Epic Black and White Photo Contest Winners
We are excited to announce the winners of the photo contest as selected by guest judge Karen Hutton. 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.
In Karen's words:
WOW!! This contest was incredible! Every single photographs is absolutely stunning. I would be proud to have any one of them in my portfolio or on my wall.
In fact, I’ve never taken an entire week to steep and ponder to choose the winners! This truly was an “EPIC Black and White Photo Contest”!
With so many photos from different genres... landscapes, street, long exposure, portrait and more! Plus nary a slacker in the bunch… the dilemma became ‘What parameters to use for judging?"
So I had to get tough. Get real. Get… Busy!!
I needed to develop a set of guidelines that could encompass the wide range of genres and perspectives… doing each one the justice they so richly deserve.
What might work in other contests: "are they well-conceived, executed, composed?"... didn’t work. Because all of them were!
I had to dig deeper. OK, I thought… how about using “great storytelling” as a pointer…?
Nope. Every one of these photo tells a great story.
I needed a more refined differentiator. An artistic measure that - while subjective - could offer a way to hold each image up to a fair measure.
After spending days gazing at this lot of images, I chose three words as my guideposts:
Original… emotional… timeless.
I’m defining the meaning of these words thus:
Original: Does it represent a perspective unique to the photo and photographer, or an unusual never-to-be-repeated-in-just-this-way moment?
Emotional: Does it evoke feeling… does it speak in emotional terms, causing the viewer to feel?
Timeless: Does the image... the moment it represents... the story it tells - stand the test of time?
The top chosen images had to be all three.
By this measure - here then, are your winners:
"I chose this as the winner because of the many layers it has to offer. Composition, tones, story - all amazing. The moment; unique, with both the baby’s and father’s hands almost talking to each other. The intimacy is breathtaking. And the details… what appears to be a little bit of dirt in the father’s cuticles, the fact that it looks like he may have trimmed his fingernails recently, the baby’s hair… these kinds of details draw me into their world. I love how the focus drifts gently into the darkness beyond - leaving so much to imagination. I can imagine the father holding this precious being in breathless wonder, looking down, hardly able to breathe for the wonder of it all. I can almost feel the warmth of the father’s hands on the baby’s back. I feel like I’ve been invited into a private world of deep love and gentle warmth. All this… in a black and white image. Kudos! " - Karen Hutton
"This image took my breath away when I first saw it. It’s brilliant for the deep emotion conveyed with so little. The negative space is gorgeous… with just the right amount of light to tell an incredibly emotional story. It’s like an entire world and life conveyed in an instant… as told through the heart’s perspective. It’s many stories at once… it’s literal and archetypal… it’s a hero’s journey and the beggar’s tale. It’s told so minimally, but conveys on so many levels. It gives me goose bumps!" - Karen Hutton
"This image seems straight out of a fantasy novel! The moment itself is crazy awesome… with the deer, their placement and expression, the mist, the trees. Technically, wonderful… focus was just right, shooting from lower down - super smart. It’s like a moment in time, never to be seen again, from a world we can only imagine… it makes me catch my breath! I would expect to see a scene like this as a painting - so it surprised me to see it as a photograph. I love being surprised like that." - Karen Hutton
"Here, the symmetry, the clouds, the way the mists and soft focus seem to be creeping in, encroaching… makes this feel like a dream world between reality and fantasy. It’s personal too… like some kind of juxtaposition between sanity and insanity… but in a good way, like those crazy awesome places that creativity can take you. The person in the image contributes to making this a very personal piece, vs. a long exposure landscape piece only. I like that. I also love where the light is placed and the way I feel like I’m waiting to see what happens next, standing there at the edge. It’s a cliffhanger of sorts… an invitation to imagine, to play… a piece to immerse yourself in. " - Karen Hutton
"This touches my heart so deeply! The connection between these two… the timeless feeling, the simplicity. I love the light in this man's eyes, his smile, they way these two aren’t looking at each other, but they’re totally THERE with each other. It’s a moment well-seen, well captured… that reflects the photographers heart in a timeless, world-stopping instant. " - Karen Hutton