While the nation held its breath and waited for the results of this year’s presidential elections, a smaller group of people—local photographers from all walks of life—were also on pins and needles, biding their time until the results of New Times’ 13th annual Winning Images contest were announced. With 493 entries this year, the judges had a lot of images to peruse, browse, and scrutinize.
Their task was an arduous one: Narrow down fields of submissions into just three single contenders for each category. For hours, they studied and scrutinized, mentally debated and wrestled with all manner of color and black-and-white prints. Then, when that was through, they judged all of the top winners as representatives of their category.
It was a long evening, presided over by New Times staff photographer Steve E. Miller, and it made for a longer-than-usual issue of the paper. Still, it was worth it.
Executive Editor Ryan Miller wonders whatever happened to shaking it like a Polaroid picture? E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHARLOTTE ‘GINGER’ RUSHTON
This British photojournalist recently moved to SLO from London, England, where she ran a successful photography business for the last seven years. Rushton is best known for her upcoming book Ginger Snaps, a photo documentary of redheads all over Great Britain, and has appeared on Good Morning America, on the BBC, and widely in the international press. She was a staff photographer at The Tico Times in San Jose, Costa Rica, and The Santa Fe New Mexican, and earned her master’s degree in photojournalism at the University of Montana. On the Central Coast, she turns her eye to human interest photojournalism stories, dynamic weddings, and family photography. She’s due to host a show of animal shelter photography in November at the Monterey Street Wine Company. See her work at charlotterushton.com.
Now the owner of The Photo Shop in San Luis Obispo, Messler graduated from Cal Poly after studying photography and photojournalism. She started her own freelance photography business in 1978, and opened her own camera store in 1995. When she’s not working in the shop, she said, you can usually find her walking on one of the local peaks, gardening, or searching for the next image.
Before becoming the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the San Luis Obispo Art Center, Fuglie was a curator at UCLA’s Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts (where he assisted in developing the collection of 20th century American photography), the director of Loyola Marymount University’s Laband Art Gallery, and the director and chief curator of the Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas.
The local artist and gallery owner is known for his unique layering processes, bold use of color, and the inclusion of urban art techniques in his work, which he describes as unique, amid an art scene that caters to landscapes, vineyards, and conservative patrons. The Claassen Gallery opened in 2004. Its vibrant, urban-inspired, and attainably priced work has appealed to both the youth and student population, as well as contemporary collectors, and the space has become a touch point for many up-and-coming local artists. Jeff Claasen’s own work has been showcased in galleries throughout the United States, and his products have expanded to include limited-edition prints, clothing, books, and handmade wallets. Visit him in his downtown gallery at 1118 Morro St. in San Luis Obispo or online at www.jeffclaassen.com.
Click the link to view this years 2008 Winning Images