There’s no need to feel sorry for the judges of Leica Store DC’s new juried photography contest. You can agree or disagree with their choice for the winning image—-Kenneth Reitz’s photograph of a man corralling four large soap bubbles on a downtown sidewalk—-but they at least had a wide selection of plausible contenders.

Paul Sharratt finds a charming, and presumably fleeting, moment of romance in the Metro: a well-dressed couple dancing on the platform. Miecyslaw Alland offers a nicely layered image of a woman seen through a reflective bus window, rendered in soft, pastel hues, while Steven Poster, an honorable mention winner, produces an image of camera-wielding tourists whose dramatic graininess lends it unexpected gravity.

Several photographers experiment smartly with ways to capture the sky. Gerda DeCorte offers a wide-angle, distant landscape of floating hot-air balloons in hazy greenish-gray tones. Hodo Lee’s sky is a deep blue nocturne, while Chris Williams’ is a gradation of gray transsected by a pair of razor-like power-line wires.

Attempts to photograph murals produce a pair of images with divergent success. On the one hand, Marios Savva gets points for cheekiness in his image that adds a blonde pedestrian to the end of the familiar Darwinian procession of monkey to man, but in the end the tableau feels like an over-engineered joke.

By contrast, Vince Lupo leverages a mural of galloping horses on a tumbledown wall into an affirmation of the power of photography to transform: Set amid an otherwise nondescript, scrubby landscape, the image makes surging hoofbeats ever-so-fleetingly real.

At the Leica Store Washington, D.C., 977 F Street NW. (202) 787-5900