Let it Snow! Winter/Holiday Photo Contest Judging

By: Karli Zschogner, Community Journalism Trainer, Journalists for Human Rights

let it snow! photo contest
(Photo Credit: Karli Zschogner)

Thank you to all who submitted content for past and current photo contests. The overall hope and goal is to encourage appreciation for one’s own creative eye and mind or to be the first to capture that split-second moment as a type of storytelling. Not only can you take pride in your work, but know that you can make earnings off of your work. Photojournalism is a thriving contribution. Just consider The Atlantic’s “Hopeful Images from 2018” or Time Magzine’s 2017 Best Photojournalism.
More locally, there is the power of Nadya Kwandibens, Anishinaabe from the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. As Red Works, she has been featured in Photographers Without Borders under the Indigenous Rising portrait series.
For Let It Snow! Winter/Holiday Photo Contest showcased in December’s Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan’s third issue, I have taken into consideration many factors including the adherence to the theme and instructions of submitting with a caption or photo essay. creatively, and the use of the rule-of-thirds.
The diversity of submissions evoking the full range of emotions: happiness, joy, peace, gratitude, and sadness, resulted in a very difficult challenge with the 14 photos submitted. So much so, that I increased the number of winner prizes. It became especially difficult when it came to respecting the baseline of following criteria of providing descriptions.
Congratulations to everyone who has submitted! Very big step! Chi Miigwetch for this opportunity!

kiara lynn bird
First Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest of Sunrise on Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan Cover (Photo Credit: Kiara Lynn Bird)

1st ($100)Kiara Lynn Bird – This photo was taken as the sun was coming up during a winter morning. This tree has been around since my grandparents have lived in this exact spot; it reminds me they are never too far. Grateful for this season and even more grateful for the beauty that surrounds Naotkamegwanning.”

  • Shadow/silhouette
  • Creativity
  • Timing
  • Detail/Focus
  • Rule-of-thirds

2nd ($50) – Ozawaa Paypompee – “Throwing snow. There is happiness in snow when you go outside and embrace the snow. The outdoors are freedom.”

ozaawaa paypompee 2
Second Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest – “Throwing snow. There is happiness in snow when you go outside and embrace the snow. The outdoors are freedom.” (Photo Credit: Ozawaa Paypompee)
  • Timing/Movement
  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Inspirational Power

3rd ($25) – Cayne Kakeeway – “A beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of Whitefish”

cayne kakeeway - a beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of whitefish
Third Place winner for December’s Let It Snow Contest: “A beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of Whitefish.” (Photo Credit: Cayne Kakeeway)
  • Colour Contrast
  • Timing
  • Clarity
  • Lines

4th ($15)Damon Hunter – “A stretch of burnt handrail from a house fire’s remains”

damonhunter - a stretch of burned handrail from a house fire's remains
Fourth Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest – “A stretch of burnt handrail from a house fire’s remains” (Photo Credit: Damon Hunter)
  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Clarity, Detail and Focus
  • Creativity/Lines
  • Newsworthiness
  • Current/Potential Social Impact

Notable Mention:
Caidy Indian – (December Baibombeh Pow Wow – smiles) No caption

caidy indian19
Notable Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest at December Baibombeh School (Photo Credit: Caidy Indian)
  • Inspirational Power
  • Timing/Movement/Action
  • Rule-of-thirds

Honorary Mention:
Maria Blackhawk – “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” with Essay with photos (See Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan Link)

maria blackhawk - ice roads 3
Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)
  • Creativity
  • Timing, uniqueness, rarity
  • Clarity
  • Reflection
  • Rule-of-thirds
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Photo Essay: Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities

maria blackhawk - ice roads 1
Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Sunset : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)

By: Maria Blackhawk

We are so fortunate to have ready access to area lakes and rivers, especially in winter. We can travel off the highways and on to any of several ice roads. These roads weave their way over and around the islands and shorelines. Your chances of seeing something noteworthy is high.

We live in the digital age, connected by cell phones with the ability to take high resolution photos and videos. There are so many breathtaking images to capture from our everyday surroundings. There is nothing more relaxing than stopping for a moment to take in the scenery and make some observations that would be impossible without the access that ice roads provide.

maria blackhawk - ice roads 3
Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)

It’s a time to reflect on creation and your place in it. It’s a time to be humble and realize that you are not the center of the universe. You are part of something bigger and more important. It’s a time to be grateful that you are here, at this moment, able to appreciate what many take for granted.

maria blackhawk - ice roads 2
Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running at night: “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)

If you are lucky you may come upon wildlife in its natural habitat. You may find yourself really close to wildlife and feel the excitement of a once-in-a-lifetime, close encounter.

There is great satisfaction in capturing a moment in time that you can share with loved ones. Especially when they share in your excitement and awe. I’ve learned to appreciate the everyday routine travels that can become a spectacular event at any moment.

Maria Blackhawk’s photo essay received Honourary Mention in December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest.