"From Tucson to . . . " - Award Winnners

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Juror William Lesch (Tucson, AZ) had this to say about the entries to this exhibit, the awards he gave, and the selection process itself:

"When asked to judge this show and sent the prospectus, I had this vision in my mind of what the song lyrics evoked for me, and the image was built up of fragments from years of late night drives across endless western miles, with the windows down and the warm night air, perhaps the moon out, and that special feeling you get from a long open road.

"After looking through the photographs, I went back and read the prospectus again - there were many wonderful, strange, and accomplished photographs here, but only a handful seemed to me to have addressed what was described in the call for entries: "mysterious, riveting nocturnal imagery ....evoking vast open spaces, spectacular light and a sense of the open road". The prospectus also said that images could evoke this feeling without being specifically about a location, but more a state of mind, I tried to keep in mind the parameters of what was called for in the judging, and to be fair, I suppose I filtered that through my reality of what your theme meant to me.

"So, to give you a totally biased judgement on what are the best photographs that also fulfilled the criteria for this show, here are my choices:

Best of Show - Joe Sumner, Space Station over Grand Canyon Fire
"When I judge a show, if I have the time, I like to look quickly through all the entries, then go off and do something else, and come back hours later to look through them all a second time in more detail. After the brief initial viewing, there will be some that stick in my mind, and I am always curious to see which of those will stay with me through a later viewing. Sometimes too there will be those that I passed over at first viewing, but that grow on you slowly, and surprise you the second time around.

"This image, 'Grand Canyon Fire', stayed in my mind during the day, then on looking at it again it just kept getting better. It really is a striking image: powerful in its simplicity, and more than any other evocative of the themes outlined for this show. I can imagine coming over a pass in Northern Arizona or Utah, late at night with the full moon bright on the land, and seeing this tableau before me: the light of some mysterious armageddon burning in the distance, stars wheeling overhead, sharp black shadows of the canyons below. Congratulations to whoever made this photograph, you got a keeper there."

Honorable Mention - Paula Kelly, Cowboy and Startrails
"If 'Grand Canyon Fire' was that image that hits you the first time and then stays with you, cowboy was the one I passed over at first glance. Perhaps it was the title, cowboys being a pretty overused southwestern idiom, and certainly not what I had been expecting. It sort of snuck up on me, and now I find it quite magical. I have to admit a certain bias for the warm/cool color thing going on, I figured I used it pretty close to extinction, I'm glad the photographer here kept it under control and didn't try a green tree or magenta branches. The sort of chance things that happen with the focus shift and the movement in the figure really makes this photograph work, I love the way the figure is outlined in black and the gauzy rose glow behind the tree."

William Lesch, Juror - "From Tucson to . . . "

NOTE: Read William Lesch's comments on the current state of Night Photography, possibly sparked by this exhibit.

Curator's Choice - it's a haunting Series, this time around!
Robert Garret, for 10717-1, 2502, 10721, and 6419

"Taken as a whole, a body of work, a series, these strange, anonymous (except for the titles, which are street numbers), somewhat voyeuristic nocturnal portraits of tract homes, done in Sun City, address the dark side of the SouthWest today - issues of overdevelopment, attachment to creature comforts, and the management of water and power resources, etc. Predominantly artificial lighting for this work - in a show about the light of night in the SouthWest - brilliant!"

Tim Baskerville, Curator/Founder - The Nocturnes

Congrats to Joe, Paula, and Robert and all the people who participated in this exhibit - there easily could have been more award-winners - but "them's the rules!"

As always, you can visit NightTalk, the message board of The Nocturnes, and let us know what you thought of this exhibit.

To see what we might have been looking for read the original Prospectus for this show.

We hope you enjoy the show!

Best of Show

Space Station over Grand Canyon Fire
by Joe Sumner (AZ) ©2004

Honorable Mention

Cowboy and Startrails
by Paula Kelly (NY) ©2004

Curator's Choice(s)

by Robert Garrett (CA) ©2004

by Robert Garrett (CA) ©2004

by Robert Garrett (CA) ©2004