Honestly, when we announced our summer-themed street photography contest, I was expecting a lot of dogs. Not dogs as in bad photos but as in, you know, dogs, as in the dogs of summer. We only got one dog photo but we did get some great interpretations of our “Summer in the City” theme from all over the world.
Our judge, street and documentary photographer Chris Suspect, picked Dani Oshi’s fascinating image of people seemingly walking on water as our overall winner. Dani, who is from Belgium, will receive $500 for his winning image. The runners up, Ray Alvareztorres of Washington, D.C., and Clay Benskin of Yonkers, New York, will receive $250 each and, along with the honorable mentions, will be featured in our quarterly magazine and be displayed at an exhibit during Focus on the Story International Photo Festival next June in Washington, D.C.
The winning images and honorable mentions are below with Chris’ comments.
Grand Winner - Dani Oshi | Brussels, Belgium
“This is a great tableau that captures what appears to be the start of the summer months and certainly fits the theme. It is well layered with interesting foreground, middle and background elements. The light is beautiful and there is not a corner of the frame that doesn’t contain some interesting or supporting data. There are two points that stand out for me, the guy blowing smoke is a nice touch that adds intrigue (and maybe some humor) and the fact that everyone appears to be walking on water is well seen and elevates this to the surreal. With global warming and rising sea levels we may be getting a glimpse here of what future urban life may look like!”
First Runner Up - Ray Alvareztorres | Washington, D.C.
“This photograph encapsulates the spirit of youth in the city during summer time. I love how the back passenger in the car is kicked back drinking a beverage with his feet hanging out the window while the rest of the people all seem to be engaged in conversation. What’s really striking here are the light and the colors. The frame is dominated by red with splashes of blue and green all made vivid by the late afternoon sun. This is all about the mood and reminds me of freewheeling times when one first gets their driver’s license and goes tooling around the city aimlessly with their teenage buddies looking for something to do in the dog days of summer.”
Second Runner Up - Clay Benskin | Yonkers, N.Y.
“This image represents the quintessential summer in the city photo. It captures a past time as old as fire hydrants – cooling off on a hot day by using the hydrant as a sprinkler. A brief google search tells me that first fire hydrant to be used this way was in New York City in 1896. Apparently the NYFD even has special spray caps they use to create thinner streams of water and will gladly open a fire hydrant for this purpose if asked. History aside, it is once again, the amazing afternoon light that sets this photo apart. It almost looks like this young person is being immolated.”
Honorable Mention - Reuben Radding | Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Here we have a scene well captured that is universal to what millions of mothers worldwide experience everyday. Whether it’s shaved ice, a roller coaster or stuffed animals, children are easily distracted in the streets and it’s always the mom that reigns them in. In this image I have to admire how the woman seems to be keeping things under control while her hands are literally full.”
Honorable Mention - Filipe Bianchi | Lisboa, Portugal
“While the theme summer in the city evokes visions of steamy streets and tall buildings, not every city is landlocked. What I like about this one is the absurdity of the older woman in a swimsuit washing her car on the dock of a city’s marina.”
Honorable Mention - Md. Enamul Kabir | Dhaka, Bangladesh
“It’s not everyday you see a rooster at the water’s edge. This is a nicely layered frame with the red splash of the rooster’s wattle taking center stage, the pigeons in the middle, and the people in the water at the top edge of the frame in the background. Seems like everybody needs to cool off from the heat.”