Juror’s Statement

There were 280 photographs to look at and from that number I had to select the best 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place, and 10 Honorable Mentions. As a photographer who is always involved in the documentary image, I was looking for the winners to be people who had a big vision of Alaska, and the winner was a landscape image with an abandoned building that had the composition, color, the mountains, the mist and spoke to me over other images where the photographer failed to get the composition right, the subject material was not interesting, or the making of the image wasn’t really thought through. One thing that was conspicuously absent from the group of photographs were photos relating to other humans – a dynamic portrait. There were only a handful of portraits of people in their environment. The images tended to be random, not really giving me the photographer’s point of view of concern for the environment, or concern – passion – for other human beings. I was happy to see no one had photographed the Alaska Natives as this subject has been beaten to death. It is time for photographers to move on to photographing our environment and to show the impact that we have on the land and the sea. Today, with global warming being real, it is time for us to evaluate our lifestyles and to become concerned about how we live. Photographers should show this environment.

Bill Owens
April 15, 2008