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2019 Photo Contest Finalists #311

Fifth Annual Catalog Cover Photo Contest
Student Finalists (2019)

Winning Photo - Fall 2019 Catalog cover

Winning Photo

Laurie McCormick - Cuban Cool

"In 2013 I was visiting Cuba and one afternoon my friends and I were sitting at a table outside our hotel in Havana having coffee. We all saw this man walking down the street so we jumped into action and starting taking pictures of him. I ran ahead because I noticed a wall that would make a great background and I stood across the street waiting for him. As he strolled by looking so damn cool, I took about 10-12 images, and this one, I felt was perfect. I titled it immediately, "Cuban Cool." I am proud to say my image appears on the last page of the OCT/NOV 2017 National Geographic TRAVELER Magazine, accompanied by an article about Cuban Music. And just think, my photography all started at Santa Monica College Community Ed in their awesome photography courses."

EQUIPMENTCanon EOS 5D Mark II, F 4, IOS 400, 1/1600 sec, 47mm focal length.

Frank Damon - I Dare You to Touch Me!

FRANK DAMON - I Dare You to Touch Me!
1st Runner-up

"I took this image at Joshua Tree National Park in March 2019 at the Cholla Cactus Garden Nature Trail. It was a little past sunrise and there was still some color in the sky in addition to reflections in the cactus spines. While the chollas themselves are not particularly tall, I wanted to capture them looking up to emphasize their sheer power and magnificence. It was a bit intimidating, as one bad move, or fall, can truly ruin your day. I was advised by friends not to get near its very sharp needles as the pain from being “stabbed” can be intense and unforgiving. I avoided that fate, but did step on some needles. Fortunately I was wearing hiking boots. This was my first journey into Joshua Tree National Park and I was mesmerized by its subtle beauty and variations of nature. Not only is there an eclectic array of flowers, plants and other flora, but also the rock formations are spectacular and intriguing."

EQUIPMENTCanon 6D Mark II. Lenswas EF24-105 II USM at 64mm. Settings were 1/80 at f/16, ISO 100 along with a Canon TC-80N3 Remote. Also used an Induro carbon fiber tripod and Acratech ball head.

Mara Zaslove - Sand Painting

MARA ZASLOVE - Sand Painting
2nd Runner-up

"I love to visit Pt. Dume in Malibu and follow the nature trail along the bluffs. The environment of wildflowers and marine life are so pleasing to the senses and it is a lovely sanctuary not far from the city. I happened to look down along the beach and noticed the beautiful patterns left along the sand by the ocean tides. The scene looked like a painting, one of nature's abstracts. I took this photo earlier in the year.

My photographs are entries to my soul, connecting the intangible to the tangible through light, time and memory. Using natural light to capture what I feel in my heart and my eyes, taking photographs has become as essential to me as breathing air, and in some ways, has evolved into my sixth sense. I thrive on creating visual conversations that embrace the universality of aging, childhood, life on the street, and how "human beings" impact the natural world."

EQUIPMENT: Canon DSLR camera and Canon zoom telephoto EF 18-300mm lens.