January Winners: The Great Escape

We just announced last month’s Photo Challenge winners. Scroll down to see which photo took first place…

-- Lori

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

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February 3, 2010
The Right Way to Travel, Weekly Photo Tip

The Great Escape -- Winning Entries

By Shelly Perry in Portland, OR

Last month’s Photo Challenge theme was “The Great Escape.” We can all do with a great escape now and then. I’m looking forward to mine this month when I’ll be off to Ecuador for AWAI’s next Photo Expedition there.

Usually the previous month’s winner picks the monthly first place photo, but I was unable to reach last month’s winner, so I’ll be your stand-in judge.

We had a huge number of good shots in January, so it was particularly hard to choose three. But I managed it! Here are the winners:

** First Place goes to amaing for “My Ultimate Dream Came True”

** Second Place goes to mm767cap for “Death Dunes”

** Third Place goes to amancuso for “afternoon delight”

** Honorable Mention goes to mellyd-100 for “Montville at midnight!”


The Great Escape

The title and description pushed me over the edge with this one. I’m not sure there can be any greater escape than the fulfillment of a dream and to experience life in totally different surroundings -- including different creatures -- as this photographer did underwater.

Photographing underwater can be tricky business, and the photographer carried it off well here. The skewed angle of the shot adds to the surreal feeling of being submerged in strange surroundings. And the prominence of the fish face adds character and humor. I love the bits of color on the swimmer that bounce around and reflect on the water as well.


This is a wonderful S-curve composition.

What makes this shot truly stunning and beautiful is that the photographer was there at the right time of day -- sunrise. The early morning light provided that nice warm glow on the front side of the dunes, while keeping the back side shrouded in the deep dark shadows, resulting in that sharp crisp edge at the top of the dunes.


Overall, I like the mood and feel of this photo. The silhouette of the surfer is crisp and clean, even showing facial features, and yet it is dark enough for this person to still be anonymous, conveying the escapism that many surfers feel as they head to the water. The composition is classic, using the Rule of Thirds, and the motion is moving into the photo. The large expanse of sky provides copy space, (with room for text) making this a potential stock shot


What makes this photo stand out to me, besides the beautiful colors and scene, is that it’s a night shot. I am impressed with how the moonlight plays on the clouds and provides enough light to illuminate the scene. The photographer may have had to play around with the exposure a while to get this one just right, and with a longer night shot, a tripod would be essential. I find this photo to be quite otherworldly.

Congratulations and great job to each of our winners!!

The first-, second-, and third-place winners, as well as honorable mentions, from each month will be entered into the running for the $2,000 Grand Prize next October.


February's theme is "Will You Be My Valentine?" Submit your photos by 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, February 28. If you're a first-time user, you'll need to register first on the "register" link on the right side bar. Once you have a username and password, click "Enter to Win" to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered.

[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelly Perry from Portland, Oregon, specializes in people photography, what she calls documentary or lifestyle portraits. She is known especially for her imaging of children. Shelly’s concern for people is reflected both in her sense of purpose and the images she produces.  Her images have been seen all over the globe on music CD covers, books, magazines, catalogues, web sites, ad campaigns and even on TV. Her work has also appeared in several local exhibits and gallery shows.]