2012 Winning Photos

Posted by on September 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm.

60 marathoners registered for the fourth annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and all 60 handed in their 12exp b&w 35mm rolls by 10pm on Saturday August 18th, 2012. From the 720 photos that we had developed, our judges selected winners for Best Series and Best Photo, along with Runner-Ups for both categories, as well as 1 winner for the best interpretation of each of the 12 themes. Here are the results that were revealed at Raw Talent 2012 on Saturday September 22nd at the magnificent Salt Building in the Olympic Village:

Best Series: #01 Ryan Mah

Judges’ Remarks:

“My personal photographic style dictates that I “shoot it as I find it.” There’s no room in my documentary work for staged photos. So, obviously, I’m not going to give the ultimate prize to some manipulated, overly-staged photo series, right? Wrong! Not only am I awarding my vote to a “staged” series, I’m awarding it to the most audaciously, overtly and gloriously staged series in this years’ 12×12 competition. What right do I have to let personal bias prevent such a deliciously wicked story from taking this years’ top honours?”

“The level of preparation and effort that went into this series is notable, and the photographer managed to construct a coherent story while following the themes. There is mystery, drama, action, and a bit of humour. The execution is great, the photos are composed well and enjoyable individually, too.”

Best Series Runner-Up: #18 Phil Jones

Judges’ Remarks:

“This very strong collection of photos is let down only by frames 10 and 11. And, although I ultimately voted for only one of these photos as “best in theme,” many of them actually made it into my “top-3” list in numerous categories. The photographer’s skill is evident throughout, and the photographic quality is high (as is the cleverness of many photos). Aside from the 2-frame letdown, the only thing standing between Marathoner #18 and victory was Marathoner #1.”

“Fantastic series in the recurring use of games, the photographer shows ingenuity and wit in every photo. They’re all well executed, many have a vintage feel to them. Even considering the missing photo, the series stands out because of the number of hits.”

Best Photo:

Jackie Dives (#06) for Theme 07: Top

Jackie Dives (#06) for Theme 07: Top

Judges’ Remarks:

“Beautiful tones, beautiful girl and a seductive glance that captivates me — hypnotizing me into a waking dream in which I am the lucky recipient of such a glance. This is a photo that could and would continue to seduce me for many years.”

“Stunning photo. Portraits like this are an excellent choice for the B+W format. The subject looks moody, ticked off even. That she is seated on a staircase suggests she might be waiting for someone who stood her up. Her gaze makes the viewer a bit uneasy, as if they have disturbed her or are otherwise unwelcome. The bokeh is great, nice clean lines, visually appealing and not distracting. The composition is too, free from clutter at the edges. The hat is wonderfully lit, with subtle tonal variation and great texture.”

Best Photo Runner-Up:

Ryan Mah (#01) for Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass

Ryan Mah (#01) for Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass

Judges’ Remarks:

“Looks like an old private eye from the 30’s. Especially since the photo is black and white. Very good way to make use of the black and white format! It looks like the subject is in a sunken sidewalk slightly below street level, observing their subject from across the street. I like the way the subject’s head is framed inside the circle, and the use of repeated circles (of the binocular lenses, and even the reflection inside the lenses) is an appealing feature.”

Individual Theme Winners:

Theme 01: My Entry Number + Colour by Allison McDougall (#12)

Theme 01: My Entry Number + Colour by Allison McDougall (#12)

Judges’ Remarks:

“This one immediately struck me as clever, whimsical. The way the eggs are lined up on the street personifies them a bit. As if they’re standing around waiting for a bus, or taking a rest. The choice of subject highlights the contestant’s number a bit more, since everyone knows eggs are sold by the dozen. I like the simplicity. It’s very clean.”

Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass by Dave Fell (#41)

Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass by Dave Fell (#41)

Judges’ Remarks:

“The most literally interpreted theme in this years’ competition: Should I vote for one of the many excellent interpretations of the camera looking through glass? Or should I vote for one of the many charming and literally literal Lewis Carroll references? Neither! I opted for the most demented of literal interpretations. And, in this case, I’d have to say that Marathoner #41 nailed it.”

“Beautiful composition. The reflection in the three lens fragments is fantastic: each of the reflected images in the the lens fragments overlaps with each other (the building and the tree), and they provide a nice spatter of lowlights on an otherwise light background. Only complaint is the shallow depth of field. It does draw the eye nicely to the center of the broken fragments, but I would have liked to see a bit more in focus.”

Theme 03: Nude by Monica Chow (#05)

Theme 03: Nude by Monica Chow (#05)

Judges’ Remarks:

“Clever! Great concept, great composition. Took me a few minutes and some Googling before I was able to identify the background subject as the Gassy Jack statue. I wish it was in focus a bit more, it blends into the background scene a bit too well. The choice of foreground photo is great, the white sheets give it a nice neutral context and helps for that sharp distinction between the paper and the rest of the scene. The overall tones are great, since the (lighter) centre image is framed nicely by the dark background. By suggesting a nude sculpture, it reminds me of Michelangelo’s David.”

Theme 04: In 20 Years by Aaron Macfarlane (#04)

Theme 04: In 20 Years by Aaron Macfarlane (#04)

Judges’ Remarks:

“A most astute method for illustrating generations eclipsing previous generations. Poetic to read. Soothing to view.”

“Here are three different ages of paving surfaces: Bricks, old asphalt and new asphalt. Great theme interpretation, by capturing the progression. The photo is aesthetically pleasing due to its simplicity. This photographer is a keen observer, many others wouldn’t have noticed this when searching for their shot.”

Theme 05: Old School by Chaunce Drury (#34)

Theme 05: Old School by Chaunce Drury (#34)

Judges’ Remarks:

“The literal interpretation of an old school with the vintage desk is a nice touch. Again, goes very well with the B+W. The dead centre framing of the subject gives it a bit of staleness, blandness, which are common attributes when you think of a school; especially, a high or junior high school, which appears to be the case here. The book, also apparently old, adds a bit of interest to the photo (I wonder what subject it is?). The background is great. Clean, goes very well with the photo with its bland painted concrete floor and plain wall.”

Theme 06: Three Times by Ryan Mah (#01)

Theme 06: Three Times by Ryan Mah (#01)

Judges’ Remarks:

“We see the figure in a very dramatic scene after just having murdered three people with a hatchet. Its a peculiar scene for at least two reasons: 1) the murderer is a woman with a ponytail and pearl earrings (not your typical axe-murderer), and 2) it looks like a public place in broad daylight. The elevated perspective is nice, it allows the viewer to survey the scene and reflect on what has just happened. Great focus as well, and the darkly dressed figure really stands out.”

“I don’t know what is going on here, but I love this photo. Great feel to it.”

Theme 07: Top by Roger Hur (#09)

Theme 07: Top by Roger Hur (#09)

Judges’ Remarks:

“Love the humour in this one. Not only from the shocked expression on the boy’s face after getting caught in an act of mischief, but also because I find it absurd that a store would stock Pringles on the top of a shelf full of cleaning products. The pop of the starburst flash echoes the boy’s surprise, and really adds to the photo. The girl is too mesmerized by the food to be aware of the situation. The lighting is fantastic. Not only with the flash and lens flare, but also the refrigerated isle fades nicely into the background, and the shelf of products is lit perfectly.”

Theme 08: Hide by Collin Varner (#43)

Theme 08: Hide by Collin Varner (#43)

Judges’ Remarks:

“This is just a great photo. Period. I’d have been forced to vote for it even if it didn’t adhere to the theme. I would like to suggest that the photographer be recognized as the winner, but that the SUBJECT receive the prize, since she is the one who most-sacrificed for the sake of art. A collaborative masterpiece.”

“Another playful one. In this case, either the subject has been caught in the process of hiding, or, (my preferred interpretation) like a cartoon ostrich, believes that hiding her head is sufficient. In a more serious tone, what could make her want to hide badly enough to climb a fire escape ladder in an alley behind Abbot St.?”

“Compositionally this works really well and I like the somewhat unsettled feeling the viewer has because of the tilt.”

Theme 09: Clever by Ryan Mah (#01)

Theme 09: Clever by Ryan Mah (#01)

Judges’ Remarks:

“This depiction of what is, perhaps, the most deliciously destructive mickey ever slipped into a beverage, will have evil super-villains wringing their hands in gleeful appreciation.”

“Great pose, the subject is leaning back and you can almost hear her maniacal cackle. As clever as she appears to think she is, this looks like one of those schemes that just won’t pan out, so, possibly in combination with the attire, I’m imagining a bumbling villain. The subject’s head is nicely framed up by the tower in the background, and the big bright glasses and teeth really make the face pop out.”

Theme 10: Float by Kennedy Hunter (#32)

Theme 10: Float by Kennedy Hunter (#32)

Judges’ Remarks:

“In a hotly contested category with many wonderful shots, I simply found myself drawn to this photo the most. Visually arresting, ethereal and beautiful.”

“Great interpretation. A lonely leaf, withered and delicate, floating in air rather than liquid. It’s slightly blurred, giving a sense of motion which aids the theme. Apart from the misaligned vertical element (a pipe?) the bokeh is wonderful, soft and clean, and the leaf is perfectly positioned over it. The grain of the film really shows well.”

Theme 11: Background Story by Chris McDonald (#45)

Theme 11: Background Story by Chris McDonald (#45)

Judges’ Remarks:

“The background story here I think is referring to Coffeebar, the home base of this year’s 12×12. If that’s the case, then this photo does a great job of conveying the marathoner’s perspective. It is slightly hazy and dimly lit, Coffeebar looks empty, and the streets are fairly quiet, showing signs of waning energy as the marathon draws to a close. The repeating pattern of street lamps is attractive without being distracting.”

Theme 12: (D)Evolved by Monica Chow (#05)

Theme 12: (D)Evolved by Monica Chow (#05)

Judges’ Remarks:

“It took three days for me to cast my vote for this theme but, in the end, the simple fact that I laughed every single time I looked at this photo was sufficient justification to declare it “top photo in the category.””

“Clever take on the classic “evolution of man” drawing, which is commonly parodied with the last figure devolving into a crouched position at a computer desk. So this is a photographic parody of the parody, great! I’m not sure if its intentional that the middle photographer is aiming at the front photographer’s butt (I guess not, because in the EOM drawing each figure is a state which is isolated from the others).”

Marathoners Who Were Also in the Running:

For Best Series & Runner-Up:

#03 Yuki Takahashi & #20 Fiona Howarth

For Best Photo & Runner-Up:

#02 Bob Lai for Theme 08: Hide + #03 Yuki Takahashi for Theme 03: Nude
#04 Aaron Macfarlane for Theme 04: In 20 Years + #43 Collin Varner for Theme 08: Hide

For Theme 01: My Entry Number + Colour

#11 Andrew Topalov + #15 Richard Markus

For Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass

#01 Ryan Mah + #50 Daylene Marshall

For Theme 03: Nude

#07 Zachary Wong + #18 Phil Jones

For Theme 04: In 20 Years

#10 Pedro Nunes + #20 Fiona Howarth

For Theme 05: Old School

#14 John Roberts + #57 Ryan Marchant

For Theme 06: Three Times

#57 Ryan Marchant

For Theme 07: Top

#05 Monica Chow + #11 Andrew Topalov

For Theme 08: Hide

#02 Bob Lai

For Theme 09: Clever

#02 Bob Lai + #25 Evelyn Dawson

For Theme 10: Float

#01 Ryan Mah + #20 Fiona Howarth

For Theme 11: Background Story

#11 Andrew Topalov + #12 Allison McDougall

For Theme 12: (D)Evolved

#12 Allison McDougall + #43 Collin Varner

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