Contest 8  "Show Us the Light"
Universal element of a great photo is lighting.
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The contest finalists photographs.
Review of the prize winners by Jami Saunders Positive Focus wrapped 2004 with the successful contest, "Show Us the Light." Entries were received from around the country and competition as expected, was tough. We are excited to introduce the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners to you. Martha Kate Ginsberg, from right here in NYC, took 1st place for her image "Taos, New Mexico." Need we tell you where she made this picture?? Ginsberg, whose day job is spent at a large PR firm, obviously has an eye for light and design when spending time away from the office. You can almost feel the texture of the hut depicted here, baking in the sun, and smell the sunlight bouncing off the facade. I can only image what else surrounded this building, hoping that miles of contoured structures like this held shadows similarly but knowing that quite probably Ginsberg found a special niche of sunlight and beauty. Ginsberg, who is also a painter, finds inspiration in moments and in "finding _expression(s) to illuminate the things, people, relationships in life that move or fascinate (me)." Contact Martha Kate Ginsberg at mkgins@earthlink.net. Rich Press won 2nd place for his image "Girl Underwater," which was made in 1999 in the South Bronx , where Press spent many hot days that summer. Spewing fire hydrants and kids playing in their rain have often seemed to be a recipe for success, and with this image, Press further supports that theory. Nonetheless, just because it has been done before, doesn't make this image any less refreshing. The image of kids playing on a hot summer day, sun gleaming through the water, and one lonely girl on the curb, leaves you with so many questions, the way a successful photograph does. Press, who since making this picture has become a professional photographer, now teaches photography at Cooper Union and Educational Alliance, while freelancing for several publications. It's worth noting a project of Mr. Press's called Beyond Ground Zero ( www.richpress.com ) . Previously a forensic photographer for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Press depicts a n often untold side of tragic and traumatic events through images in this photo essay. Contact Rich Press at rich@richpress.com. Jason Wallengren took 3rd place in the Show Us the Light contest, with his image "In Between Innings." Taken on opening day this year at Fenway Park , home to "my beloved Boston Red Sox," as Wallengren states in their championship year, this Holga captured image evokes feelings of nostalgia for the viewer. I imagine mid-day baseball games and the sun that beats down, exciting the crowd, the park, the players, and the neighborhood. Although there are some pieces to this image that would be recognized only by the serious baseball fans, such as the green wall which Wallengren describes as a Fenway "icon," they can still be appreciated for the simple fact that they work well in the image, regardless of what it means to the diehards. Congratulations and good luck to Wallengren, who in the past year decided to move into pursuing photography full-time after working as an illustrator/graphic designer. Contact Jason Wallengren through email (jason@jasonwallengren.com ) or his website: www.jasonwallengren.com.