Great entries, everyone!
I sensed that this week's theme was surprisingly difficult.
Here are my comments:
rjmusic84 started the week off with a very funny image called "Christmas morning Surprise!!". It's the kind of shot that makes you smile every time you look at it. Unfortunately the white fabric backdrop, the Santa hat, and 'over the top' expression make the picture look very staged - not that there's anything wrong with setting up a shot, but it shouldn't look as if it is. The skin color could also benefit from toning down a bit.
Maureen's "Surprise Self-Attack" was next to be submitted. I love this shot! The colors are rich without appearing unnatural and the exposure is spot on. The stop-action on the spray of water, and the adorable expression on the child's face make this an irresistable picture.
Jason's "No Pictures!" demonstrates again the depth of this photographer's imagination. It presents a moment that many of us are familiar with, and as such, the motion blur and slanting ceiling can be seen as emphasizing the 'jarring' moment of the shot. I'm also glad that the person's eye is partially visible between the pinky and ring fingers.
teekay's "Wow! This water's FREEZING!!!" also makes me smile - although anyone crazy enough to take off their clothes and jump into that water has no right to be surprised! The colors, exposure, etc are very good, the people's expressions are priceless - especially the blonde girl's - but I wish the two swimmers closest to the camera were looking our way.
As many of you know, I love bird photos, so N.V.M.'s "Are you looking at me?" was one of my favs as soon as I saw it - and not just because it's a bird picture, it's a terrific bird picture! The color, feather detail, and the unusual appearance of this fowl make this a very memorable image. Unfortunately it doesn't say "surprise". The bird looks more like it's about to take a bite out of the camera - or the guy behind it.
John_B's "Surprise, had another!" also appeals to my love of nature shots, and again John gives us a top quality image with great saturation, exposure and detail. The close-up of these tiny insects is great. I wish you could give us a slightly larger image without the distracting watermark, but I know you have strong feelings about that, so I'll say no more.
The final image of the week came from airfrogusmc, and "Gotcha" got me instantly. It is off the charts in terms of being adorable! It fits the theme splendidly, and the color, detail, exposure, etc. is flawless. Should there be more negative space in this composition? I say no.
And so once again, I am left with the impossible task of selecting a winner...
The WINNER is... Maureen Souza'a "Surprise Self-Attack",
airfrogusmc's "Gotcha" - a strong second,
and honourable mention to the rest.