The true test of a great image is  “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Whether a person is a professional photographer and has been schooled in the art, or naturally has a good eye and is quick to enable the right settings with little to no formal practice, this year’s competitors had some very unique takes on the world around them. With these unique angles and perspectives, volumes have been spoken without saying a word.

From bugs to fairs, to sitting on a school bus, to standing on a door, to a seemingly distant young adolescent, to even just a stroll down Main Street in Ventura, this year’s winners opened our eyes to moments in time that would have been lost or overlooked if it weren’t for the careful and deliberate actions taken by these talented photographers.

There are not too many images that people, in general, haven’t seen for themselves amongst our winners, but the pictures, along with some of the photographers’ descriptions, give these photos a unique quality.

David Comden, Michel Cicero, Christy Sisneros, Michael Sullivan and guest judge Bill Hendricks, photography instructor at Ventura College, chose the best images that captured and moved us, that drew us in and made us curious, that made us feel something extraordinary. Please take a moment to enjoy this year’s winners and placeholders, and we hope you see what we see.  

 

The winners

 

1A

Amateur Color
1st Place
Jessamyn Prince

The future looks empty
“One day while riding the school bus home, I saw this scene and captured it. I felt it perfectly represented how I was feeling about my future: On the surface, bright and exciting, but I also knew it was going to be a long journey.”

 

 

 

P1

Pro Color
1st Place
Sarah Willey

Star Lounge

 

 

2A

Amateur Color
2nd Place
Ean Warren

“I took this picture while hanging out in my backyard.”

 

 

P2

Pro Color
2nd Place
Kathleen Galen

“I took this shot at sunset while working on a “food at the fair” story at the VC Fairgrounds — the clouds were amazing. I could not resist photographing the illumination of the sun and the lights of the rides.”

 

 

3A

Amateur Color
3rd Place
Ean Warren

“I took this picture at the VC Fair.”

 

 

P3

Pro Color
3rd Place
Joe Vertin

 

 

1A Gray

Amateur B & W
1st Place
Jessamyn Prince

Don’t look down
“During a photo shoot of glamour and grime, I found a beautiful door on the ground. I love how it was filled with texture and representative of our culture’s downfall toward disrepair.”

 

 

2A Gray

Amateur B & W
2nd Place
Tara Malenfant

 

 

3A gray

Amateur B & W
3rd Place
Al Westcott

Born free?