The ballots are in and the decisions have been made. We have a new leader, and his name is Forrest L. Doud. The winner of the Best of Show award for the Winning Images photo contest was a dark-horse candidate that emerged out of the pack to take the top honor.
Each year hundreds of photographers who live in this county take thousands of pictures for work, pleasure, or both. The readers of New Times reap the benefit of seeing the very best of these images in our annual photo issue, Winning Images. Every back road, alley, field, beach, animal, vineyard, and person is fair game when it comes to these image-makers. We are allowed and honored to see who and what creates the magic of the Central Coast. From the hills of Shandon and San Miguel to the bluffs of Nipomo, photographers have been capturing photographs of our place, of our time, or more simply put â€” us.
Selected from among the first-place winners of each category, the best of show was unanimously picked by the judges.
We started a new tradition this year of inviting the best of show winner of the previous year to be a judge for the next yearâ€™s contest. Barry Goyette filled that role admirably, and, along with two other judges, pored over 472 entries. As for the other judges, we brought in some outside experts.
John Tonai teaches still photography at the world famous Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. John holds an M.F.A from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado, and a B.A. from the University of Sioux Falls.
Barbara Parmet, from Santa Barbara, holds a masterâ€™s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and has been a fine-art photographer for over 20 years with numerous exhibitions to her credit around the world.
As usual our favorite sponsors are still involved. First Bankâ€™s Business Development Representative Ligia Vargas states, â€œWe love to support our local community by getting involved â€¦ itâ€™s amazing how many talented photographers enter the contest â€¦ it must be a very hard decision for the judges.â€?
New Times is also pleased to welcome as a sponsor local ad agency AdMinds, run by Finney Smith. When asked why he decided to be a sponsor this year rather than a participant, Smith responded, â€œAll of us at AdMinds want to support and promote the local arts community. We want to let folks know about our large-format printing services for photographers and other visual artists in the area. Our goal is to integrate art into commerce.â€? Â³
Christopher Gardner was the coordinator of the event, not a judge, so donâ€™t whine to him.