Photography contest showcases talent, skill

| March 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

“Downtown San Antonio”, shot by Staff Sgt. Anton Rhem, earned second place for Active Duty Military division in the Nature and Landscape Category of the 2017 Army Digital Photography Contest. The Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation division of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command hosted the annual competition. The long exposure captures the twinkling lights and beauty of the city’s heart of downtown. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Anton Rhem)

Brittany Nelson
Installation Management Command

SAN ANTONIO — Thousands of pictures were submitted to the 2017 Army Digital Photography Contest by talented individuals in two divisions, Active Duty Military and Other Eligible Patrons.

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Davis, a Military Police Officer, earned first place in the Animals category of the Active Duty Military division, with his image of two giraffes nestled together shot in black and white, titled “Neck Tie Affair.”

Davis said he loves black-and-white photography because it helps him work harder on composition. Sometimes color can dominate and take away from what the photographer is trying to capture.

Not everyone has access to giraffes, but Davis lives near the Okinawa Zoo in Japan.

“I’ve spent countless hours there. Taking photographs of animals can be difficult because they don’t always cooperate, so I’ve enjoyed that challenge. It just goes to show you don’t have to be anywhere exotic to find inspiration.”

“Proverbs 31” was taken by Abby Stewart for the division of Other Eligible Patrons in the 2017 Army Digital Photography Contest hosted by the Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation division of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command. The model’s soft but strong facial expression displays grace and earned Stewart second place in the category of People. Stewart recently started her own photography business and accredits her model’s beauty and talent for capturing the winning shot. (Photo Credit: Abby Stewart)

Davis has practiced photography for four years but was always hesitant to enter the Army Digital Photography Contest. After a persistent coworker encouraged him, Davis finally entered this year.

“It’s a big step putting yourself out there wondering if your stuff is good enough. I’m stunned to say the least and very honored.”

The contest consisted of seven categories: Animals, Design Elements, Digital Darkroom, Military Life, Nature & Landscape, People and Still Life. Photos needed unique titles and must have been captured within 12 months of the start of the contest year. Contestants were able to submit up to three pictures in each category.The contest was open to authorized MWR patrons in two divisions, Active Duty Military and Other Eligible Patrons including family members, retirees, civilians and contractors.

Staff Sgt. Anton Rhem, a medical laboratory technician, took second place for Active Duty Military, in the Nature and Landscape category with his illuminating piece, “Downtown San Antonio.”
When composing his shots, he looks for pictures that cannot be recreated, those once-in-a-lifetime captures.

“I am a huge fan of long exposure photography. I love the light streaks and deep colors. I was downtown on a photo walk and took the picture because it captures the heart of downtown San Antonio perfectly.”

This photo was Rhem’s first contest entry, but he said it will not be his last.

The winning artists in each category were awarded cash prizes: $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. Honorable mentions are recognized on the MWR website.Abby Stewart, who took first in the Other Eligible Patrons division for the category People, put a lot of meaning behind the title of her her black-and-white image, “Proverbs 31.”

“It is one of my favorite Bible verses and is exactly the woman I strive to be. I feel like this photo embodies that verse, ‘She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. … Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”

The model of the picture, Brittany Knauf, is a natural in front of the camera and made it easy to get so many breathtaking shots, Stewart said. She has been learning about photography for three years and started her own business a year ago.

Stewart heard about the contest through the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Facebook page, and this was her first entry.

Tad Browning, an Army veteran, now working as a senior audiovisual production specialist as a civilian, earned second place in the Animals category under the Other Eligible Patrons division.

“Running Horses,” captured by Tad Browning, was submitted in the division Other Eligible Patrons of the 2017 Army Digital Photography Contest hosted by the Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation division of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command. The action of the horses’ strong legs surrounded by the upheaved dirt of the ground look as if the animals are about to jump off of the screen. The rancher in the background ties together the scene as you can see him just off in the distance. These details earned browning second place in the category of Animals.The picture was taken on a working ranch in Mackay, Idaho. Browning has spent over 20 years working in the field of photography. (Photo by Tad Browning)

His image “Running Horses” was taken in Mackay, Idaho, at a Stoecklein Photography Workshop. The Stoecklein family conducts workshops to inspire photographers by putting them in the middle of a working cowboy ranch, Browning said.

“The cowboys and cowgirls were running the horses toward us in a large open area. I shot many images over the course of about 30 to 45 minutes. It was really a matter of choosing the one that worked best. I really like adding people in my images whenever possible to give scale and interaction.”

Browning is no rookie when it comes to photography; he has been an Army photographer for 28 years. He shot combat photography, worked in broadcast journalism and was part of a mobile public affairs detachment. At one point, he was working with the Texas Rangers as a forensic photographer.

2017 was his second Army Digital Photography Contest submission; his first occurred in 1994.

Chief Officer Warrant 2 Matthew Brown, a Chinook pilot, received second runner up in the Digital Darkroom category for Active Duty Military with his image of beaming yellow and golden hues, titled “Chimera.”

Brown’s image, taken from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, displays a creature-like statue with the city in the background. Brown explains the reasoning behind the title.

“A chimera is a Greek mythological fire-breathing serpent, and I thought this particular statue looked similar to what I envision a chimera to look like.”

Despite the image looking more like a painting than a photo, everything in the picture is real, according to Brown. He simply added a few effects for the sunset feel and stone like appearance.

Brown has been taking pictures for three years, and 2017 marks his second entry. In the 2016 contest, he won second place in the landscape category.

Entries for the contest were accepted between Dec. 1, 2017 and Jan. 31, 2018. Images were judged by digital automation professionals.

The 2017 Army Digital Photography Contest took place through FMWR, department of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, and recognizes the creative minds who capture imagery from around the world. The 2017 contest received over 2,200 entries online from dedicated photographers. The winners were notified of their accomplishments at the beginning of March.

Tags: ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *