New England Region – March 2016 – Portrait/Illustration

Judges Comments

There was a lot of discussion about these winners and losers. Good portraits are difficult for most of us to make. Too straight forward and the viewer has no interest. Too artsy and the viewer may not understand. Light and composition are vital. That said, we felt these three touched a good balance of those elements. First place was a surprise in the end. We liked it from the start because of it's simplicity, but as we read the caption, we understood how the photographer skillfully combined the difficult elements to make it a simple photo. Great light and toning, composition and expressions, and a moment that has a commercial appeal make it a very comfortable, catalog-quality portrait. Second place is weird and unsettling and that made us want to know more. We liked how the photographer made a clean photo with only a couple meaningful elements, and a couple odd, out-of-place elements that gave us reason to spend a little extra time with it and helped us understand the unusual personality of the subject. Third place has nice color and expressions on all five subjects, and that drew us to it. The composition was slightly off and the electrical conduit coming out of the middle subject's head hurt the photo in the end, but it was obvious the subjects were comfortable and that is commendable.

Judges: John Starks/Daily Herald, Rick West/Daily Herald, Paul Valade/Daily Herald