April Photo Challenge Winners

Last month's self portrait theme, "Me, Myself and I," was a lot of fun. I'm glad to see that people played with the idea and came up with unique and creative ways to express and share who they are. The variety of interesting entries made it especially difficult to pick the final winners… but with no further ado, here they are:

**First Place goes to Treva for "Reflective Self-Portrait"

**Second Place goes to Mysteri for "Split Personality"

**Third Place goes to Cheryl Robertson for "Waiting to Catch the Sunset"

**Honorable Mention goes to Richard for "Beyond the Blue Event Horizon"

Julia Schauer, winner of last month's challenge, is our guest judge for "Me, Myself and I."  Here is what she had to say about her pick for first place, "Reflective self-portrait" :


Me, Myself and I

"This composition is so compelling.  The depth in the black and white contrast draws you in and the soft focus holds you there. The direction of the children's attention, the lighting, and the center focus all point to an inner reflection which, along with the description, fit the theme to perfection. It's truly an inventive and beautifully done fulfillment of "Me Myself and I."


I find this shot compelling for a number of reasons. I am not sure what the shot is reflected off of, but the uneven surface gives the reflected image a wobbly, off-balance feel, almost like water. I also like the harsh diagonal that essentially cuts the image into two nearly even segments and the gray overcast sky.  All these elements work together to make this image feel a little tense, but given the title I find that to be appropriate.

The red coat really pops and draws us to the dual views of the person. I also like the fact that one view is more dominant while the other is more subdued, as well as the placement of the person and overall composition of the shot, though I would prefer it to be even more off center.


I liked this image from the moment I saw it, especially the expectant look on this photographer's face as she watches the shifting light while the sunset takes shape. And notice the multiple dimensions of reflection - the car interior in the sky, the small exterior in the lens of the camera - it all gives this image a sense of not knowing what is "solid" and what is reflection…


This is a clean and fascinating compilation. Beyond the man arising in the distance, the repetitive shape and texture in the sand and water is perfect. The three objects, the man, the bird, and the shell or wood in the foreground also make this a strong image. Nicely done and a good example of how much fun compilations and digital art can be.

The thing to keep in mind with self portraits is intention.  What made some of these shots winners this month was the quirky, artistic, or unique qualities.  What makes for a good self portrait may very well not be the quality you would want or need for a commercial stock photo or for a magazine article. It could, however, win you a spot in a local art show or gallery. So keeping in mind how you are intending to use your images will dictate quite a lot about subject and quality.

Congratulations to this month's winners!


Be sure to check out this month's theme, "Game On!"  Submit your photos by 8:00 a.m. EST, Monday, May 26th. If you're a first-time user, you'll need to register first on the "register" link on the right sidebar. Once you have a username and password, click "Enter to Win" to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered.

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