Guy Tal Photography / Celebrating the Landscape in Original Photographic Art

Water in the West Photography Contest Winners
Crooked Creek by Maximilian Werner
I want to thank all the entrants for giving me the opportunity to experience their remarkable visions of water in the West. I say "experience" as opposed to "see" because somehow the word "see" doesn't quite capture all that is involved for me whenever I am confronted by a startling image. As is implied by the idea of composition, taking or capturing an image involves several variables. Whether the image is my own or someone else's, the most successful images are those that teach me to see not only what is there, but also what is not. In this way, seeing is as much about the past and future as it is about the present, even though the present makes the greatest demands on us, and as well it should, for it is through the present that we see where we've been and sense where we are going. Sometimes we like what we see, and sometimes we do not, but in either case the function of art is to confront the viewer or, perhaps more accurately put, the witness of that particular time and place. All the entrants gave me this opportunity and I am grateful to them.

I chose Mr. Weaver's and Mr. Ransom's images because of their aesthetic appeal and for their ability to raise questions about the value of wilderness and our place within it. Both images are beautiful, but the power of Weaver's image resides in the essential absence of the observer, whose presence as the recorder seems almost irrelevant. Under the spell of this image, I felt the stillness of the water and the rock and the remoteness of the bright clouds in the hard blue sky. I felt the weather and the place and for those moments I lost my own boundaries and merged with a world outside me. Perhaps that is what the best art does, connect us -- emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually -- to what is absent in us. Art therefore has an inescapable restorative and moral function, and Mr. Ransom's piece functions as a powerful reminder of this fact. If we are merely implied in Mr. Weaver's image, in Mr. Ransom's piece our presence, however dwarfed by the grandeur that surrounds it, is explicit. And yet even in the midst of all this grandeur that is saturated in golden light of dusk, the eye is drawn for a time to the tiny human form looking out on creation. I then realize that I am seeing myself from afar, and that I am almost nothing and full of wonder and I sense it might be that in art lies the preservation of the world.

Maximilian Werner, author of Crooked Creek

Toroweap by Dan Ransom

Toroweap by Dan Ransom
White Pocket by Stephen Weaver

White Pocket by Stephen Weaver
Contest Rules
The Eligibility Rules
  • The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers.
  • You certify that you are the legal owner of the work submitted.
  • Contest is open to photographers from all countries. Winners outside the US may be asked to pay for prize shipping costs.
The No-Holds-Barred Rule

Feel free to express your creative vision by any means: any type of camera or lens, subject, light, composition, perspective, processing techniques, and anything else you can think of to create a meaningful, impactful, and beautiful work is perfectly acceptable. Submitted images may be from any date and not necessarily limited to the contest period.
The Technical Rules
  • All images must be submitted in JPEG format.
  • Submitted images must be no larger than 1,000 pixels and no smaller than 600 pixels on the long side.
  • Images should be submitted as attachments using the email link provided above.
The No-Rights-Grab Rule

By entering this contest, you allow me and Torrey House Press to post your submitted image(s) on our respective sites and blogs, along with your name. You also agree to provide your name and mailing information in order to facilitate delivery of the prizes. You retain all other rights.



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