Unlike Ken before me, I didn’t start preparing my response to the MSA submissions this time until 10:00 a.m. on the day after the deadline (sorry for the delay ).

Thank you everyone for your submissions. It looks like I may have chosen a theme (“Brilliant”) that was a particularly challenging one for those of us (in the northern hemisphere, anyways) who had to deal with some less than brilliant weather.

I’ve really enjoyed looking through the results. There are a number of very creative responses to the challenge. Congratulations to all who participated.

Here are some of my thoughts on each of the photos - informal but personal reactions not intended in any way to be taken too seriously.

------------------------------------------------------------
Shimmering Cornet - russljames

An excellent way to start off this assignment. The brilliant highlights on the cornet contrast nicely with the shadows elsewhere, and the curves in the instrument and its shadow contrast well with the straight lines and geometric pattern on the wall and in the wallpaper

------------------------------------------------------------
On The Turps, Again... - nsouto

I laughed when I saw this one. Photographically, the dog's eyes are brilliant in a dog-like way, but the story behind the mess is what makes it most brilliant.

------------------------------------------------------------
TR2 Mirror - sly

A very nice entry. It isn’t surprising to see a brilliant reflection off of chrome, but the reflection of the reflection on the paint is an unexpected and welcome extra bit of brilliance. The curves, curls and tones are great as well.

------------------------------------------------------------
At Home - Bertus

A very interesting approach to the theme. The photograph itself is wonderful, and the back story makes it great. Unfortunately, I think that in these assignments we are supposed to only consider current shots when considering who is going to be the "winner". I really do like it though ....

------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Moon (MSA - Brilliant) - barbara ann

I like the pattern of the branches as they cross in front of the brilliant moon, as well as filling the rest of the frame with a subtle labyrinth. I like the colour, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this darker as well - a little lost detail in the bottom corner probably wouldn’t hurt.

------------------------------------------------------------
Brilliant grandson (snow angels - MSA Brilliant) - barbara ann

The snow is brilliant, and the grandson even more so! I like the shapes and textures, and the shadows are great. This is a great example of a good photo greatly enhanced by a back story.

------------------------------------------------------------
Greece, Samos Island - Thomas Moraitis

The brilliant light seems to pour down these fascinating steps. The tones, textures and subtle colours are very impressive. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t a current photo.

------------------------------------------------------------
Brilliant Sun II - Greece - Thomas Moraitis

We don’t see a lot of high-key work in this forum, so it is nice to see this. The textures in the highlights are very nice. It’s unfortunate that this too is a “not so old” photo.

------------------------------------------------------------
Brilliant Sideways Icicles - barbara ann

I really appreciate the warmth and colour of this image. My eye does tend to be drawn to the darker parts though, rather than the most brilliant. Still a great entry though.

------------------------------------------------------------

So that about covers it. And as far as picking my favorite?

After much consideration, and with the able assistance of my wife, Gail, I have decided as follows:

First place goes to barbara ann for “Brilliant grandson”, because it says “Brilliant” to me in multiple ways.

Second place goes to sly for “TR2 Mirror”. It was very close, primarily because of the multiple examples of brilliance together with fascinating curves and curls.

And honourable mentions go out to russljames for Shimmering Cornet, because of its combination of brilliant reflections and interesting patterns, and to Thomas Moraitis for “Greece, Samos Island”, which captures brilliance, but due to the fact that it was an older image, couldn’t be considered it for 1st or 2nd place.

So congratulations barbara ann, the May-June 2010 Monthly Shooting Assignment will be in your capable hands.

And Noons (nsouto) March-April 2010, is all yours...

Thanks again everybody.

Matt