As the walk leader for the Scott Kelby 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk, it was my awesome responsibility to pick the “best” photo of all the locally submitted images for advancement to the worldwide competition. And even though you always hear this, I swear it was a Herculean task to get 48 submissions down to one winner. I went from 48 to 17, 17 to 10, 10 to 5, 5 to 3, 3 to 2, 2 to 3 again, and then picked the winner. And then changed my mind. Twice. But in the end I went with my first instinct – even if it was my ninth try at determining what my first instinct was.
I put best in quote above and I want to talk about that briefly. The definition of best often wanders. For this contest – like a lot of contests actually – it came down to two things – one tangible and one intangible. The tangible thing to me is that the best image has to be a good photograph. It should be visually interesting and well-executed. The intangible thing – which probably makes up about 95% of the decision – is that it has to appeal to the one doing the judging. And that is not always fair or just – but as Walter Cronkite used to say “That’s the way it is.”
Overall I was very impressed with what I saw. The folks I was walking with did a great job. It’s – as always – a privilege to hang with my photographic fellows in Central Illinois. Blah blah blah. I know – enough – let’s get on with it.
I’m going to present this here as a sort of Top Ten List – working up to the winner (Title and Photographer Name appear below each image):
Top 10 Finishers
Jim Carlson – Water for Flowerbox
Tim Lester – Sacred Heart Church
Sarah Studnicki Dukes – Widows Peek
Mike Vujovich – 401 Redux
Lily Dale – Untitled
Karen Schulthes – Side Street Yellows
Crystal Kepple – Commemoration
And to see the Top Three – you have to make the jump…
Top Three Finishers
Eileen Leunig – Inflation Elation
I thought this image was just wonderful for the way it told a story about this child and what was to come. Technically well executed and strong color – and the expression of the child is just priceless.
Cindy Patterson – Parking Deck Swoop
I thought the energy in this piece was just fantastic. So much movement and eye candy. While it doesn’t necessarily show it here, in higher res there’s a lot of detail in shadows. A common site shown in an uncommon way.
And the winner – well that will take one more jump.
I have to admit to being completely surprised by this one. Amy McGovern’s Bridgeorama has shown me something I’ve seen a million times (and photographed half a million times) in a completely new way. It delighted me with both its simplicity and complexity. It breaks conventional compositional rules and still works.
Amy McGovern – Bridgeorama
Again – thanks to everyone for coming out and participating in your community – and for bringing your camera. We certainly had a great time.
Until next year.