IMAGE:  April 2004

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Picture perfect
By Mary Ruth Yoe

IMAGE:  Picture perfect

The Magazine presents the winners of its Alumni Photography Contest.

More than anything else, says Magazine photographer Dan Dry, what made the winning entries in the Alumni Photography Contest stand out was their immediate impact: “There were ten or 20 entries that were pretty spectacular, sophisticated ways of seeing.” Dry, who in 25 years as a professional photographer has won his share of prizes (including a Pulitzer) and who has judged “literally hundreds of contests,” was impressed by the range and thoughtfulness of the submissions. In all, 136 photographers—graduates from 1946 through 2003—sent in 343 images. A few subjects proved more popular than others: children, flowers, sunrises, sunsets, and water scenes.

The grand-prize winner combined two of those subjects—sunrise and water. The photo of Bay of Bengal fishermen by Wayne Smith, AB’78, was, the judge says, “shot at the perfect time of day. It has beautiful light, and it is perfectly composed.” The semi-silhouette format creates “an evocative picture, but you can still see some detail.” Dry sums up with this praise: “That’s a photo that you’d see published as a double page in National Geographic.” He should know. He spent five years as a photographer at the magazine.

Dry had an equally visceral reaction to the image that took first prize in color— “Shop Window: London,” by Dan Cook, PhD’98. “The first time I looked at it,” he notes, “it said, ‘Wow! I’m different, I’m a great picture.’” The “very nice framing” of the street scene provided by the shop window’s neon hearts offers “a very, very different look at the commonplace.”

Also uncommon is the first prize-winner in black and white, by Andrew Mine, AB’81. “I’ve been photographing horses for almost 25 years,” Dry says, “and I looked at that photo and said, ‘How’d they do that?’ From a tonality point of view, it covers the entire zone system. It’s the classic example of a black-and-white photograph.”





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