This is probably the hardest one to vote for; you guys all have images that excel in different ways.
Ultimately, I think minimized get's my vote; while there are others in here that show more competence with rendering, the style and mood of the image fits death great; it's dark, cold, malevolent and otherworldly. the pose and makeup of the main subject is also "deathly". One of those ones I can't quite put into words, but overall I think the image evokes the theme the best.
Tadas; really nice painterly style and emotion, but I'm confused; is he going away from us, against the current and up those falls, or is he going away from the ruins? I don't see him making it up those falls in that boat, and if he's going away from the ruins then the idea that he's going to explore them is sort of ruined.
Jenny; fun image, but I think some more clarity would have been nice, took a while to see what those guys were doing
Skyline; cool image, watch out for some facial anomalies though ( make sure you nail the basic 3d structure first) and I wish there was some more to the story, but it speaks to death nicely
Zelda geek; really nice image, and I'm not sure what you could add.... looks a bit more like a landscape study, and the only thing holding it back my be a little more involvement or story elements.
deerinheadlights; nice ancient creature, but the whole thing is a little flat and doesn't have much of a story to it. It looks like you're presenting the creature for our consideration. Something like him dragging folds underneath the water might have added some more interest.
Thanks for your advice Jason. I just got so into the water cross section idea I didn't consider anything with more movement.
I accidently voted for just two people since I didn't read the top of the post right. Since we're voting for three does that mean three people are going through to the next round, or two like all the other pools? Thanks.