These are the moderator picks for December 11th through 17th 2011
Travel & Outdoor
The mood, tones and colors are really evocative. The desolation and harshness of the environment is conveyed so well. The strong foreground gives us a central storyline. The expansive background, colors and sky offer context.
People & Portrait
This has such a strong composition. It is simple, clean, vibrant and compelling. There were comments that the image might be better if the baby were more out of focus. I personally disagree. I think it is blurry enough to focus on the woman who's eyes are focused directly at the camera yet clear enough to connect the two together.
Nature & Wildlife
The intricate detail of the snow covered branches and the boldness of the dark tree trunks coming in from the corners of the frame are just perfect. I played with a touch more contrast in Photoshop and decided it actually took away from the image as it lost detail that shows well as presented here. The black & white treatment lets us focus on all of the graphic elements and texture. I can't think of a thing that would improve this.
That being said, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't recognize Patrick Flynn's sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay from Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge on Maryland's Eastern Shore. This is one of the finest images of the eastern shore sunrise I have ever seen (and there are LOTS of images of sunrise over the Chesapeak Bay on the Internet).
Weekly Challenge - Night Photography
This image does everything right for me. The foreground and background are each well defined. The ramp walkway perfectly separates them, yet has an appeal all its own. The people in the lower left of the frame add a human element and warmth. The tall hotel spanning the background provides a terrific balance with the strong fountain foreground. While there are many graphic elements in this image, I do not feel any of them competing with one another.
Congratulations Ruud, Richard, Alice and Patrick