Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest Winners
A message from the judges:
The judges of the 10th annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest would like
to extend our congratulations to everyone who participated. This year
brought a bumper crop of beautifully composed and executed photographs
and, as a result, we had to make many tough decisions.
In the end, we had to favor some images over others. We thought it would
be useful to everyone to talk about some of the points that came up
during our judging of the contest.
Editing: When an image didn't succeed, we often wondered if the
photographer took any other shots of the subject. Successful photographers
often try several points of view and pick the best one. Learning how
to edit your work is as important as knowing how to use a camera. Since
it's hard to be objective on your own, show your work to others frequently
and gauge how they respond. You'll learn which images people are drawn
to and, just as importantly, which images no one is drawn to. In time,
you'll gain a better sense of your strengths as a photographer and this
will help you when you select work to submit to contests and shows.
Cropping: Judicious cropping would have strengthened many of
the images we saw. The world doesn't always present itself in perfectly
rectangular compositions that just happen to match the proportions of
your camera's viewfinder. If something doesn't contribute to your photograph's
statement, don't hesitate to crop it out! Be especially wary of distracting
elements around the edges that draw the eye away from your subject.
Sharpness: We saw some beautiful images whose only fault was
poor sharpness. Sharpness isn't always the most important attribute
of a photograph, but when texture or fine detail is critical to an image,
lack of sharpness draws attention to itself. Learn how to focus accurately.
Print Quality: A few images could have benefited from better
printing technique. If you don't have the means or ability to do your
own printing, take your work to a good custom lab. Prints from a one-hour
photofinisher are fine for proofing and editing; prints you submit as
your best work deserve better.
Presentation:Don't take shortcuts with matting. Make sure that
your prints are properly attached to the backing board so that they
don't slide around. Keep your matting clean, simple, and functional.
It should not detract from the image in any way.
We encourage all of you to participate in next year's contest. Get out
there with your camera, do good work, and make our job as judges even
tougher the next time around.
George Fry, professional photographer, 28 years.
Dave Hibbard, instructor, Pacific Art League.
Ellen Manchester, photography curator and editor.
Eva Soos, chief photographer, Palo Alto Weekly.
First-place winners in each category receive $250 in cash and a $100
gift certificate from PhotoTime. Second-place winners receive $150 in
cash and a $100 gift voucher from UCSC extension Art and Design Department.
Third-place winners receive $100 cash and a $100 gift certificate from
University Art Center. Winners of the Youth Award will split a $100
gift certificate from University Art Center.
that were chosen for exhibition