Sunday, August 8, 2010


A HUGE thank you to all who participated; photographers, voters, sponsors, and judges in the Skye Snyder Photography {MUSE} Photo Contest!

The 12 semi-finalists' images were sent to our judging panel, and "after lots of coffee and deliberation" (Nicky from Pomegranate Photography) the juried winners were chosen. JUDGES: Heidi of Velvet Owl Photography in Oregon, Maris of Maris Elhers Photography in Minnesota, Naomi of Naomi Kenton Photography in England, and Nicky of Pomegranate Photography in Australia. Thank you!

Our generous sponsors also picked their favorites from the entire contest album (ALL 85 entries): SPONSORS: hearts and bones studio, Outdoor Plus Digital Photo Lab, Mix Cupcake Co., Jamie Gonzales at Rhapsody Salon, and Gemini Ballroom Academy. Gracias!

We asked the SSP community to vote on their favorite: SSP {MUSE} Photography Album on FB. Merci!

I do believe our MUSES were awakened and more aware of our creativity, our uniqueness, our talents, and our love of photography. I added another category- The MUSE AWARD. {CHEERS} and welcome to all who have joined our page this month and to those that continue to support us.

Drum roll - the envelope - and the winners are...

$200 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card 
30 x 40 enlargement of winning image from Outdoor Plus Digital Photo Lab *
* please, contact sponsor to collect your prize
Alyssa Watson
"Remembering One Day"
Panelist, Heidi Haden said this image was, " A great photo. Great composition and very thought provoking. I like the moodiness of the B&W conversion as well as the angle in which it was taken." 

Our Judge, Nicky Stone was inspired because, "Not only did I love the concept and composition but I think it really fulfilled [the MUSE] brief - it brought back vivid memories of myself as a teenager (many years ago!) lying in the grass in the bush in Zimbabwe, under a deep blue sky, musing, daydreaming, getting inspired  ....

$50 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card 
$100 Outdoor Plus Digital Photo Lab Gift Card *
* please, contact sponsor to collect your prize
Kate Carter
"Jack and Dean"
Judge, Maris Elhers said, " I love the fact that this reflection tells the whole story. You can see the monkey bars, the boys, feel the sun and the heat, and know that these little monkeys are treasured."

3rd Place
$25 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card 
$50 Outdoor Plus Digital Photo Lab Gift Card *
* please, contact sponsors to collect your prize
Stephanie Hicks
Judge, Maris Elhers commented, "I can feel the sun, smell the horses, and hear him lazily munching on some straw. When an image evokes my senses, I know it's a keeper! "


* please, contact sponsor to collect your prize
Sarah Rodriguez
"Morro Bay"

* please, contact Skye Snyder Photography to collect your prize
Douglas Goedert
"Peace at Last"
One voter said this image, "makes my heart melt". Yes, yes it does!

* please, contact sponsor to collect your prize
Amanda Jo Frazier
"Bring Me That Horizon"

* please, contact Skye Snyder Photography to collect your prize
Karen Apalit
"My Thinking Spot"

Outdoor Plus Digital Photo Lab Award
$25 Gift Card
* please, contact sponsor to collect your prize
Prudence Cook
Maris Elhers, one of our panelists also really enjoyed this photography. She said, "The colors, the fading evening light, but what I really like about it is when I first looked at it, I thought the scene was almost a landscape with the dots of colors in the grasses little houses and lights from a village." 
One of our voters thought this photograph looked like a painting. Very appropriate as Prudence is a painter. 

$50 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card
Chase Silver 
"love in the rain"

This is an award to acknowledge five particular images that have crept into my thoughts repeatedly. Each have stirred me in a different way. They possess the power of art to transport and emotionally move us.  These are my picks --totally personal--presented in no particular order...

Stephanie Hicks
$25 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card
This image reminds me of my childhood and all the reasons I adore being a photographer: Light, Love, and Musing. As a child, my Dad moved us to the desert countryside. We weren't exactly pleased about this hot, dry, dirt road, nothing to do place. Most families had horses so we were promised a horse to soften the blow. I envisioned galloping through the sage trails or along the sands of Washoe Lake - bareback. Horses are magical and majestic. I am allergic to horses. We rode motorcycles instead. 

Illia Ludwig
"My Daddy"
$25 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card
Illia's image reminds me of why I love art. Technically, this image is not "perfect" or what we expect. It's an image that could be easily dismissed for not possessing eye-catching color or contrast. It's grainy with a peculiar composition. I am also drawn to the back story in art. Some say the image should be able to stand alone with no explanation. I agree but I still love the back story. It adds to the experience for me. I read everything in the museum. I want to know about the artist, the medium, the title. All of this helps me feel art more deeply. The handwriting is shaky, suggesting a struggle to write this note. The man's portrait is aged, suggesting a favorite of the family. Why the formality in using his whole name in this casual presentation? Then I saw the date. A memorial card with a handwritten note from her Dad. Illia has shared her story in our album and on the blog. Thank you for sharing such a powerful and moving story with us. The back story matters. 
Our judge, Maris Elhers commented, "Very emotional. I imagine that note and picture mean more to her than just about anything she's ever had before or since. How can you not be inspired by THAT?" I agree.

Khanh Nghi Trinh
“orange no more”
$25 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card
When I opened this image, my first response was, "Oh, that's unusual." I suppose I was expecting to receive images that looked a particular way. I quickly revisited our  MUSE theme - that which provokes us enough to create- and realized this made perfect sense.  I prefer art that keeps returning to my thoughts, not necessarily something that is pretty. Khanh's title, "Orange No More" could have its roots in a deep and profound meaning--or simply -- "It's a rotting orange so it's  no longer an orange." I don't know which it is but I do know that this orange molding, rotting, decomposing has caused me to muse over the circle of life and death on more than a few occasions. I love that Khanh saw to photograph it and share it in this contest. 

Stacey Rate
"Worry Wart"
$25 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card
Stacey's "Worry Wart" represents true portraiture to me. I struggle with trying to photograph journalistically (my first photo career choice) with portraiture that clients want. I am rarely hired to shoot true journalistic style. I call this my GrassRoots style. Stacey said her Mom hated this picture of herself. This is why very few people want to pay to have this type of image. They don't think it's flattering. I think it's lovely! It's real and tells a story with a little mystery. What is she thinking about? Where is she going with those two bags? I can feel the temperature from her dress and waiting on the porch. It actually feels humid. This picture captures emotion, fashion, age, time, place... a perfect portrait. 

Rachael Platz
"Happy Day"
$25 Skye Snyder Photography Gift Card
Rachael's image of tulips in the Netherlands transports me right back to my first professional year as a photographer, 1990. I was living in Seattle, Washington. I was 19 and it was a happy time full of possibilities. I didn't spend much time on personal photography, but when I did, I found myself in the tulip fields north of Seattle. Anyone remember the name of this delightful place? Seattle was the beginning of my vagabonding so I do not possess many sentimental tokens from that time except for two sheets of slide film of the tulip fields. Thank you, Rachael, for reminding me of such a carefree and adventurous time. 
Our voters liked this image too. "Reminds me of when I was in Amsterdam." "That is really pretty." "Love it," and "Love this angle". I, too, so appreciate this angle as I am often in embarrassing and contortionist poses just to "get the shot."

I cannot wait til our next contest. This has been an inspiring month that has rejuvenated my love of photography and what we do! 

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