Welcome to 2012 everyone!! A bit of business still has to be tied up from 2011 though, so here I am presenting the winners of my December 2011 “Journey” themed contest! The submissions were TRULY inspirational. I had a very hard time with this one, more so than the others, because I felt that so many of the entries really embodied journey. I know that theme is something personal – we all take our own journey, and every photo in this blog post, and beyond, touched me in some way. The winners are listed below, and the new contest theme is also announced after the winning pictures.
A million thanks to Ed McGowan who helped me judge this contest. He really brought a new eye to the process and I am so grateful for his help, and his friendship!
Congratulations to Brad!!!! Brad, I adore your picture. I’ll be in contact to send you a package of props and to get you connected with Easy Canvas Prints so you can have an original print made of your winning picture.
1st Place Winner: Brad Wagner for “When Everything’s Tearing Us Apart”
Brooke: This picture has an incredibly amount of storytelling elements packed into one. The trees are barren and sharp, and appear to be stopping the character along his journey. Even his scarf is caught in the branches. He travels up a hill. The view down below is steep and distant, adding to the idea that he has traveled a long while. The flowers give an idea of where is going – for love, perhaps? A new life? Either way, it is clear he has faced and is facing adversity, yet the beautiful surroundings and hopeful glance upward give the viewer faith that he will make it to his destination. This is “Journey” perfectly embodied.
Ed: I think images tell a story, some clearer than others. Within seconds of looking at this image a whole story formed in my mind. Everything from the location, prop, expression and even the subtle detail of the scarf getting caught all adds to the sense of wonder. The tones and crop makes for a fantastic cinematic experience. For me this image encapsulates the theme of Journey.
2nd Place Winner: Paddy McDougall for “Sea Stairs”
Brooke: I was immediately taken by this photograph not only because of the wonderful, contrasted use of black and white but because of the perspective as well. It is as though the viewer is being led down a path and we don’t know where it will end up. All we can see is a horizon line in the distance, white puffy clouds in the sky, beautiful grass blowing in the breeze…yet the structure upon which someone must stand is falling down, decrepit, and contrasting with the surroundings. There is an ominous feeling to this, but also the idea that nothing great can be achieved without adversity.
Ed: I’m the first to admit I prefer images with subjects in them, but in some cases the viewer is the subject. As someone who looks at images for a living, I appreciate details some people do not consciously notice. This image slighly lowers the point of view and straigtens the angle of view which gives the viewer a more immersive feeling. This lower point of view also hides everything past the horizon leaving more for the imagination. In this picture I am the one on the Journey.
3rd Place Winner: Heather Evans Smith for “The Heart and the Heavy”
Brooke: What a clever idea…I can’t stop thinking that to myself. I think there is a great amount of creativity shown here. The smoke takes it over the top with that little detail that makes it all believable. There is sadness and hope here. The fog and muted color palette give this a somber vibe. The rope tied around the house furthers that, almost seeming as though she carries the burden of taking care of her home and the people in it. But another side to this is hope, that the journey is worth it, that she is doing what she can to protect her home. Another side to this says to me that there is always a journey to find home or to be home, but home is, quite literally, where the heart is.
Ed: I love all the things the house in this photo can represent and how it relates to the theme. My interpretation was different than the one’s of the photographer’s. Isn’t that the beauty of photography/art/music? As odd as it may sound, little details like the smoke from the house inspires me to be more creative as an artist/photographer. Small details make a huge difference!
Honorable Mention Winners:
The theme for JANUARY 2012 is “REBIRTH/NEW BEGINNINGS” thanks to a poll I took on Twitter! As always, this is very open-ended. You can submit to the contest on my Facebook page in the Forum discussion here with a chance to win a prize package of props for future photo shoots. The guest judge for the January contest is Ashley Lebedev (Bottle Bell Photography)! Welcome, Ash!