Virgil Das, San Antonio, Texas
I might be focusing too much on titles given that this is a photo contest, but I do think there is much to a name. Or at least it is an opportunity to further the aims of your piece. At first, when I read the title, I was expecting a photo of a dog doing something unfriendly (like eating your bowl of captain crunch or chewing up your tulips) but for whatever reason that was reading the title with emphasis on “who”. If I re-read the title with emphasis on “Man’s” then I think I get it – it is a child’s hand, implying that the dog is also (or instead) a kid’s best friend. I actually really like that angle (if that’s what you were going for). I wonder if you could have conveyed the concept more clearly with a slightly tweaked wording: “Not just man’s best friend” or “Man’s best friend? Says who?” (ps “sez” is distracting – I stared at that word for a while to see if I was missing some nuance invoked with that spelling – to no avail) Photo-wise: I like the framing – you have only the important things in the frame. Animals with dark fur, dark eyes, and dark nose (in a darkish room) are hard to photograph – the exposure is tricky. Dog face could have used more light. Focus: the object far right (knee?) seems to be in crisp focus, then the focus degrades as you get farther away from camera. Would have liked sharpest focus to be either on hand or dog face/eyes.
Something is missing from this scene.
Interesting texture of the dog’s fur and the fabric. This is a challenging exposure – dog underexposed and hand overexposed. I’d sacrifice the hand and bring some more exposure to the dog’s face, and perhaps move a little left or right. I love the hand, though, it makes this a photo about relationship, not just a dog portrait.