There's a reason that tourists flock to the Holy City day after day. It's a town where the past and the present collide in a way that is simply intoxicating, especially if you're from Ohio. (It seems that residents of the Buckeye State are junkies for our Southern charms.) We've got one heckuva special town here, and with this year's photo contest, we asked you to show us why that's the case. For some, it's the majesty of the Battery. For others, it's the quaint and secluded Philadelphia Alley. And for a few — OK, more than a few — it's sitting in the dark at the Rec Room, tossing back PBRs and eating tachos. It doesn't matter. It's your Charleston. Enjoy.
First Place ($300) - Katie Fischer, "Courtyard"
From the Judges: Judges immediately reacted positively to "Courtyard," noting its warmth, the focus effect, and the photographer's eye for seeing things that happen naturally and composing them in a real artistic way.
Second Place ($125) - Michael Beach, "The Dock"
From the Judges: The combination of the natural diagonal that is splitting the picture in half and the two really organic compositional elements is well balanced. "The entire thing looks in control," said one of the judges.
Third Place ($75) - Bette Walker, "Summer Afternoon"
From the Judges: The judges felt that the rain and palmettos created a moment very familiar to everyone who lives in the Charleston area. "I think it's a great nontraditional take on a very traditional South Carolina and Charleston scene," they said.
Honorable Mention ($50) - Dan Xeller "Dog Days"
From the Judges: "It's nostalgia, that feeling of you and your best friend out on the beach.
"After seeing so many pictures of dogs, I think this survives beyond that dog and that person. It evokes a memory and an emotion."
First Place ($300) - DAVID DIX, "Pineapple Fountain"
From the Judges: The judges saw many entries of the pineapple fountain but felt that this one stood out as a very creative take on a traditional subject. "It's clearly a processed image," one of the judges noted. "But how they chose to illustrate what they saw showed creativity and command of technique."
Second Place ($125) - Keegan Spera, "Melancholy"
From the Judges: A beautiful composition of the lighthouse, judges raved about the framing and mood of the photo.
Third Place ($75) - Jessica McFadden, "Escape"
From the Judges: Compositionally strong, it is an exploration of form and color that confronts a viewer's expectation of what the photo should be, the judges noted. They were drawn to the implied future and warm lighting.
Honorable Mention ($50) - Marty Morganello, "Blue Herons at Sunset"
From the Judges: The panel was struck by the mood of this photograph. They felt that the juxtaposition by the two birds in flight works well with the beautiful warm-toned sky.
Steven Hyatt is a fine art printer at the photography gallery Imaging Arts, located at 175 King St. He is also currently working on the Churches of America Project, the-churchesofamerica.com. He has been involved with photography, be it photographing, selling cameras, or printing, since he was a teenager. In November, he will be speaking at Charleston Center for Photography.
Joshua Curry got his start shooting skateboarding in the late '80s. Since then, he's covered everything from the Rodney King riots to Obama's election campaign and regular features for us. Curry works as the web editor at Charleston City Paper.
Shawn Weismiller is an award-winning military photojournalist and has been covering military operations around the world for more than seven years. His work from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq has received praise by both the White House Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association. He is currently working as a freelance photographer in Charleston and is a regular contributor to the Charleston City Paper.