March Winners: "Communication"

Last month's photo challenge theme was "Communication." We received all variety of photos representing that theme, everything from walls with messages on them… to people on cell phones… to animals (some exotic, some domestic) communicating with each other.

Communication, as a word, may not conjure up a clear visual for many people.  But it's definitely a concept worth exploring with your photography.  In the stock photo world, pictures of people on cell phones -- especially kids and multi-ethnic people on cell phones -- can be fast sellers.

And let's not forget, too, that going through the process of thinking about your image… shooting it… and deciding which shot is your best is useful as it gives you practice going through the steps you need to take in order to sell your photos.  You learn most just by going through the motions and experimenting. These monthly challenges are a great way to start.

Now, as you know, we always let the previous month's champ pick the first-place winner, so this month Cecilia Kirkpatrick is our guest judge.  Let's take a look at the photo she picked for first place and then I'll give you my choices for second and third places…

** First Place goes to michellesteil for "Story Teller."

black and white photo of typewriter

And my second and third place choices are:

** Second Place: ThisOldHag for "HALT."

black and white image check point
** Third Place: goldengrill for " Gallery Whispers."

two women staring at a painting
Here is what Cecilia had to say about her choice for first place…


"My first choice is "Story Teller" by michellesteil.  The shot is perfectly clear, nicely angled, and full frame, which I tend to like.  It communicates the feeling of wondering who used that typewriter and if it will be used again.

"Could it have been one of the great authors typing out a novel one-fingered on the keyboard? Or perhaps it's our very own Steenie Harvey as she dusted off her first typewriter found in the shed at her Irish cottage?  [ED. NOTE: To read Steenie's garden shed story, visit:]

"Could it be waiting to launch another's career?  Not only does the photo communicate curiosity, but the subject is the epitome of yesterday's communication." -- Cecilia Kirkpatrick

I like Cecilia's reason for picking this image.  Here's what I think from a photographer's standpoint…

The use of black and white with this image is a great call.  A color shot of this same subject would not convey the same story at all.

When I looked at this picture I was definitely transported to another time, a time when I was young and spending time at my dad's office after school. The sound of those keys striking the page… boy, anyone else remember how the keys would bunch up together if you hit too many at once?

And for those of you who are writers, I imagine the sight of a typewriter signals a clear and unquestionable message of communication.
Here's my choice for second place…

Interestingly, this is another era-type shot done in black and white, also the perfect medium for this image.

It has a very nice tonal range, good contrast, composition and use of light. This shot has so much going for it.

The whole scene works together to tell the story. The guy to the left presents a clear and commanding message.  We know instantly what he is telling us. (I don't know about you, but I feel a little nervous for the guy in the car.)

For third place I've chosen Gallery Whispers by goldengrill…

I am really drawn to this shot.

I like the repetitive nature of it -- the frame within the frame, the two women looking at the two women. The composition with the amount of wall space showing combined with the use of natural light gives a nice sense of space and place, lending to the feeling of quiet and "whispers."

It has an air of mystery to me as well.  Given this small image vantage point, the women who are framed on the wall bear a striking resemblance to the pair looking on.

There were several other photos submitted last month that were worthy candidates for prizes.  Unfortunately, we have to narrow it down to three.  So I hope those of you who submitted great shots will try again this month.

April's theme is "Hospitality and Welcome" and it can include everything from homes and entrances that are charming and inviting to pineapples and other symbols of "welcome."


If you have a picture that matches the theme for April -- "Hospitality and Welcome" -- log on to our website at: and register to win.

First-time users should 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 photos.  Only one photo per applicant will be considered.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]