Wow. Our January Photo Challenge ended up being as much of a challenge for our judges as it was for you. With so many wonderful black-and-white images submitted, it was tough to narrow down the list to a mere 10. Kudos to everyone who participated this month. While we’ve singled out our favorites here, I encourage you to take a stroll through the PET Gallery and Elements Village Gallery for many more wonderful and inspiring examples.
Congratulations to all of our Top Picks! I think each of our finalists makes great use of the black-and-white format—with a strong contrast in tones, excellent composition, and a simplicity that beautifully showcases the photo’s subject.
Don’t forget that our February Photo Challenge is still going on. The theme is “Home.” All submissions need to be in by March 1st.
The HDR effect beautifully accentuates the interesting textures and industrial grime in Karen Newman’s factory scene. We almost feel like we’re there.
The repetition of the hanging lights and architectural elements makes for a compelling composition in this image by Gregory Roche.
This pet portrait by Gayle Barrett is well composed and beautifully lit. We love the rich range of tones—such as the white whiskers against the dark backdrop, and the lush fur—as well as the cat’s intent gaze into the negative space. The interplay of light and shadows behind the cat’s head also helps the overall movement within the frame.
The infrared effect in this photo by Marni Bradford creates a wonderful balance between the dark texture of the old house and the bright, fluffy foliage around it.
We love the contrast between the soft background and sharp foreground details in Richard Black’s close-up shot. The branch in the upper left adds just the right amount of visual tension.
With the approaching train and dramatic contrast between highlight and shadow, this photo by Anton Prestele feels like it’s from another era. Our eyes can’t help but shoot down those diagonal tracks to where the train is emerging from the fog.
This simple scene by Dorothy Ford perfectly showcases the graceful curve and subtle texture of the leaf. This is a very well-conceived shot right down to the shadow below the leaf.
There is something very peaceful about Christell Faul’s image of migrating birds. We like the repetition of the birds and tree branches against the bright swirling background.
With the conversion to black and white and the antique border around the edges, Betty Eich adds a sense of authenticity to this image of Civil War reenactors. We also like the photo’s composition and shallow depth of field, which keeps the focus on the shooter.
Winner: Exquisite lighting and strong composition makes for a beautiful and expressive portrait by Eric Frommer. We love that the photo is perfectly sharp except for the blurred hand plucking the strings.