Xwinger and I spent two hours yesterday reviewing each of the 120+ pictures submitted for our first Photo Contest – Birds Eating. On our first pass-through we narrowed the list down to about 25 possible winners. By the third or fourth pass-through we were down to five entries. Then the hard work began.
We studied and discussed each of the five finalists in detail, looking at composition, sharpness, lighting – all those things covered in the QSAR. We whittled it down to three GreatBirdPics and finally agreed on a winner – which will be announced tomorrow. Today I want to feature the four Honorable Mentions – wonderful pictures in of themselves – any of which could have been the overall winner.
The first Honorable Mention goes to Ronald Zigler’s entry “Osprey bringing home the fish.” It’s a great composition with the adult about to land in the nest with a large fish with its mate and one of two nestlings watching in anticipation.
The second Honorable Mention goes to Bajadreamer’s “Worms in the cracks”. Xwinger really liked the muted colors of the Spotted Woodcreeper and the trees. I thought it was pretty amazing he got the shot so sharp considering there was so little light.
Our final two Honorable Mentions both go to submissions from Emil Baumbach. Everyone loves Puffins and he captured a great close-up of an Atlantic Puffin in Maine with its beak gripping Sand Lance.
Emil’s Second Honorable Mention was the subject of a lot of discussion between Xwinger and myself. The focus of the discussion was the rule stating that the photo had to be submitted after the contest began. Although the photograph of the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher below is great, the one he submitted of the same birds a week before the contest was even announced we considered better. Unfortunately Rules-is-Rules so we couldn’t include the earlier pic in our judging. However the one we were able to judge was excellent.
Thanks again to Xwinger’s generosity to help make this first photo contest so successful. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow and feature some of the Runner Ups on Wednesday.
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