We want to give a special thanks to friend and professional photographer Richard Altman for his collaboration as a guest judge. "The selection of pictures for the Photo 101 Contest represents a very broad collection of subjects. As a result, picking winners becomes a very interesting judging challenge. Nearly every image in this collection was well crafted, especially for a Photo 101 competition, so congratulations to all these finalists.

Since there were images representing various photographic subjects like landscapes, wildlife, portraits and still life, photos from different categories were competing with each other. In competitions were the goal is to select the best of class, comparisons can be made between the ability of each photographer to address the given photographic challenge. Judging criteria centers on the ability of the photographer to artfully demonstrate mastery of all the basic photo skills in the process of addressing the given challenge.

With a Photo 101 theme and a variety of subjects, the judging criteria concentrates more on the basics such as exposure, composition, focus, and the skillful use of these technical elements to successfully represent a photographic vision. Additionally, consideration needs to be given the ability of the photographer to demonstrate awareness and skill of capturing “the decisive moment” as defined by Henri Cartier-Bresson. All of these are Photo 101 skills and represent the criteria used for making the winning selections for the Photo 101 Contest." - Richard Altman

Grand Jury Winner

"Why was this image selected as the winner? First, the image is striking, and attracts attention and evocates emotion. It stands out among others in the collection due to a variety of elements. The image is will composed; exposure captures details in shadow areas adding depth and a bit of mystery and drama to the photo. The manner in which the light illuminates the overhead cave like structure gives the viewer a dramatic sense of place at a decisive moment in time. There is a feeling of being there. Another interesting point is that the subject is not actually a thing as much as it is a feeling of what it’s like to be at this place at a certain time. The placement of the sun in the narrow slit further accentuates importance of exposing at the right moment. As a minor point, the upper left hand corner of the image reveals a hint of blue sky that could have been cropped or “Photoshoped” out. This may seem picky, but it was during an Ansel Adams Workshop that I was taught to be sensitive to this issue. The old master took one of my photos and placed his thumb over a corner to demonstrate how the photographer can help keep the viewers eyes from wandering away from the central focus of the image by making sure there are no unintended “leaks” around the edges of the image.- Richard Altman

People's Choice

Runner Up

"This is a very nice B&W portrait. Simple, but well executed lighting, composition and exposure. The detail, tonality and contrast in the face and beard are visually arresting. Because of the well-executed technical aspects of the image, we get a feel for the character of the subject and can build an emotional story about the relationship of this man to his music. There is just enough detail in the shadows and background to provide depth to the image. The photographer did a nice job of composing the image as a vertical and the orientation works nicely to support of the overall impact of the photo." - Richard Altman

Runner Up

"It was interesting that in this mix of 40 images of the collection, there were very few action shots and no sports related images. Aside from a few wildlife and bird images, nearly every image in the mix was static. Nothing wrong with this, yet when action shots are included with a majority of static imagery, the action/motion shots can stand out. Something to think about when entering contests with a theme similar to Photo 101. Capturing objects in motion is a basic photo skill that needs to be part of the photographers experience set. This image represents a nice example of the skill of this photographer to recognize and capture a key moment in time related to a fast moving event. Tracking the action with the right gear, then framing the image for good composition at the moment of exposure requires skill. The image also invokes as sense of awe for the pilots of these jets. The action and “wow” factor associated with the image made it stand out among the competition." - Richard Altman

Amateur Winner

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