As we noted in last week’s Best of Charleston issue, the Holy City is the best city in world. And, boy oh boy, did we have an awful lot to say. Unfortunately, we pretty much used up all the words in the English language professing our love for Charleston, so this week we’re opting for a show-don’t-tell approach. In other words, it’s time for our annual Charleston City Paper Photo Contest. For reasons that no one in the office can explain, we didn’t run a Photo Contest last year, but we have it on good authority that the internet goons who hacked into the Department of Revenue were somehow involved. Our apologies. Oh, and enjoy.

NOTE: Due to a lack of entries this year in the Professional category, the judges chose to award only first and second places.

1st Place – Professional ($300)

Uncle Sam’s Band
Richard Ellis

“I was shooting at I’On on the Fourth of July. These kids stole the show. There was a float with an American flag background, and I asked them if I could take their picture in front of it. They lined up and this was the result.”

Judges’ Notes: A great sense of whimsy and nostalgia combined with the girls’ seriousness come together to create a super fun shot. Fantastic subject matter.

2nd Place – Professional ($125)

Cary Ann Hearst on Johns Island
Micheline Callicot

“This is a picture of Cary Ann Hearst and one of her chickens. I wanted to do a portrait of her because I admire what she does.”

Judges’ Notes: The movement and Cary Ann’s smile create the most perfect outtake. We love that some clarity is lost in the motion blur, creating a “headless chicken.”

1st Place – Amateur/Student ($300)

Reach for the Sun
Connor Lock

“One Sunday I was drinking and skating this pool with some of my friends and noticed the sun coming through the trees. I told my friend Zach to do a skate trick in this spot where the sun would really highlight his skating. So I sat back with a beer and my camera and started shooting until I caught it perfectly.”

Judges’ Notes: An outstanding example of photojournalism. Well executed with the available light, this piece really tells a story.

2nd Place – Amateur/Student ($125)

Pitt Street Bridge
Matt Stallings

“I had taken some pictures before there at sunset and really wanted to capture the bridge at sunrise as well. I thought this was especially beautiful because of the fog.”

Judges’ Notes: An incredibly beautiful shot. Great exposure. Great composition.

3rd Place – Amateur/Student ($75)

This was the Folly Beach County Park
Kathleen Saunders
“I’m a resident of Folly Beach, and I’ve watched our beach, particularly our county park, erode away over the last few years. Passing hurricanes and nor’easters have played a major role in our loss of sand, as have the jetties. Only two years ago, this walkway stood over an enormous sand dune.”

Judges’ Notes: A well-thought-out composition in this peaceful scene. This shot would not have worked framed any other way.

Honorable Mention – Amateur/Student ($50)

At Rest
Lori Williams
“It was taken in December at Shem Creek. We were on our way home across the Ravenel Bridge, and the sunset in the rear mirror made me drive straight to Shem Creek since I always get great pictures there. I drove farther down to The Wreck and walked out on the dock. I love this spot because I can usually catch the manatees or dolphins there. Sure enough, the dolphins were at play, but they didn’t want to cooperate with me getting a shot of them. My boyfriend’s mom passed away a couple of years ago. Her name was Elaine, which is also a name of one of the boats in the shot. She suffered for three years with leukemia and I just found it fitting that with the sunset already down, the calm of the water, and the name of the boat, ‘At Rest’ was perfect.”

Judges’ Notes: A beautiful sunset shot with strong composition.

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