June 18, 2010

Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest, 2008

1st Place in Portrait Category.
Taken at an IONA Dance Company photo shoot, Emily, in her role as Strength is posing among her fellow dancers and friends.  I was motivated to capture her as the center of the energy radiating from everyone surrounding her.” 

3rd Place in Portrait Category.
Liz performed at thirtyninehotel for the IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre's promotional event, Paint by Number.  Her solo interpretation and the emptiness of the space motivated me to capture the movement using a slow-speed rotating lens camera.

Well, this was the third time that I had placed 1st at the Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest; and this time there was no film category to account for lack of competition (the categories for the first three years were technical: Film, Digital and Edited, and this year they were changed to subject categories of Portrait, Natural World and Built Environment).

So obviously, I was bathing in delight as I had the bragging rights for winning the contest three times, with two pictures each!  I was a photographer!
Both pictures were taken with the Horizont; and the jurors were Peter Shaindlin, A. Kam Napier, Kristin Lipman, Olivier Koning and Steve Little.

Liz's picture at thirtyninehotel still thrills me to look atan ethereal and spiritual ceremonial offering of “paint”; a primitive tribal ritual out of place in a very modern setting; and her nakedness and solo performance that matches emptiness of the place.

The appeal of the Emily picture is the energy that radiates from the photograph—the positioning of the audience around a nucleus, the light emanating from the dancer, the almost audible energy of the clapping hands, and the optical blossoming effect caused by the lens distortion, all contribute towards a visual unity.

The Emily picture was taken during the The Living Tarot photo shoot sessions by Sergio Goes for the IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre, where I was doing my own shooting along the sidelines, trying not to get in the way.  This was in August of 2007, when I had met Sergio the first timeI find out later in October when the results of the 2007 contest are announced, that he was a juror for the 2007 contest.  Of course, little did I know at the time that he would leave us the next year, in July of 2008.

Moving forward to 2008 again, the results are announced in December, and this time I was winning with a picture that was shot alongside Sergio, using his lighting.  One immediately makes associations and cannot help interpreting (or maybe misinterpreting) the coincidences, but I believe that whether we were aware of it or not, this was an indirect, unintentional, small-kine gift exchange between us--his gift to me as a juror, as well as letting me share the photo shoot, and my gift to him in turn, by placing first with a photo that was taken alongside him. I meet Andrea (Torres, his ex-wife) later and go through some of his photographic equipment at his storage unit.  Even though there isn't much that I can use (and could not afford the ones that I might use), she gives me some odds and ends, and a Manfrotto monopod that I know will come in handy one day to steady my hand for another award-winning, long-exposure shot.

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