This year’s winners offered up an engaging assortment of enticing visuals
Well…perhaps it is just all too easy to lose sight of the craft of photography these days. After all, our phones and apps and Insta have all made point-and-shoot—once a derisive term to any respectable shutterbug—the day-to-day default mode of modern photography.
With that in mind, we’re really thrilled by the thoughtfulness exhibited this year by the winners of our annual photography contest: the compositions, the moments, the sense for lighting…the collective contemplation that went into each of these images. Indeed, there is a diverse and dynamic range of work displayed here.
So as we present for you these 25 winning images, we hope that we are not only engaging you with a compelling gallery of locally-made photos for your consideration, but also employing the work here to inspire you to raise the bar on your own photography…on where you point your camera and what you post on your feed. Because taking pictures is easy…but making photographs is actually pretty hard.
Big congrats to all the winners displayed here…keep shooting and doing what you are doing.
I photographed this particular burrowing owl on an unusually cold winter morning in western Florida. As the sun rose and hit the chilly ground for the first time, steam began rising around the owl and cloaked the whole scene in a beautiful golden light.—Geoffrey Brooks
I photographed “Is Life Worth Living” in San Francisco, CA on Market Street. I have noticed in my travels the Jehovah’s Witness stands in many languages and different cities throughout the world. I am attracted to the shared human element and experience despite our different cultures and upbringings. This woman happened to make the perfect gesture juxtaposing the message on the sign, and I used a handheld off camera flash to create the look and aesthetic of the image. The woman is not in anguish, however, and she is making a playful gesture. — Dan Fenstermacher
This environmental portrait of my 4-year-old son was created on a typical summer evening at bedtime. The image captures an ordinary, everyday moment, but it is full of small details that show exactly what I want to remember about what he was like at this age.—Sharon Kenney
“Summer time” is a documentary image. I was inspired by a girl’s carefree spirit on the swings during summer. Her shadow best captured that spirit, simplifying her wind-strewn hair and welcome wide-open stance. Lying next to her shadow, abandoned flip-flops. This image feels like summer time to me.—Deborah Lord
“Pondside” was taken with a quick upward flick of a long lens. Camera motion has blended the plants growing at a pond’s edge with the light reflecting from its surface. Details are erased, inviting us to explorde the scene through color, shape, and texture.—Ken Fowkes
Youth Category Winners
“Before the Rain” was taken during a school field trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “This photograph aims to capture the sense of wonder that was displayed in a woman’s face as she continued to look up at the darkening sky.”—Alison Soong
I captured “Bright Eyes” while playing with the way the grassy shadows fell on my cousin’s face and the way the sunlight illuminated her eyes. I’m really happy with the result that I produced, especially the emphasis on beauty and nature and the intense engagement in this photograph.—Manisha Khakoo
“Unfold” was shot using a 35 mm black and white film camera, and features the folds of my bedsheets in the morning sunlight. It captures one of the many marks a person leaves behind as they move on with each day.—Emma Sloan
“Smiley Camel” portrays the warm and friendly spirit of the camels in the Abu Dhabi desert. It was inspired by their photogenic nature, and demonstrates how even a camel can enjoy posing for a photo.—Neel Fulton
[Left:] Our tour group just finished visiting the Mosque Madrassa of Sultan Hassan in Cairo. While walking away from the mosque, I turned my head and between the two walls of the mosque was a stunning, hazy silhouette of the Saladin Citadel. I told myself that this photo would appear wonderful by capturing this citadel between two very lofty walls.—Victor Wan
[Right:] While walking through the magnificent curved walls throughout the Canyon, our tour guide picked up some sand, threw it on top of a ledge, and I captured the stunning slow falling of the bright, smooth sand.—Victor Wan
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