Cutting down 300 photos to under 20 is like whittling a baseball bat into a toothpick. You, our devoted readers, knocked it out the park for the Alibi's ninth annual Photo Contest with a bevy of captivating images. But while there are dozens we'd like to print, there's only so much a person can chew on. (Translation: It's not cheap to print 50,000-plus four-page color spreads.) So here, judged by Alibi Graphic Designer Jesse Schulz, Editor-in-Chief Laura Marrich and yours truly, are the crème de la crème of the rich imagery you collectively churned out.
The winning photographer in each category receives a pair of passes to the Alibi’s Fine Wine and Art gala on Friday, April 6, at Downtown’s Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. Runners-up are bestowed with the gift of eternal glory in newsprint. The photog behind our cover shot, Andrew Westphal, is awarded admittance to the wine event as well as dinner at Scalo for his exquisite black-and-white capture of a ponderous mademoiselle lost in reflection on a rainy day. (It takes skill to make modern-day America look like Paris in the ’50s.)
Here are the fruits of your labors. Bon appétit.
Winner: “Lucky Boy,” Donald Priola
This category calls for shots that speak Duke City. Don’t get all butt-hurt if you didn’t land up in print.
Runner-up: “Hot DAWG!,” W. Gary Rivera
Winner: “007,” John C. Gilbert
Things Are Not What They Seem
This category could also be called “Everything Is Manipulated.” A combination of imagination and Photoshop wizardry evokes scenes that, to quote the late-’90s Black Rob hit, make us say, “Whoa!”
Runner-up: “Colossus XV,” Jason Ross
Winner: “Roy Breckenridge,” Mitch Tillison
People Are People
Pretty simple: Give us some good portraits. The winning image by Mitch Tillison depicts Lakota Sioux artist Roy Breckenridge, whose ink pointillist prints earned him a place as artist in residence at the Kirtland Gallery. Breckenridge is a highly decorated Vietnam vet and former POW.
Runner-up: “Indigo in Thought,” Steve Insausti
Winner: “Too Late,” Taylor Sloan
The vast expanses of Southwestern topography provide for some awe-inspiring stuff. Think Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams and pretty much every other artist who spent time in the Land of Enchantment.
Runner-up: “Volcano Butterfly,” Monica Rodriguez
Winner: “The First Hour,” Frank Dominguez
The idea here is an image that evokes action, rawness and risk—both from the photographer and in what is being shot. We want to see photos that shake our core or provide a gritty, visceral channel into a fleeting moment.
Runner-up: "White Belt and Sun Spots,” Angelica Figueroa
Winner: “One-Shot Wonder,” Jordan Carp
Critters of the Southwest
Yes, we received a plethora of roadrunner and rattlesnake shots, but it’s the birds and bees (or butterflies, rather) that give this category wings.
Runner-up: “Cranes Flying In,” Patrick Downing
Winner: “Kill Yourself,” Lucy Gilster
Remnants of Splendor
So much history here. So much decay. So much beauty in all of its rusted glory. No place rivals New Mexico when it comes to remnants of bygone industry turned into objets d’art by the changing of seasons and the slow, withering sands of time.
Runner-up: “The Back Road to Taos,” Sarah Kurowski
Winner: “Tomorrow’s Dream,” Marie Maher
The theme that happens to tie this open category together is surrealistic dreamscapes imbued with Southwestern imagery.