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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Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation - Vacherie, Louisiana

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, Louisiana

Known as the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road,” the Oak Alley Plantation is one of the most iconic representations of its type in the American South. Famous for a memorable Antebellum Mansion and a canopied path created by a more than 800 meter long double row of live oak trees, Oak Alley has been featured in movies and television shows ranging from Knight Rider and Primary Colors to the Young and the Restless and Django Unchained. Mary went on the OA guided indoor tour, while I grabbed my camera and enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather and blissful photoremedy on the grounds of this spectacular National Historic Landmark. Highlights included:

Spectacular Mansion ViewsOak Alley 1j

Somber Slave Quarter Shots (also featured in our February 8, 2015 post)

 Unique Trees and Vegetation

Hometown Cajun  Food (B & C Seafood)

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood - Vacherie, Louisiana

Riverside Market and Cajun Seafood – Vacherie, Louisiana

I later learned that Oak Alley is known for its famous mint juleps. I’m not sure how we missed that, but it’s good to know we now have another reason to return to Louisiana!

Louisiana 101

I must admit I’ve struggled in putting together Photoremedy post number 101. Why? Because Louisiana is one of the most colorful and genuinely unique places Mary and I have visited. We delighted in the enchanting aroma of history and spice found as we pursued photoremedy in eclectic places from low-key Jeanerette to the authentic New Orleans Garden District to the celebrated French Quarter.

Volumes can be–and have been–written about the cultural gems of Louisiana. I found, however, that the place that most etched an enduring mark was the one that left me grasping to find the right words: the renowned Oak Alley plantation.

Oak Alley Plantation -

Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, LA

Ironically it wasn’t the beautiful people, lush vegetation or much-photographed Oak Alley Big House that took my breath away. It was the direct manner in which the attraction addressed the overwhelmingly somber aspect of its history – slavery.

This blog is intentionally more about photography than words. Nevertheless, I struggled in identifying the photos I took that best describe how this exhibit seemed to painfully sandblast my heart, while leaving me strangely satisfied. In the final analysis, this unusual mix of emotions was based on the relief of sensing that plantation attractions like Oak Alley have joined those of us wanting to guarantee that such an appalling part of history is never repeated (at home or abroad).

Get In The Game

The last month has featured a generous supply of photoremedy opportunities for me, and they came in  a couple of my favorite categories – kids and travel.Sacred Oils 1j (1 of 1)

I almost opted out of the first photo opp–the baptism of our lovable grandson, Daniel–due to unrelenting back pain. I am, however, quite thankful that Andrew (Daniel’s Dad) wouldn’t let me sit on the sidelines. He basically told me, “Bring your camera and get in the game.” Taking and developing the photos briefly took my mind off the pain, which is what photoremedy is all about. It just took Andrew to remind me. Plus, what’s not to love about being front and center for such a blessed sacrament for such a special little dude?

Partially aided by $29 one way January flights on Frontier Airlines, my back problems quieted down enough for Mary and I to take a leisurely tour of places we wanted to experience in Louisiana. It will take awhile for me to develop all of the photos as I’m struggling to spend much time at the computer at one time and I have another back “procedure” schedule for February. But, here’s a sample of what’s coming up here on photoremedy.

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