The 2009 Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition results are in! Thanks to all who participated in capturing, sharing, and preserving the essence of Bellingham. The winning entries will be on display at the Whatcom Museum Jun 5-7 as well as on Bellingham TV Channel 10. Best of show and class winners will be presented certificates at the Jun 29th City Council meeting starting at 7 p.m.
"Blissfully Unaware" by Sandi Heinrich (Professional)
This photograph, rich with imagery, is anything but “unaware.” The baby’s dynamic face, uplifted eyebrows and other vivid expressions speak volumes about hope. This child has expectations! The photographer captured an amazing moment of expression on the faces of both the baby and our President; the new-to-the-world softness of the child juxtaposed against the serious, determined look of newly-inaugurated President Obama. We’re relying on both President and baby to chart our future. The other figures in the photograph are fully engaged in rapt attention to this historic moment. This is Bellingham, in celebration, in our cherished Mount Baker Theatre on Inaugural Day 2009.
"Chomp!" by Elijah Forslof (K-4th Grade)
Here the photographer plays cultural anthropologist, documenting one of Bellingham’s many colorful street art pieces. We may read this interesting photograph in many ways. Our young photographer saw a dragon “chomping” on a cable. Others may see an iconic figure in a non-conventional setting, creating strong ties with Bellingham’s non-conventional culture. Still others may see Christian iconography mixed with pop culture. No matter what the viewer sees, this photograph is a remarkable example of a found image –our clever young photographer found it, found it colorful, amusing and original, and framed it really beautifully. Finding art in unexpected places, some temporary, some permanent, is part of Bellingham’s charm.
3rd Place "Marine Park at Sunset" by Paul Israel (College)
Who wouldn’t love this spot? A million-dollar view and everyone can enjoy it, and these people are fully enjoying it. We can almost smell the sea air and feel the joy of these friends soaking up the mid-summer sunset. This photograph is beautifully framed, with diagonal lines leading into the serene faces of the people. While the people in this shot present a new twist on the oft-photographed Bellingham sunset, the light is the star of this image. The photographer caught a hint of this amazing light on the subject’s faces. The light also emphasizes the many rich beach textures - the jagged Chuckanut sandstone, the slippery eelgrass in the cove - and dances on the water with an other-worldly energy.