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This has always been one of my favorite [photographs] because of its contrast and the feeling that the photograph gives off. The empty black space in the top left corner has always been one of my favorite parts of the picture because if that was lit up instead I would think completely different of the photograph. The black helps to portray the emptiness and loneliness of the subjects. I wanted the photograph to have a haunting yet gentle feeling to it and also wanted it to come off as if the two subjects were waiting for something, you just don't know what they are waiting for.
— Paula Harding, 18, Atlanta
Winner: Best use of black and white
"Sun Hair," 2010
I was on a boat with my friends when I took the photo, and I had to sit down on the ground because there wasn't any room on the seats, and it ended up being the coolest angle to get my best friend's hair blowing in the wind of the boat with the sun behind it. I took a bunch of them and the one I entered was my favorite. I thought it looked amazing how wild her hair was and it was the most perfect cloudy day.
— Julie Rodriguez, 16, Alpharetta
Winner: Second place, Teens
"Yellow Votes Red Or Blue," 2008
I had only seconds to shoot [the photo] before the county staff would be back to shuffle us off to the next room to wait to vote. I was thinking that all the individuals probably would not hold up their voting cards, but I got lucky because only a couple of people did not. Everyone seemed so happy to be voting that day although we had waited and waited in line for at least an hour to cast our votes in the 2008 election before we got to this last wait station and we finally had a chance to sit. Their responding to my unplanned request to raise their cards for a photograph resulted in me having some unexpected fun. But seeing all the smiles I photographed conveyed that they enjoyed [it] as well. I do photography because I still get that rush or charge when I capture something I already had in mind and it actually turns out better than I had envisioned.
— Jacquelyn Foster-Rice, "Baby Boomer," Atlanta
Winner: Second place, Adults
"Nile Fisherman," 2008
The photo was taken while my wife and I were taking a tour of Egypt in 2008. We had just completed touring Kitchener's Garden on an island in the Nile at Aswan and while waiting on the dock for our boat I noticed several Egyptians working on their boats. The subject of the photo was repairing some netting and I was taken with how much he looked like Sean Connery. I snapped off one quick candid shot and it seems all the parameters just fell in place.
I was very pleased with this photo due to the clarity and color composition and also with the strength of character portrayed in the lines of the fellow's tanned face. I won first place in the West Cobb Senior Center Camera Club with this photo this past January and therefore selected it for entry in the Atlanta Celebrates Photography exhibition. I only became actively interested in photography since digital cameras came on the scene and am enjoying the art tremendously.
— Jim Rooks, 71, Acworth
Winner: First place, Seniors
"Las Palmeras," 2010
I was in my neighborhood, thinking about what I could photograph that would illustrate what Midtown is to me. I think the photograph shows in an almost abstract way, the simplicity of the place. It is not a soft image, but it conveys the feeling of the neighborhood; it is a picture that shows such a different side of Atlanta.
This photograph gives me a sense of timelessness. The subject could easily be from another time, another culture. This feeling of anonymity makes me want to leave behind the where and when and focus on what's in the picture.
I love photography because it is a means of showing things exactly as they are, through a creative image. A photograph always picks up the image that is in front of the lens, and it is up to the photographer to make it a picture worth taking. This photo, in my mind, really fits with the theme "My Atlanta." It is a representation of a part of where I live, and where I have grown up.
— Meg Harlan, 16, Atlanta
He grew up in Northwest Atlanta, probably from Cobb county himself. Don't agree with the…
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