Here is the winning photo for Alien Skin’s January Photo of the Month contest. The photo-sharing theme was natural light. Congratulations to Oscar Pérez Fernández!

Judge

London-based advertising, editorial, and commercial photographer Duncan Nicholls was our guest judge for this month’s contest. We featured him in a recent interview article about using Exposure’s editing tools to develop consistent finish for his images.

Winner

About the winning shot, Duncan said: “This was a tough decision and a close call. Each photographer brought a unique vision to the table. They’ve all applied an attention to detail, and have shown a high level of skill in post-production to enhance their final work.

The winner, in my opinion, is Oscar Fernández’s portrait. It’s a remarkably striking and engaging image. The balance of natural light shot against a black background produces just the right level of intensity, which holds the viewer’s attention to the shot. The softness of the light works harmoniously with the subject’s strong features. I’m curious to know more about the character in the photo, and to learn more about the story behind the shot, which is another sign of a successful image with the right lighting. Well done, Oscar!”

We connected with photographer and graphic designer Oscar Pérez Fernández from Bogotá, Colombia. Learn a little more about him, below.

How did you get into Photography?

I studied photography and graphic design at the University of Bogotá. I graduated in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2008 that I took photography seriously. Before that my focus was in graphic design. I have always loved the mystery of the darkroom and the revelation of the images. There is so much magic that happens in every photo.

What’s your style?

Dutch masters Vermeer and Rembrandt have heavily influenced my photography style. So have photographers Irving Penn and Ruven Afanador. For me, the importance of creating artistic work is fundamental. It is where you can show your most sensitive human side, where you ultimately are and will remain in the memories of those who look on what you create.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Patience and communication are the hardest parts of taking a successful portrait. The portrait is an artistic interpretation of a human being. When done correctly, it creates an image that transcends time. The process can’t be rushed. My experience has shown me that a good portrait begins with the dialogue that happens before the camera comes out. The chemistry grown through good model rapport plays a fundamental role in the success of the photo. The initial dialogue can take hours, days, or even months before arriving at the right time to make it.

How has Alien Skin’s software changed how you process your photos?

I’m thankful for the creative possibilities offered by Exposure. It opens up lots of creative possibilities for my images. The interface is intuitive, and the results are always professional. I’m quite happy I purchased it.

I process all my RAW images directly with Exposure. This software allows me to reinforce what I create in the camera, easily. I’ve built a library of custom presets, which helps me streamline my post-processing workflow. Exposure quickly became my favorite tool.

Learn more about Oscar Pérez Fernández on his website, or follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

Runner Ups

There were many spectacular images shared last month, some of them are listed below in this article. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who submitted. These are amazing!

Prizes

Photo of the Month award winners receive a few posh items from Alien Skin Software. They get one of our super soft tri-blend t-shirts and a laser-engraved 16GB thumb drive loaded with all our photography software.

Monthly Theme

The monthly photo-sharing theme for February is unexpected. If you’d like to enter the contest this month, get your best work for this topic posted before the end of February.

Stay connected with all of the happenings in the contest in the Exposure and Snap Art users groups on Facebook. The announcement posts are pinned at the top of the groups on or around the first day of each month. Along with friendly reminders of the group’s posting rules, which I encourage everyone to take a look at.