2015 Image of the Year Poll – Vote Now!

Images and article by Greg W. Gilstrap.  With the New Year just around the corner, it’s once again time for our (fifth) annual Photoremedy Image of the Year contest. We call it an ‘image’ contest because each of the finalists are either 1) a photograph, or 2) a photography-based digital art image. The list if heavily influenced by a few of the areas where I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this year- Louisiana, Arizona’s Verde Valley, and the Seattle area.

2014 Image of the Year Finalists

2014 Image of the Year Finalists

As always, we are offering what we like to refer to–tongue in cheek–as a Chicago-style approach to voting.  This means you can vote early and often. If you love a finalist, follow the poll’s progress and don’t be afraid to share it with your friends. Better yet, don’t hesitate to come back to register extra votes for good measure. Because multiple votes are allowed by individuals, this is more of a passion poll than a scientific sample. Last year’s contest drew more than 3,000 votes – essentially tripling the previous record of around 1,000.

The 2016 poll is featured at the bottom of this post. Click on an individual image below to view images, captions, and locations in slide show mode.

As mentioned above, the 2015 images include traditional photographs and some that feature significant digital art enhancements. Like many, I enjoy both forms of artistic expression. All of these pieces were captured and developed while pursuing photoremedy–or photography-based healing art–as a means of coping with my ongoing chronic pain struggles and failed back issues. For more information about photoremedy, please click on the ‘Background and Initial Post’ tab (near the top of this page) for our working ‘photoremedy’ definition. Our poll follows – please select the image that you feel is worthy of being crowned Photoremedy Image of the Year. The contest closes at midnight MST, New Year’s Eve.

 

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The Heat is On

Mary and I have adopted a new approach this year to combating Arizona’s annual ‘fry your hands (among other things) on the steering wheel’ season. We’ve been ‘Rving it,’ alternating between roughly two weeks in the mountains about an hour to the north of our Anthem, AZ home and then approximately two weeks back home. It’s an ideal situation, as the temperatures generally drop significantly as we head north and we are close enough to make day trips back for medical appointments (there have been a bunch this year) and family matters.

ZaneGrey1j

Not only has it helped us beat (and appreciate) the heat, it has also provided awesome photoremedy opportunities.

Clear Creek Church - Near Camp Verde, AZ

Clear Creek Church – Camp Verde, AZ

We have at stayed three different campgrounds and are happy to report they all have a lot to offer.

Quail Ridge http://www.quailridgervpark.com/

Zane Grey RV Park http://zanegreyrvpark.com/

Verde Valley Thousand Trails http://www.thousandtrails.com/arizona/verde-valley

Each of these parks are located no more than 20 minutes or so from Camp Verde. Even better, they are also a short drive from several awesome visitor destinations and extremely photogenic areas. Over the next few weeks, many of the photographs captured during our in-state summer pursuits will be featured. Stay cool and stay tuned.

Near Verde Valley Thousand Trails RV Resort

Summer Storm – Near Verde Valley Thousand Trails RV Resort

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Arizona’s Verde Valley

Arizona’s Verde Valley is the Grand Canyon State‘s sleeper region.

Jerome, Arizona

Jerome, Arizona

The area features picturesque high desert and mountain top beauty. Well known destinations–like Sedona–and relatively undiscovered small town gems like Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale, Camp Verde, and Cornville. All of it is close to an hour from my home, and the journey to the Verde Valley from Anthem can take you (depending on the route) through additional charming communities like Dewey, Mayer, Prescott, and Prescott Valley. A lot of the attractions are colorful historic sites and buildings, along with the Verde Canyon Railroad and a burgeoning wine industry.

Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery

Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery

It’s a place where I frequently go for photoremedy, and it’s a great place to enjoy with friends and family.  I’ve spent a couple of days in the Verde Valley this fall, and focused primarily on the delightfully grungy photo opportunities that exist in this most interesting region.

Photoremedy is primarily based on the role that photography has played in helping Greg attempt to combat ongoing chronic pain issues that stem from his degenerative cervical and lumbar spine challenges. It is designed to encourage others fighting chronic pain (and other illnesses) to consider pursuing the benefits associated with what is popularly known as art therapy. It’s important to note that many of the photos Greg takes and develops frequently blur the lines between traditional art and contemporary photography, much as art therapy often blurs the lines between traditional and alternative forms of medicine.