Winter Photo Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the four winners of our 2010 Winter Photo Contest!

We received more than 60 submissions of wonderful photos. Choosing our four winners wasn’t easy. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Photos were judged by ThreeSixty reporters, Director of Photography for St. Thomas University Relations Mike Ekern, ThreeSixty Marketing Manager Kate Borman and Youth Publications Editor Annie Nelson. Note: We had a very tough time deciding between the top two photos.

First place

Xee Vue of Highland Senior High School in St. Paul

Vue’s brother Cha tries to throw a snowball at sister Nancy while she isn’t paying attention.

“I took the chance to take this photo because it reminds me of how kids act during the winter. Meaning that during the winter, little kids would love to sneak up behind each other and play snow ball tricks. Or not just any snow ball trick, but anything that deals with snow. Therefore, the mood in here is childish,” Vue said.

What the judges say: This photo won first place because it is telling a whole story with one image. This photo is an example of a photo being worth 1,000 words. Not only do we see a young boy about to nail his sister with a snowball, we know he must feel mischievous butterflies and we can guess what his sister’s reaction will be. Throw and run, Cha! Throw and run. This photo puts us right in the action.

Second place

Mary Maruggi of Highland Park Senior High in St. Paul

“Cerulean Winter”

As the sun starts to set, the life of shadows begin. A group of trees in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minn. stand tall and leafless on the frozen white ground.

“Three plants that survived the harsh winter are able to pop their heads out of the ground to get the last seconds of sun before the night takes hold.

The blue from the sky comes through the gaps in the trees and creates a blue color to the shadows, which only comes around once in a blue moon. To take this picture I simply had to be in the right place at the right time. Luckily I was and could not pass up such a perfect depiction of Minnesota winter,” Maruggi said.

What the judges say: This landscape photo stood out from the rest because of Mary’s careful composition. You can see she thought about how to position these trees in her frame, along with how to position herself to get the shot she wanted.

Her careful composition creates a depth in this photo that makes the viewer feel like they are inside the image, which is a wonderful feeling.

There are a lot of ways to mess up a photo of this moment. The sun goes up and down every day in winter, but by using the sun as a strong focal point with its light coming through an isolated stand of trees, it creates a warm, serene moment.

Third place

Gemma Garcia of Highland Park High School of St. Paul

“Some of the best shots in photography are candid, this is why I chose this photo, because it is not posed. It represents the winter theme clearly, and simply. The snowy trees as the background work with the person’s natural look, giving you the feeling that it’s a cold day in Minnesota,” Garcia said.

What the judges say: There is a lot of mystery evoked by this picture. There are a million stories being told by this one, pensive girl blowing on her hands in the cold of winter. Like the first photo, it’s capturing a moment that speaks to the viewer, but also allows the viewer’s imagination to run away.

Honorable mention

Josh Treseler

“This photo is of an old bridge over the Minnesota River … The foot prints in the snow make you want to find out where all those foot prints are going and follow them to see what adventures the people before you had,” Treseler said.

What the judges say: This photo stood out right away because of its strong composition and the use of both parallel and perpendicular lines to direct the viewer’s eye to the vanishing point at the end of the bridge.

It is extremely pleasing to the eye. It’s well exposed. It is another example of a photo that has a lot of depth created by the composition that it draws the viewer into the image, and allows us, as Treseler said, to feel like we’re following the footsteps of those who’ve come before us.