June 20, 2010

Honolulu Magazine Photo Contest, 2009

First Honorable Mention.
Kids fall asleep at an adult party
—surrounded by an adult life, symbols and icons that influence their dreams.  I increased the contrast and added some noise to emphasize a dreamlike state.  The picture can be viewed horizontally from the kids' perspective and vertically from the adults' perspective.” 

I had submitted the photos for the 2009 contest from the airport lounge, as a last minute change of mind before we boarded the plane for a month-long vacation to Izmir.  I had earlier decided that I was not going to enter at all, because I did not want the same look and feel of the prior two contests, of Chinatown crowds, art, dancers and such, and for some reason I also wanted to break away from the panoramic (1:2.4 aspect ratio) that I was shooting with for the last five yearsI wanted something different, I was bored...  (I bought myself a LEICA D-LUX 4 right around that time...)

Also that year, I had met Mike Keany, senior writer of the Honolulu Magazine at the Honolulu Pecha Kucha event where I was presenting.  He mentioned that "they liked my photos at the Honolulu Magazine".  Coming from the staff of the magazine, these words had made my dayI did not need another prize!

I had two photos that I really liked, which I had shot that year at the IONA event, Atlantika (you can see them here and here). But I held them back from the competition for the reasons stated above (and one can probably call it fear of success, which is too deep to go into here).

Another big influence at around the same time period was Peter Shaindlin, CEO of the Halekulani Corporation, the sponsor of the contest.  After winning the contest three times, in 2005, 2007 and 2008, I wanted to find out more information about the jurors themselves, in search of validation of my workwas it a coincidence, did the jurors see something in my work, was I worthy of these wins?  Up until that time I had sort of assumed that the Halekulani merely provided prizes as part of their marketing program and it had never dawned on me to ask "why a photo contest?"  Of course, after I read more about Peter and his interest in photography, I realized that he was the visionary behind the event.  I shared these thoughts in a letter to Peter, also thanking him for the opportunity that he had created for all of us who take photographs here in Hawaii.  I met him later at a course he was giving for  PNM and was extremely impressed by his brilliance and energy, his views and knowledge of photography and art in general.

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