The City Paper’s annual photography contest has gotten bigger and better. This year, we noticed a marked increase in the number and quality of the submissions, which flowed into the office in a steady stream, starting back in January when we opened the competition. The pictures ranged from cute babies and pretty sunsets to intriguing travel photos and artistic skylines, and the winners reflect a high level of quality work from Charleston’s amateur and professional photography community. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Photographs can be picked up at our offices during regular weekday business hours (for a limited time — we won’t keep them around forever).

“Portrait” by Luis Bisschops
(LJ Photography, Inc.)
Luis Bisschops of LJ Photography is a professional photographer who shoots all over the world for travel magazines and cookbooks. He received his master’s in photography and graphic arts from the University of Building Arts in the Netherlands. His winning photo, “Portrait,” was shot in Indonesia. The judges felt that “by looking into his eyes, you know his story.” They also felt it was framed well with sharp earth tones and colors that work to complement the curve of the hat.

“Fairy Tale”
by Stephen Blackman
Stephen Blackman had just had his wisdom teeth removed and was bored at home when he shot this photograph in a field near his home in Marion, S.C. The judges loved the perfect, selective focus and backlighting, which makes the plant pop off the background. You can feel the texture in this random, but interesting photo.

by Joel Cardwell
Joel Cardwell took his winning photograph from the roof of the Gaillard parking garage. He’s a Post and Courier classifieds manager who tries to shoot every day. He likes to take photos of Charleston scenes and landscapes and has had photos published in local papers. The judges felt this photo provides a good, graphical depiction of the Holy City that really speaks to the viewer.

by Kelly Roper
Kelly Roper loves to take photos of children. Roper’s second place photo shows her daughter’s friend, who is eight, playing during the late summer on Lake Seattle. Roper is a semi-professional photographer who teaches at Charleston Collegiate on Johns Island. The judges felt mesmerized by the photo of this child and her beautiful eyes.

by Lauren Lothery
Lauren Lothery was going for humorous high fashion when she shot photos of her younger sister in a Liberty, S.C., laundromat. Lothery is a USC grad with a double major in Media Arts and Photography who also photo assists at weddings. The judges felt this trendy fashion photo had an interesting perspective with a pleasing composition.

“Storekeeper, Bhutan”
by Nese Zinn
Nese Zinn is the owner of Zinn Rug Gallery downtown. She travels the world at least twice a year to take photographs. Her photo, “Storekeeper, Bhutan,” was taken on one of her trips. The judges felt this photograph captured an everyday, mundane moment in time with a good angle. The inquisitive triangular composition and use of the foreground leads the viewer in.

“Roman Amphitheater in Merida, Spain”
by Merrillee Millar
Merrillee Millar mainly works in color and wanted to capture the amazing hue of the sky and exqusite detail of the statue’s face. The judges appreciated the composition of this photo and felt that the blue sky and puffy clouds provided a perfect contrast to the hard marble.

“Bird House”
by Sara Polson
Sara Polson is a marine biologist for NOAA and also teaches at the College of Charleston. Photography is a hobby for Polson, and she took this photograph, “Bird House,” during the late afternoon in Maine’s Acadia National Park. The judges appreciated the soft, dreamy look that transports the viewer to childhood.

“Burning Bridges”
by Anthony Libby
It was close to sunset when Anthony Libby walked over the new Cooper River bridge to take photographs of the remains of the old bridge. Construction rubble was being burned, which created the smoke effect in this picture, “Burning Bridges.” Libby is from Massachusetts and is considering moving to Charleston. The judges thought this was a most unusual bridge photo shot from a good angle. The fog makes an interesting contrast with the dark foreground.

“Yellow Flower”
by Wendy Mogul
Wendy Mogul was shopping at Abide A While Garden Center in Mount Pleasant when she took this photograph, “Yellow Flower.” Mogul is an amateur photographer and has also worked in retail and telemarketing. The judges thought this photo had a stunning contrast of color and sharpness, with a tactile, radiant design.

“Old Theatre”
by Stephen Blackman
Stephen Blackman is a lab tech at Photo Express in Marion, S.C. He also works with Proper Exposure, doing restoration work. This photo, “Old Theatre,” was taken of the Old Marion Theatre, which is about 50 years old. The judges thought the photographer demonstrated an interesting perspective when composing this well-selected shot. The colors work well together and the photo ends up looking like a piece of art.

“This Is Edisto. Don’t You Know That?”
by Miho Murakoshi
Miho Murakoshi noticed a group of feral cats while eating at Main Street Cafe in Edisto. The pack of cats were very alert and did everything together, even moving in unison. Murajoshi was attempting to photograph a certain cat with an interesting face, but the cat refused to turn around. Instead, she shot this group portrait, titled “This Is Edisto. Don’t You Know That?” The judges were disturbed by this photo and wondered whether the photographer actually survived this eerie shot, which looks like a horror movie still. Why are their ears all clipped the exact same way?


Cameron Yarnell
After a five-year stint as a U.S. Navy photographer, which included an around-the-world cruise on the U.S.S. Holland, Yarnell joined the staff of The Post and Courier as a lab technician, followed by a six-year stint as a photojournalist with The Post and Courier. For the last five years, he has expanded into the history field with two exhibits. At the Dr. Thomas Dale House (73 Church St.), he recovered and has on display thousands of artifacts relating to Charleston, and at 38 Tradd St., the former home of Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, he has opened an exhibit honoring artists of the Charleston Renaissance.

Rick Rhodes
Photographer Rick Rhodes is a native of Charleston and a graduate of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rick specializes in commercial work such as architecture, products, and fashion. Large-format photography is by far his favorite medium, but digital photography is fast becoming a big part of his work. Rick’s studio is composed of a team of employees that are proficient in Photoshop as well as documenting and reproducing artwork for most of Charleston’s artists. Rick has been published around the world commercially in magazines, books, and advertisements.

Nancy Santos
Nancy Santos is an award-winning photographer who has been on staff at the City Paper for six years. She recently snapped up two awards from the S.C. Press Association for her outstanding work in 2005, including a fantastic photo essay titled “Charleston’s Artists: A-Z,” which was the centerpiece of our Fall Arts Issue. She also won recognition for her work documenting the Gullah community in the photo essay “A Gullah Tale.”