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This is a self-portrait of [me] and [my] brother Rick playing on our driveway. It was a self-timer shot while [I] arranged everything, including drawing the stair steps on the driveway. [My] photo makes [me] feel very close to [my] true feeling.
— Adam Shi, 8, Duluth
Winner: Critics Choice AND First Place 12 & under
"The Old Truck," 2010
I took this digital photo last month in Belfast, Maine. The truck is very old and in poor condition, but it was very interesting. The image looks "strange" because it's a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo. These photos allow the viewer to see the bright and the dark areas of the image. This type of photography is new to me so I was ready to experiment, and I am happy with the results.
— Luis Pita, 68, Tucker
Winner: Third Place, Seniors
In my photography class at Paideia School my teacher, Holly White, asked us to document our day. This day I was with a couple of friends and my father asked us to take trash to the dumpster. My friend Robert was throwing the garbage into the dumpster when I imagined this scene in black and white. It looked really nice so I got out my camera and snapped a couple shots. I like the contrast between Robert and the dumpster. Almost complete opposites in black and white. Also I like how it takes you a while to figure out what he is doing. Like my photography teacher said, it almost looks like he could be jumping into a train car.
— Jack Duncan, 15, Atlanta
"Stoplights on a Cloudy Day," 2010
My photograph was inspired by the journey on my way to work. I almost reached my destination, and I noticed a stoplight, which happened to have a nice contrast with the clouds. Not only did the stoplight and the clouds have a nice visual contrast, but also a metaphorical contrast between the nature and the material world. I pulled out my camera and I decided to take a snapshot. After I developed this photograph, I came to the realization that this was possibly one of the best photographs I had ever taken in my life.
— Shahir Anwar, 17, Clarkston
"Santuario de Chimayó, New Mexico," 2006
The photo was taken at the Catholic religious shrine in the town of Chimayó in New Mexico, where pilgrims come to pray, much as they do in Mexico, to the Virgin of Guadalupe. I was trying to capture the essence of the shrine and pay tribute to the gorgeous colors and folk art spirit.
I like the colors and the detail of the ornaments, including the shoes. I love vibrant colors — they always make me feel more alive. [I do photography] to capture the essence of an experience or memory in its most distilled form as an image. I used to write poetry, and find that photography is similar to poetry in its search for the most concise expression.
— Marla Puziss, 54, Hapeville
Winner: First place, Adults