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Well this month's competition certainly hit the mark, bringing in hundreds of emotive, powerful and interesting facial expressions and composures. As a result, the shortlist is a little longer than normal. Also, the number of black & white entries was predominantly high which has filtered through into the choice.
In first place is Cole with his wonderful portrait of Lucky licking Dallas. They say, “a dog is a man's best friend”, but here it's clear that the man appears to be the dog's best friend. We like the angle of the dog in relation to the face and great expression on the man.
Second place is Nick Gill's gritty close-up that's high contrast and razor sharp. The eye is higher in the frame than normal and the crop is unorthodox, but these elements work to make this a bold image.
Third place is a muted colour shot that Daniel Kongos took of his father, John. It reminds us of something out of a science fiction film. The highlighted rims of the glasses draw your attention to the eye area where all we see are reflections of a contrasting colour and pattern. It has an HDR processing feel but in a way that isn't overcooked.
Fourth place is a clever manipulation which takes the face theme literally. Here Tim has seamlessly placed a face over a mannequin using Photoshop. He's made it look realistic and including a second mannequin in the background is a neat touch.
Well done to all the winners and shortlisted - you've set the bar high for next month!