OK, so the results are in... this was MUCH more difficult than I thought, especially with such a wide range of styles and techniques, there were a few really strong submissions by the same people, and other single images I found really provoking all in different ways...
I'm going to touch on a few, I won't include everyone, this is just the 8 tabs I have left, I still haven't fully decided... but I've got it down to 8...
Sly http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...?i=71555&c=508 I love the contrast of the bright skin with the darkness of the sand, I find that really interesting.
Bertus, what can I say, you really contributed, it was great so see such a varying style between images, all truly amazing, http://www.apug.org/forums/attachmen...yscape.jpg.att personally, one of my favorite subjects, the beautiful pregnant form, I wish more women were brave enough to shoot while pregnant, I've only had 3 so far, only two in nude form, it's a huge honor. Your next work, this one http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...?i=71608&c=508 I love the crisp nature and the harsh light, but with the sheer fabric adds texture and softness, very nice, and lastly http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...?i=71733&c=508 I absolutely love this one, the softness of it all, it's just so peaceful and gentile, marvelous.
Gandolfi, your work is always truly amazing, this one http://www.apug.org/forums/attachmen...es-sas.jpg.att as I've already said is truly spectacular... there's just so much going on here, so much to say, I can see you've painted with light in a few ways both in painting, light control, and burning and the way the scene is set, it's just so interesting, I would love to see more from this if this was indeed a whole set and not just one photo.
Barbara, I'm glad you gave this a try, this one http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...?i=71285&c=508 is really fantastic! As I mentioned before, the way you chose to have light fall on your skin and used your subject as it is to truly create a scene, I would call this "the sands of time and dunes of wisdom" it's truly a whole life, character, shading, detail, would certainly be one of those images that viewed small would look one way and large would be a totally different image, just grand.
Ian, http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...?i=71720&c=508 I couldn't argue that this is poise, pose, fashion, and the art of studio all in one. Simple and elegant, and professionalism and art and beauty all rolled into one.
Ignatius, I loved your girl behind the board, her form was interesting, but this one blew me away. http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...?i=71727&c=508 I love the texture, the shadow, light, framing, it's both nude and skin and light but only implied nude which I think adds to the mystery and intrigue. Also I would like to say that because this theme was altered from nude to skin, that the way her ribs protrude truly highlights the skin factor, as it is stretched from rib to rib. But I LOVE the shadow detail, it's just really nice, and the smooth grain factor is super pleasing. I also love the tiny bit of fabric under her scapula, the texture in that is also really pleasing and perfectly in plane with the edge of the photo.
FlyingCamera http://www.apug.org/forums/attachmen...kshop1.jpg.att this is so interesting, I think what strikes me most is the bold use of the underarm hair highlighted, it stands out but in a really intriguing way. I like how you've silhouetted his form but would have liked to see a little more light on his back, I can see there's fuzz there too and I think that would have added something perhaps? but it's really nice.
Between all the images, these two were my final decisions...
It's a really really hard decision, but I have to say that because of the decision making process, I'll comment on one negative from each photo that bugs me before I tell you the winner
First, Barbara, I love this photo, I'm assuming based on your other submissions that you took this in your home near a window? I love the lighting and the upper left shadow falls so gradual and so gracefully, but the bottom right shadow is so abrupt and harsh it really takes away from the image for me, if not for that one detail, I would consider this image perfect.
Second Ignatius, just spectacular work. My one criticism on yours is the models hips, it's clear she hadn't drunk enough water and hadn't spent enough time out of her undies as there are remnants from the elastic on her front hip bone and lower on her side cheek, if she had imperfections in many places, it wouldn't be so bad, but with her otherwise perfect skin, it's a little distracting to see those lines, but aside from that, just super fantastic.
But alas I have the soap box/floor no longer and must give up my seat to the winner. And because I love the use of shadow in photos, it was really hard between these two, but I have to go with Ignatius as the winner, I just love the tones of this one, it's really quite pleasing.
Congrats!! So tell us, what will you be challenging us with?
Thank you everyone! it's truly been an honor to host this and I know I had a rocky start but I think it all worked out in the end
Be well everyone!