- January 31st, 2015
Thank you to all the photographers that shared their amazing winter vistas photos to the photo contest. We have teamed up with our friends at Macphun to bring you a series of Outside Views Photo Contests. This is the first of six contests in the Outside Views Series. Each contest will have a unique theme based on outside views and will launch every month for the next six months.
A big thank you to guest judge Karen Hutton for her collaboration. Karen Hutton can best be described as a ‘multi-medialogist’. As a professional photographer, she is followed by close to 2 million followers on social media, sells her popular fine art landscape photos and teaches her unique style of photography. She excels at blending multiple disciplines, which includes being a professional voice over artist, host, speaker, writer and educator.
This is yet another incredible contest. Winter can be challenging to capture… not only braving the elements to do it, but managing the light in your exposure, with all the white and reflections of snow… but composition, distractions in the photo – are all magnified by winter’s starkness. Yet, every single photographer made such interesting choices and conveyed unique points of view! Those are among the top elements I look for in any photo.
I think ViewBug turns out some of the finest photographers and images out there! Clearly, they’re doing something right with their communities and the support they offer. That, of course, makes judging painfully challenging!
There are NO slouches in the final group that I received… and competition for the top honors is unbelievably close.
I’m glad we judges are given the opportunity to talk about how we arrived at our decision… because as a contestant, it can be mystifying as to which images do and don’t place – and why.
No matter what, judging is a subjective process. We judges do our best to be objective… but we can only do so through the lens of our life experiences.
I’ve lived in the mountains for many years; I love and respect snowy winters. I’m also a lifelong photographer. Hopefully those things blend together to create a unique understanding of this glorious season – and what it takes to bring it to life through photography.
Here was my thinking in general:
Before I saw a single image, I had these guidelines in mind for any prospective winners:
I was hoping to see a strong story/perspective element; this also addresses composition…
I wanted to see exposure/light handled extraordinarily well… (because I know how hard that is… and how it makes or breaks winter images)
I looked for a unique perspective, or voice… something not as commonly experienced in a winter photo. OR if it were an iconic type of image – it had to be incredibly masterful.
And that word: “Experience”… the winning photos had to stop me in my tracks with an amazing experience when I laid eyes, mind and heart upon it.
I know Viewbug artists… and I know that’s not asking for too much!
Here’s how it went down for “Winter Vistas’:
Congratulations Grand Jury Winner “Yellowstone, The Lone Tree panoramic” by anitae403
“This one absolutely did stop me in my tracks. That was the first thing that tipped me off. I said “WOW” and felt my heart pause for a moment as I stared at it. That’s always my first indication… the experience an image delivers immediately. Then I start breaking it down;
The tones are amazing. Nothing over or under-exposed. Just a beautiful array of soft colors within a wonderful tonal range.
The tree is the perfect solo participant… and where it is placed is excellent.
The panoramic choice – exactly right for this story/composition.
The flow and shapes of the hills and clouds… you just can’t imagine it any other way.
The image is clean, devoid of distractions… every single element in it works and is meant. There is nothing in this photograph that doesn’t belong there, or that requires forgiving.
It is also iconic… I’ve seen many images of this general set up and type before, usually taken by master photographers. This means it will immediately draw a comparison to those stunners, and had best offer something unique. This image succeeds beautifully on all counts – and wins my admiration and Grand Jury award for all of it.” – Karen Hutton
Congratulations Runner Up “Insignificant” by vale_en
“This image grabbed me right away. It was the story – and the amazing elements it captured to convey what a moment like that feels like.
The feeling of being on a mountaintop above the clouds…
The sense that if you step off the edge – you’ll do so into what, air? Clouds? Will you fall – or float? The fact that I found myself wondering these questions spoke highly of the strength of this photograph. It doesn’t answer every question… it leaves possibilities to linger… and you to wonder.
The people. It would be a completely different image without them. People don’t always work in winter scenes… but they sure did in this one. The perspective they bring, showing scale… the pop of color, the clear sense of the “insignificance” of humans at what seems like the top of the world. I’ve stood in places just like this – and this is EXACTLY what it’s like… both the reality and the poetic representation of a place like this.
The light is gorgeous; and the colors and tones in this image work just right. They’re soft and delicate against the starkness of winter in the mountains. It becomes an interesting juxtaposition that also added to its overall impact. Subtle and unexpected. This photo made me return to it over and over again… and each time I saw something different. Another hallmark of a great photo. ” – Karen Hutton
Congratulations Runner Up “historic center “Freudenberg” by night” by Gravedigger
“This one surprised me. Surprises can be good, as it was in this case – since they get your attention right off the bat.
Your image just has to then hold up to the post-surprise scrutiny, which this one did.
It was completely unique amongst the entries… and of course, not everyone has access to a town so beautiful at night as Freudenberg in winter.
The colors and light caught my eye first. Gold and blue are complementary colors – which makes for a wonderful experience of them in this scene. They are opposite each other on the color wheel… so when they sit side by side in an image, it lends a natural contrast and makes everything seem a bit more exciting and pleasing to the nervous system. A bit of color theory for you.
The way the buildings all look lit up from within is awesome! It’s an unusual effect… and the photographer found just the right location to show that perspective.
The town has a very definite vibe and historic style, which was captured wonderfully. Choosing to shoot it at blue hour in winter was a great choice. It’s unique perspective, colors, subject matter, story, the wonderful “moment captured” all make this image a winner for me.” – Karen Hutton
Congratulations Amateur Winner “Misty River” by csirnak
Congratulations People’s Choice “Sunrise and Setting Moon at the Matterhorn” by delley
“Ice Fence” by CRamsay
“winter” by Eddy22
“Old Washoe Corral 3″ by tikidianne
“_DSC8378″ by brdcw
“Lonely Tree” by LiveInspiredByBrenda
“Sunrise over the falls” by fotohausmarko
“Sunset over the Frozen Arctic Ocean” by chefdrew
“WinterWonderLand” by valeriasig
“Hollow Rock” by lakevermilionphotos
“A Winter’s Morning IV” by IanDMcGregor
“SUNSET 27-03-2014″ by Dmitry
“First Snow” by timot78
“I rest here…” by HappyMelvin
“Fresh” by MargaretN
“Kussharo lake” by hibbz
“Spirit of christmas” by valeriasig
“Frosty Dawn” by Rhintl
“Inzago, Italy, under the snow” by berryss
“Winters Dream” by XanderVision
“untitled” by thomaszagler
“On Steep Ground” by TeddyMcCrea
“At the End of the World” by ulrichpeters
“Artistic earth” by bogdanvasilic
“Snow Ponies” by LMorck
“Morning Frost” by jaysiemens
“abandoned house” by finnurandrsson
“Golden Salvation” by Crispy_Scapes
“392” by lidijapolak
“_MG_1582 frosty scene along CVNT ps” by ghamer
“Mirror, Mirror” by kth1110
“smokewoods” by suspy
“Utopia” by Morgan-Lou
“Sliding Down Rideau Street – Mono” by BrianMDoucette
“Path for Neverland” by borisfrkovic