Ninth Annual Photo Contest

After reviewing hundreds of choices, the judges have spoken. Here are their favorite photos of the year.

Capturing the beauty of the Vineyard is no easy task. It appears, however, that practice makes perfect, as Islanders swept the top spots this year. They had plenty of stiff competition. Submissions came from all over the country, and Canada too.

Without further ado, the winners: 

First Place
Juleann VanBelle, West Tisbury

On the first day of the New Year Juleann VanBelle caught this image of the moon, Venus, and the Gay Head Light from the north shore. “It’s amazing how bright it can be,” she said. “Taking photographs at night is quite stimulating, offering a whole new sense of the world and our place in it.” Judges praised VanBelle’s obvious photographic skill. “This is an extremely hard
shot to do well,” one said.

Second Place
Barbara Reynolds,
Vineyard Haven

Barbara Reynolds happened upon an unexpected blue oasis during a sunrise trip to Lucy Vincent Beach. “Blue water, blue sky, blue everywhere is striking,” she said. Judges liked her use of a long exposure, which helps to portray the motion of the waves on a rocky shore. “The image is strikingly simple, yet invites prolonged investigation,” said a judge.

Third Place
Claire Ganz, Chilmark

Claire Ganz waded into the water to take this photo of her son and his friends fishing the Derby last September. “For me, this moment perfectly captured friends fishing together,” she said. The judges agreed: “Not only is it a beautiful photo, but it represents a great moment of camaraderie and enjoyment of nature.”

Honorable Mention
Angela Possemato, Macedon, New York

“The sky was moody and changeable,”  said Angela Passemato of the September day she spent photographing the Vineyard Haven waterfront. “I wanted to capture all the textures...and that forlorn feeling of being at the beach on a cold, gray morning.” Judges liked the mix of bold and muted colors, as well as the clarity of the composition.

Honorable Mention
Rob Skinnon, Meriden, Connecticut

Bridge-jumping photos are a dime a dozen, but good ones can be hard to come by. The judges liked the unvarnished quality of this photo, reminiscent of a still life – or at least a moment frozen in time. Said photographer Rob Skinnon: “This photo takes me back to being a kid again.”

Honorable Mention
Joshua Robinson-White, West Tisbury

You’ve probably seen a Menemsha sunset. But have you seen a Menemsha sunset with bubbles? If not, you’re missing out. “I love how it captures such a unique moment in time,” said Joshua Robinson-White. “For me, the Vineyard’s landscape is its most important attribute,” one judge said of the image. “I choose photos that most reflect the Island’s natural beauty.”

Honorable Mention
Thomas Fahey, Milton, Massachusetts

For Thomas Fahey, his Vineyard vacation is the only time he has to take “serious  photographs.” Like this one, taken at sunrise in Oak Bluffs during what many  photographers, including Fahey, refer to as the magic or the golden hour, when the sunlight has a soft, golden quality. Judges also praised the use of light. “It’s a beautiful, quiet image,” one said.

Honorable Mention
Lisa Vanderhoop, Aquinnah

Lisa Vanderhoop said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a photo of this fellow as she drove down Middle Road one autumn day. And he was more than happy to model. “I like how the detail in the photo recedes with distance, as the background of the trees is blurry,” said a judge. “It really brings out the texture of the rocks and the bull.”

Honorable Mention
Vincent Chahley, Calgary, Alberta

Out for a ride in a single-engine Cessna aircraft, Vincent Chahley was able to capture Brush Pond, behind the hospital, from above. “I like the geometrical patterns and shapes, textures and shadows that can be seen from an aerial perspective,” he said, “and how different our Island can look when seen from above.” Judges also complimented the unique view.

The Judges

This year’s panel included Susan White, a longtime summer visitor and the photography director for Vanity Fair; Elizabeth Eisenhauer, co-owner of the Eisenhauer Gallery in Edgartown; Ray Ewing, an Islander and adjunct professor of photography at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California; Alley Moore, the art director for this magazine; and Vanessa Czarnecki, this magazine’s senior editor and the editor of Martha’s Vineyard
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