When we asked entrants in our photo contest to tell us what Charlotte means to them, we received a wide range of responses. Many referred to Charlotte’s beautiful, diverse landscape and the wildlife that lives here:
• Frances Foster wrote, “Part of what I love about Charlotte is its rural nature and the knowledge that much of its beautiful land will be preserved.”
• Jonathan Silverman said, “An everyday reflective walk in Charlotte ignites wonder and wander, daring and delight, inviting us to follow paths buoyed by rays, nature’s guidance, and community support.”
Other mentions included family, church, school, neighbors, year-round swims in Lake Champlain, where kids can be kids, community music, people and animals living together, volunteerism and agriculture.
Here are the winners with comments from our contest judge, Lee Krohn:
• First prize: Tanna Kelton. A late afternoon Lake Champlain cruise on the Albin 28 trawler “Cloud Nine.” To include cocktails and enticing snacks. Offered by Glen Findholt and Frances Foster.
Kelton wrote, “Living in Charlotte means being able to use the lake in all seasons, but the winter season is our favorite time of the year to be in the lake for us cold-water swimmers.”
Krohn said, “I just really like this one … perfect focus, the colors of swimwear contrasting with the more monochrome ice and sky, the swimmer’s wonderful expression. I also like that it’s a tight enough image to focus the viewer’s eyes on the subject, yet with enough background to provide a balanced perspective and sense of place.”
• Second prize: Heather Morse. A two-hour Charlotte outing to share photography tips and techniques from Krohn.
Morse wrote, “Charlotte is our home where my kids can be kids.”
Krohn wrote, “A wonderful, amusing, serendipitous, unusual perspective communicating the general joy of childhood. Indeed, I find that this works so well because it does not focus on nor identify the child’s face. Who can’t simply smile at this image?”
• Third prize: Sarah Thompson. A $100 gift certificate for organic vegetables, flowers and herbs produced by Head Over Fields.
“The ability to be rural, while still convenient to amenities makes Charlotte home; it is peace, hope, and the ability to be a part of nature,” Thompson said.
Krohn said, “Tough capture to balance the horse in shadow while maintaining the sky and rainbows, another moment of serendipity with the arc of the horse’s body echoing the arc of the rainbows; and I know that those moments don’t last.”
The winners in the youngsters category were:
• First prize: Caden Asher Anderson, 11 years old. Four tickets to ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.
Caden wrote, “I love Charlotte because it is filled with hundreds of birds and I love bird watching. Another reason I love Charlotte is it’s not a city and it’s filled with wildlife.”
Krohn’s perspective: “Owls are magical creatures that often keep to themselves and are somewhat reticent to allow human interaction, even though I’ve been fortunate to have my own, as well. Tight image, in focus, nicely done.”
• Second prize: Tommy Arnell, 6 years old. A $50 gift certificate from Cookie Love.
Tommy wrote, “What’s Charlotte? Ohhh right, I like my school and trampoline.”
Krohn said, “Although it would benefit from tighter cropping, we all learn as we go. I love the expression captured on the little one’s face, and perfectly in focus, standing out from the rest of the image. Well done.”
• Third prize: Walter Arnell, 4 years old. A $50 gift certificate from Stones Throw Pizza.
Walter wrote, “I love my Billy (cat) and Tommy (brother) who me live with.”
“Children and pets often create wonderful moments, reflecting our wonderful relationship with animals and all that they bring to our lives,” Krohn said.
Krohn also mentioned these entries:
• “Andrea Grayson’s winter rainbow: To me, this image communicated well the simple beauty and clarity of a cold winter day.
• “Helen Toor’s multi-image collage (a quadtych) captured creatively the early life cycle of these birds.
• “Judith Tuttle’s still life with chickens amused me with its contrasting elements, although it would benefit from tighter cropping.
• “Jonathan Silverman did a nice job with his late day shadows, and the simplicity of the contrasting elements and colors.
• “Juliann Phelps’ image of the young child on the hay bale was also nice, in a manner similar to Tanna Kelton’s photo, focusing closely enough on the subject while still retaining enough background for a sense of place and perspective.”
Many thanks to the individuals and organizations that donated prizes — living in a kind and generous community is a big part of what Charlotte means to most of us.
Thanks to everyone who entered our photo contest and especially to Krohn for his effort and extraordinary perspectives on the photos.
Also, thank you to Claudia Marshall and Matt Zucker, who had to idea for the photo contest. Without them, no photo contest.
The last words belong to Krohn, “Thanks to everyone who submitted photos. You never know if you don’t try! Best wishes to all. Keep at it! Be glad to answer questions about these or other images, and how we can all continue to learn and improve in our image making.”
Thank you to all that participated
Alexandra Z. Lazar – After weeks of observing baby robins growing up on my front porch, I stepped outside at the exact second to witness this fledgling’s flight from his nest! This sort of moment is why my family moved from Chicago to Charlotte when I was little: my parents wanted me to grow up in a peaceful place surrounded by nature… and I think it’s fair to say it suits me just as well as this robin!
Andrea Grayson – Honorable Mention – One day last winter, the power went out during the workday. Since I couldn’t work I stepped outside…and witnessed this. It exemplifies why living in Charlotte brings me so much joy, even though most days don’t have such a brilliant display. We live in and close to such natural beauty and diversity.
Barbara Hanson – I heard a call of the red tail hawk, the familiar sound of a ravens squawk, a happy song of the chickadee, all on a long walk with family. Emerald Green as far as the eye can see, a snapshot captures a memory, that’s what beautiful Charlotte means to me. Photo taken at Charlotte Park and Refuge with daughter, Laura Hanson Riordan
Cecelia Wu – We are lucky to be a lake town. A handful of hardy women who call Charlotte home congregate at the lake to swim all year long. In the summer, we go out for long swims. As the temperature drops, so does our distance. Even in the winter, we shed our layers and wade into the water. It’s never easy, in those cold days, but we always re-emerge from the water with a smile and a much better attitude.
Charlotte Dworshak – This is a photo of my favorite kids (but not my kids) at the Charlotte Beach. The temperatures were freezing this day so we had the beach to ourselves!