The Winner Of The 2014 Black And White Photo Competition

This years photography contest was one of the best we’ve had since PhotolisticLife began.  It’s the first time we have conducted the contest on Facebook and it’s the first time the contest has been so restrictive in regards to the type of images accepted.  The photographs submitted were incredible and exemplify the tremendous talent PhotolisticLife’s readers possess.

The winner of this years first photo contest is Melanie O’Connor from California.  I asked if she would share a little about the shot itself and this is what she said –

I remember how the wind was howling that afternoon.  It had finally stopped raining enough to bring my camera back out.  My children wanted to walk out to the beach to enjoy our last day of vacation on the Oregon Coast.  Even though much of the day was gray and dreary, I found the contrast between dark and light really amazing to my amateur eye.  When we got out to the beach the ocean was so rough and thundering, the water spray being kicked up by the winds.  Scanning out in front of me, I saw this windsurfer bobbing up and over the choppy water.  His black wetsuit stood out over everything else.  I watched him for a while, as my children played in the surf.  I snapped some photos of him out in the water, including a particularly nasty fall.  After the fall, he came back on shore, and stood there for some time, looking out at the ocean.  I could tell he was resting and catching his breath.  The Oregon coast was cloaked in mist behind him, and the edge of the water seemed to be teasing him to come back, which he eventually did.  I found this image far more interesting than any of the ones I had shot of him on the water.  I used my Canon EOS T3i Rebel.  I didn’t bring my tripod down to the beach that time, so I found myself fighting the gusts of wind as I took the shot.  I used my 250mm lens – my favorite lens to use.  I like to get tight in on my subject, but still be able to keep my distance.  I took another frame of him with the picture more focused on him, and thought that it was more powerful to let the ocean tell some of the story, as it does in the picture I entered.  I felt that with this shot I was finally able to breakthrough and tell an entire story with one picture frame – the weather, his emotions, and his intent to go back and try again after a respite and some bargaining.  I have been working on that, practicing, and this was my breakthrough.

Congratulations Melanie, working on capturing images that convey a story has paid off (literally, in the sum of $250).  Great composition and choice of black and white.

Stay tuned for the next PhotolisticLife Photography Contest, it will be announced later this month.  If you’d like to volunteer to be a judge in the next contest please email with your experience as well as a link to your portfolio or Flickr page.

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