contributors of the other photos.

I'd give serious consideration to purchasing a print of 107.

Mike,

Have been looking forward to this and haven’t been disappointed.

I like 105, 113 and 118, I really like 112 and 113, rally really like 110 and my fave is 107.

I don’t like 103, 109, and 111 and I really really really don’t like 102 which I think is some sort of test for us. Apologies if I’m wrong.

Yours, Jeremy Pardoe.

As an author of one of these images, I must say (with a bit of envy I am afraid) that it does not get much better than 112 (not mine).

Looking at these images several times, with the question "which one would I not get tired of if it was hanging on my wall?" in my mind, I keep returning to no. 105.

Well, this is a fine how-do-you do. After perusing the entries I agree that there isn't a stinker in the lot. In fact, there appear to be 4 or 5 that I would buy as prints right now.

So...........I hope that when the dust settles from all of this, that you will provide your faithful readers with a way of getting in touch with the photographer and negotiating for a print. After the sale, of course. This will be a tough one.

Jim

Wow! Not a duff one among them. Several look like stuff I take (111 looks like a series I did in Tibet), so wouldn't be interested, some I'd like to see in print but not buy (I'd love to see 109 as a dye transfer), several I'd rather see as a series in a book (01, 115 spring to mind).

But for me, in the category of "I would buy a print", 116 of Liberty is a clear stand-out.

Congratulations everyone, a nice set indeed. They're all lovely, but I'm just going to focus on which of them appeal to my particular aesthetic the most.

I really enjoy 101. It has a nice classical composition, with lovely tones and colors. I think even with out the people it might be a contender. The gazes and expressions of the subjects helps guide the eye and bring added warmth to the image, really putting this one at the top.

102 is a nice choice for the second image. A great counter example for the first. Quite minimal, but I love it.

I love the tones of 104. Looks like it'll make a fine print. The crop might be a little tight for my tastes, however.

111 is another of my favorites. A nice solid composition with lovely colors and a spot-on exposure.

So those are my top 4.

Love every one of them, but would buy only one : 114...

Thanks Mike for this exhibition !

They are all wonderful photos. But I'm captivated by 101. It looks like a hyper-realist painting--really extraordinary.

114 and 120 get my vote. I'd buy a copy of 114 in a heartbeat I it were reasonably priced. I also really like 119.

101 is pretty great, but the awkward "arm action" of the seated woman ultimately spoils it for me. Close to a masterpiece, but no cigar.

105 and 107 I would consider buying. 107 is my favorite I guess. Amongst the rest is some nice work, but nothing I'd be compelled to buy.

The one I'd most like to hang on my wall is Old Faithful Nighttime Eruption. I would especially be interested in seeing what kind of print Ctein would be able to produce.

To my eye and per my tastes, 103 is the winner here. There's a realism and dynamism here, the composition is unorthodox but very strong -- this is not a photograph we have seen a bunch of times before, but it works. The tones are well placed, and the subject is just plain interesting. The tattoo/markings on the forearm centered really nail this one down for me, it's just a wonderful little visual treat. All the elements in balance, and the great masses of out of focus stuff just bring the attention to the material that's in focus.

I have no comment on any of the color work. I can't shoot color, and I am a horrible judge of color work. They might all be much better than 103, but I lack the ability to see it! I can tell that these are generally excellent, but that's as far as my critical skill extends.

104, 110, 112, and 120 are all excellent and strong photographs, but I feel like I've seen something like each of them before. Newness isn't the be-all and end-all, of course, but I feel that 103 edges these out with its successful unorthodoxy. It is as strong, as well executed, and it's also a little unusual/new.

116 is another great powerful image, again a little unorthodox. I didn't like the sky, although having an interesting sky would make it a completely different and weaker photograph. I love the strong graphical nature of it, the wonderful perspective, and the deep powerful blacks, it's really great. This was my second choice, and picking 103 over 116 was not easy. I think in the end it felt a trifle "gimmicky" to me, whatever that might mean, and again 103 edges out ahead, this time with its naturalness.

Fantastic work! I am almost embarrassed by my submission. Also, holy cow, Mike, I was hoping you'd have your choices today, but certainly not EXPECTING it. Incredible job of editing!

For me, there are three standouts:

102 - Very bold, and brilliantly seen. This image is very 'now', what with it's austerity, splitting of the frame in half, simple palette, and commentary on *insert Gurskyesque phrase here*. I would prefer a nice big print of this.

111 - I'm a sucker for telegraph poles. I love the messy foreground, the middle ground bushes' accurate mimicking of the mountains, and the interplay between telegraph lines and clouds. This looks like it would work at most small-to-medium print sizes.

116 - It's not easy to take an original photograph of an iconic monument. Here, you realise what the subject is before you know why you know it. Plus, it's a well put together frame. I'd like to frame this somewhere quirky, above head height so I would have to crane my neck to view it.

I hope also you give some consideration to the photographers' individual situations. By which I mean I hope that you offer prints from someone who doesn't have a history of making money from photography (or has maybe never sold a print) as well as an established print seller (at the now customary handsome TOP discount).

Here is my deal on purchasing prints: I will have to decide which prints I would like to hang in my office, because only pictures that I take are permitted in the house (wife's edict).

101 and 114 are my favorites. I love the colors and the activity in 101. 114 is a beautiful photo as well, on a more visceral or atavistic level. I also like 106 and 108.

Some of the photos that you chose have the same color palettes (101, 105, 108, and 115) so I had to choose which one appealed to my tastes.

Wow, have you got your work cut out for you. My favs are, and not in any particular order: 117, 115, 102, 108 and 110. The image that I least like is 118, while she is beautiful I don't care for the composition , her legs produce a leading line that draws us out of the image.

Mike

Interesting. I've tried to think in terms of which ones I'd like to see on the wall, but ultimately have gone with the photos which cause an emotional reaction (and which I wouldn't mind having on a wall). So, without further ado, and in this specific order (drum roll, please):
107, 106, 105.

What an amazing bunch of pictures! You obviously have an extraordinary following of talent, and an outstanding eye (which we knew). This batch contains several images that I would unquestioningly pay money for and then hang on the wall to look at every day: 102, 105 (!), 112, 113 (!!), 116, 117 (!), and 119.

Pretty good for Round 1...

I like 101 very much. It tells a story. Everyone is focused with some sort of pleasure on the barber, but he's humble and respectful. It seems that it's his shop. And although he has the people's attention, the atmosphere of the shop is also present and is expressed very well - simple and congenial, like the barber.
For me, this is what photography is about. Capturing a moment that conveys something, not only in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, but that ties all aspects of the image together in an interesting way.

112 and 114 are the only ones I would consider buying as prints.

112 for the sheer drama and excellent black and white conversion. 114 because I do night photography and think this is an excellent representative of that genre from a well known location. It is difficult to get an original shot from a place where millions have been taken before.

107 is a close one, I like it but detest HDR especially with tone mapping. I think this would grate on me after having it on the wall for awhile. I'd like to see it done as a straight color image.

# 101 ... Love it. Has that nostalgic Norman Rockwell feel about it.

#105 ... Nicely seen, nicely interpreted.

#111 ... Contemporary emptiness, and that's why I like it. America, the spaciously understated.

# 112 ... Ah! The yester-world of steam and open-windowed soot. Rode them ... miss the sounds and majesty of it all.

#117 ... Lovely light ... suppose that's why I photographed it, huh? A tidal bone yard.


Beautiful group of shots and congratulations to the folks who had their photos chosen. That's truly an honor considering the vast amount of entries.

Here are my picks, in order based on what I might purchase in print form.

#1 112 the train. An absolute standout.
#2 110 the guitar. Wonderful tones and mood.
#3 120 the falls. The hiker in front adds a nice perspective to that beautiful scene.
#4 116 statue of L. I've personally been aiming at slices of architecture myself lately and very much appreciate what the photographer did with the composition.
#5 104 the grain. A simple shot done well. Very well done.

112 and 114 both appeal to me a lot; I might very well buy depending on size, price, medium, and my finances at that time. And what comes out of the later rounds of selection; I'm very probably not buying 6 prints in this sale.

101 has an amazingly Normal Rockwellish feel to it. I think it's a wonderful photo, but it isn't the sort of wonderful photo I want to look at on my wall all the time.

Even 102 and 111, which are (different) kinds of photos far outside my taste range, seem (to my inexperienced and unsympathetic eyes) to be decent examples of their kinds. For 102, I appreciate the strangeness, but don't find myself wanting to do more than glance at it a couple of times.

105 is really lovely, and might sneak up on me over time; I might need to see it regularly.

I'm not surprised you got a really good set of photos to consider out of this crew!

Mike, I am absolutely knocked out by 101. At first I thought you had slipped a painting in on us. A painter could not have arranged the people any better and there is not a single element in the frame does not contribute to the whole.

Well, I can see why you had a hard time choosing.

I really like 102, as I like this kind of modern art. It will have to be printed pretty big to be effective in a living room of even moderate size.

111 is another favorite from this bunch. I like it because it looks like a painting, and again it would be something I'd hang on the wall and like looking at it every day.

Last, 118. I like it a lot, and if it's a finalist, in a smallish size (10x8 or so) I would probably buy it because I think it's lovely, and I just feel like owning it.

The rest are all lovely high quality photos, but they don't give me any spacial feeling.

Here's my ranking: 115 (top), 108 (next), 118 (third).
Critique: 115 is an intimate moment of a father and son--an archetypal African moment--with its railroad past receding into the distance, the boy on the bicycle poised to enter the complex world led by a pensive father, and the surprise--the female figure placed at a formally brilliant position--the mother figure that must shape the future. :-)
108 is tranquil and quiet. I wish I could wake up every morning to this rainbow.
118: A simply beautiful portrait. We all fall in love.
114 is a rather unusual capture of this icon, and 101 has something of an elegance and classic charm of the lost 1920s and yet with a fully modern color.
The rest are also terrific photos.

Well, for me the images of note would be: #101—I think printed properly this could be a fine object Note I didn't use the word “image”--I think in some ways this piece transcends what we normally consider an image in photography; #105 possibly---it's good that it's square, and again I think it would print up well, and some of that detail we're not seeing that well in this tiny web image might really make it sing. My knock on it is that it's getting close to pretty, as opposed to beautiful; maybe #107, although it feels like something I've seen one too many times in some travel magazine; #109 is growing on me because the light is “off”--- makes it more spooky which contrasts well with the mild subject matter; uhhh, maybe #111, but I'd have to see it larger to know for sure. Seen a lot of this kind of shot as well, of course, but not as much as some of the others in this group; #113 I'd actually have to see printed at size---that's a lot of blank area of no detail whatsoever(as opposed to 101) that might render ugly. I'm not into grain/noise for grain/noise's sake; #114—possibly. Quite nice that the stars aren't trails yet the steam renders in motion. Again, might actually have to see how this comes up in the print; #117---but I would also want to see this bigger, even on screen. I'm suspicious about its “look”, kind of a whiff of “plug-in” whether or not one was used.

Some of the other images are ok, but lack much mystery for me and really look like so much we have seen before so, so many times. And that's a tough problem. The ubiquity of photographic imagery, the sheer weight of its great mass, undermines otherwise fine images today, images that would have had more impact (if that's the right word, and I'm not sure it is) 40-50 years ago, and might have been iconic 60-70 years ago. This is a problem for ALL the images presented, but more of one for some than others

If I had to vote for one or two, it's #109, followed by 101

#112 is definitely my favorite--the sense of power, the diverging lines as the locomotive emerges from the steam, the highlights on the train and in the steam, the glorious textures.... I also like 101, 110, 111, 115, 117, and 119, but 112 is the one that tempts me.

Mike,
All are very fine photos that I would be proud of if I had taken them but none wowed me enough to pick any as a contest winner.
If you held a gun to my head and said pick, I like the unusual angle of view of the Statute of Liberty in photo #116. The billowing robes create a texture that appeals to me.
The dog in the swimming pool you posted Thursday did wow me and I would have selected that if you had included it for consideration.
Tom

101 is a lovely human moment
106 reflects your (Mike's) love of jazz
but for me this set turns on 112 and 113 of which 113 is in my hasty judgement my fav.
Good selections all and very eclectic

My faves are:

101
112
115
120

Rationale? Photographic merit may have been implicitly considered, but ultimately, i chose them because they are the ones i might want to hang on my walls.

101 looks like an hdr, probably appropriate for a scene like this. Reminds me of a Normal Rockwell with more detail. Also seems posed.

105 stands out for the clarity, really sharp and nice blend of color.

I would buy "Carpark Wall and Floor". That is the only one. 107 and 112 are stunning and I think the best of the rest of the group, but they don't speak to me personally as 102 does.

Wow! I have to say you did a hell of a job. My personal tastes might have weeded one or two of these out (and, of course mine should have been in there~:) But then of those you chose, there is big divide between a group I'd love to talk about and muse over and the batch I'd have to pick from for my wall. This will be a fun exercise.

Having looked at all the pics several times throughout the day, I find I have two lists of favourites: those that I like on screen, and those that I think would look good hanging on my wall. Only one pic is in the top part of both lists!

I've decided. You need to produce a Lenswork-esque folio of all 20. Small prints would work.

It makes me feel a little dirty, like a politician, but I feel obliged to vote for myself (115). That said, I'd also like to throw my support to 114. (I'm a sucker for our-tiny-place-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things stuff.) And I like the idea of 102, though at the end of the day it leaves me a little cold...

Given my finicky tastes probably the only one I'd want on my wall is #105. I also really like #107 but I can't see it on my wall.

105, 112, 119 and 120 are my favorites. Incidentally two of them are in B&W, although I usually prefer color.

Awesome photography around here, Mike, and a very wide-range selection; there's something for every taste.

To be really succinct, I'd remark how some lips can make a picture (106) and the pure magic of #118, one of the most beautiful photographies I've seen in a long time.

101: Is one of those pictures that you will keep finding new details over time as you keep looking. That makes me enjoy this image. Definitely in my short list.

102: Looks like a simplified version of Rhein II. If you need a title to explain what it is, it works less for me.

103: Makes you wonder about the scene. Great for getting your imagination going, but it's missing a bit too much on environment and remains unsatisfying.

106: Like it a lot. One that you can keep looking at again and again. Capturing an emotional moment.

108: Doesn't tell enough of a story. Feels a bit like someone is trying to emulate a better picture they've seen, but not quite there yet.

110: Composition doesn't totally work. Has to decide whether it's about the guitar and hands or the person. Too much in-between.

115: A typical travel photograph, but the extra elements elevate it nicely making it more interesting.

116: Refreshing new angle. Will continue to give you a smile as you come into the room, but doesn't engage you in a long viewing. Would make my short list.

117: Very painterly. Good mood piece, but not very intellectual.

118: Nice classic portrait. A more editorial eye pose would have made it a bit more contemporary.

120: Nice moment, uplifting to look at during the rainy season.

I would consider a print of 101, 106, 116. But I skew towards people photography in my taste, not landscape or travel. I totally respect the work of the other photographers, it's just not for me.

#106: pornography (ok, at least metaphorically)
#110: heavily photoshopped (HDR or faux HDR)
#117: very nice, but heavily photoshopped

#111: my favorite, something I would actually consider putting on my wall

They are all amazing, but my favorite (esp as a print) is 116. Also love 120, 112, 110, 102 as prints...


Mike,
My honest first split-second reaction to #112 was:
"that's made of frickin' awesome!"
Ahem. Now we return to our regularly scheduled critique.

Will

101 is great—great lighting, great perspective; feels almost like a painting. 113 has really wonderful minimalism, though I wonder whether the hummingbird is too close to the edge. 117 has real power. 118: whew—salacious.

Like 101, nice document of place and time. 
A lot to like about 103. Not sure if the bottom right will bother me in the long run.
104 looks impressive. Would need a big print. Not sure if it is sharp enough for that.
Like 111 a lot! 
Any steamfan would wanna have 112 on his wall; impressive.
115, a father and son, speaks to this young father.
Dont think the misses would allow 118 on the wall. Nice though.
I like 119. Well seen. Would maybe bore me in the long run.

The rest don't do much for me. 111 is my personal favorite for hanging on the wall.

#102 really sticks out for me. I'm fascinated with it. I'm not sure I'd buy it, since I've never really bought prints, but I'm sure it will look even better as a well-made print, matted and framed. Maybe I should put my money where my pie hole is (if the chance arises) and start buying prints?

It's also the photo I look at and think "I would like to have made that."

The ones that strike me as the most interesting are nos. 101, 106, 112 & 115. My least favorite ones are nos. 102, 104, 109 & 113.

Mike -

What beautiful work. After a nice look at these wonderful images, I couldn't help but go and revisit the 4.3 million dollar Gursky. Sometimes the world seems upside down.

Ed

I like 101, 105, 107, 113, 114, 126.
The rest are good too

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