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Alexandru Zaharia’s “American Gavroche”

 

Photographer Alexandru Zaharia
Photographer’s Website www.outsidethecavern.com
Title American Gavroche (and Family)
Category February 2013 / SPECIAL CATEGORY Family / 1st Place
Location George Farm, TX
Reason For Making the Image Because in this melodramatic year of the Les Mis the little guy did a really good Gavroche vs Little House on the Prairie: that is one of the main reasons why this frame appealed to me. There, I said it ! The recognition of a symbol exported from its frame of reference. I could sweat hard to make a pompous and pedantic essay of all the artistic themes and motives that could/might be portrayed here, such as the tender youth showing courage in the face of adversity, either in a French Revolution or in the stoic process of settling North America. The parallelism between the brave kid who went out to chop lumber so that his own might not freeze to death and barely escaped the mauling of a grizzly bear versus the young revolutionary who leapt into the heat of battle amidst blaring guns and cannons. They were both fighting for the same thing, but nonetheless, in this image you cannot but notice how sweet the two children are. As grandpa chuckles and looks on paternally, the little girl is running full speed, with her dress all pleats and folds, to what one can only presume the boy will consider a completely uncalled for display of affection. Beyond all symbolism the image unavoidably stands for just what it is: a family scene.
Camera Sony A77
f-stop f/7.1
Shutter Speed 1/640
ISO 100
Flash no

George Phile’s Lily

Photographer George Phile
Title “Lily”
Category February 2013 / Bronze/ Color / 3rd Place
Location Flower arrangement at home
Reason For Making the Image I take a lot of flower pictures through the year because my wife likes flowers.  It was a toss-up between this lily and a couple of roses.  I liked the bold colors of the roses but this one won out for the competition.  It was one of the flowers in an arrangement I got for my wife for Valentines Day. My goal was to get as much of the center of the flower in focus as I could and I knew that the colors would be somewhat muted and not real bold.
Camera Nikon D700
Lens and focal length Nikkor Micro 105mm f2.8
f-stop f/ 32
Shutter Speed 6 sec
ISO 140
Flash No

Lexi Nemeth’s “Family Siesta”

Photographer Lexi Nemeth
Title “Family Siesta”
Category February 2013 / Special / 3rd Place
Location Pliant Slough, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
Reason For Making the Image Young Black bellied whistling ducks were resting on a log, while one of the adults was alert, protecting the Family members, creating a peaceful Family siesta. I captured the moment.
Camera Nikon D800
Lens and focal length Nikon Zoom 200-400 mm f/4.0 at 280 mm
f-stop f/ 5.6
Shutter Speed 1/2500 s
ISO 1600
Flash No

Michael Sanderson’s Winter Fog

Michael Sanderson’s image titled “Winter Fog” won Second Place in the Silver Level Color Category in February’s Competition. More of Michael’s work can be found on hiswebsite.
Here is a little about the image:

Title Winter Fog from Series: Winter Fog at Dawn
Category February 2013 / Silver/ Color/ Second Place
Location Brazos Bend State Park – Elm Lake
Reason For Making the Image This was a special sunrise on a quiet, foggy winter morning.

I love fog. I love sunrises. I love sleeping in. So, I start looking at the weekend weather forecasts several days out to see if there is any chance of fog for the morning or whether there will be a chance for the right amount of clouds to provide a dramatic sunrise. Winter fog can be some of the densest so when the weather forecast predicted heavy fog, I was up early and drove to Brazos Bend well before sunrise. The park was nearly completely cloaked in fog as I hiked out to one of my favorite morning locations and started looking for the images I hoped to make. I had already taken a number of photos from a nearby site that morning so I was set to see what the sunrise would bring. This particular opening in the islands on Elm Lake is on an east-west axis and, when framed correctly, the sun rises and sets between the break in the trees. As the sun rose higher over the invisible distant tree line, the fog began to break and lift providing a perfect diffuser for the morning sun. The air was completely still, the water perfectly motionless, and the sounds of the birds and wildlife waking up were the only voices around. Some ducks sat still in the opening, helping to provide a focus point as well as helping to establish the vertical orientation of the mirror image composition. In that moment I was happy. I took the shot.

Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8/L at 46mm
f-stop f/8
Shutter Speed 1/400
ISO 200
Flash no

Dee Zunker’s “I See You”

Dee Zunker’s image titled “I See You” won Third Place in the Gold Level Monochrome Category this month. More of Dee’s work can be found on her website.
Here is a little about the image:

Title I See You
Category January 2013 / Gold / Monochrome / Third Place
Location Washington Ave, Houston, TX
Reason For Making the Image I attended a photowalk with the Houston Center for Photography on Washington Avenue, and this was the first image I made. I saw this old sign, and when I looked up it reminded me of a scene from the movie “War of the World’s”. The sign seemed to have a character, and I felt I was being watched. I processed the image in Lightroom, and then in Silver Efex Pro to get the old, distressed look that added to the character of the sign and light starring down at me.
Camera Nikon D7000 with 18-200mm lens at 18mm
f-stop F/13
Shutter Speed 1/80
ISO 200
Flash no
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