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
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.
1) Entrance to Alcantara Vineyard – near Cottonwood, AZ
2) Houmas House Plantation – Vacherie, LA
3) Houmas House Plantation Porch – Vacherie, LA
4) Lake Union – Seattle, WA
5) Laura Plantation – Vacherie, LA
6) French Quarter – New Orleans, LA
7) Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie, LA
8) Overlooking the Snake River & Blue Lakes Country Club – at Twin Falls, ID Visitor Center
9) Seat of Wisdom Statue at St. James Cathedral – Seattle, WA
Fall City, WA – 2015 Image of the Year
11) Summer Storm – over the Verde Valley near Sedona, AZ
12) Wildflower found on Clear Creek trail – near Camp Verde, AZ
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.
If our 2013 photo contest were a horse race, everyone would say, “The number 11 horse–Cannon Beach–won in a near wire to wire contest.” Yes, Charleston Boardwalk and A Walk in the (Ecola State) Park fought the good fight and briefly contended. In the end, however, Cannon Beach finished with more than 40 percent of the votes. The results are listed at the bottom of this post, and are based on 1,099 votes.
Cannon Beach, OR (top), Ecola State Park ,OR Walk (middle), and Charleston Boardwalk
Of the thousands of pictures I took in the last year, it is interesting to note that two of the top three photos were taken about 100 yards from one another in Oregon’s magnificent Ecola State Park. To me this suggests a couple of points:
1) A photographer can take good photos in dark alleys or even barren fields, but it is a lot easier to move people when you slow down enough to truly see and capture the beauty of the works of our loving creator. I am so grateful that God put a camera in my hands; sometimes, I look through the view finder and say to myself, “Now, I’m seeing the world as God sees it. Creation is filled with soulful beauty – in places and people.”
2) Taking photos from the heart is the first step towards producing marvelous images. Our Oregon Coast trip was very special to me because it was, perhaps, my father and late mother’s favorite trip that they took together. They both came home from their Oregon journey enthusiastically gushing with stories of the state’s unbridled beauty. Mary and I both thought a lot about my parents during the trip. We’d stumble from one gem to another and, inevitably, one of us would say, “Mom and Dad would have loved this. I now know what they were talking about”
Cheers to all of us enthusiastically gushing about our encounters with beauty in the New Year. Let’s try and more frequently look through God’s lens and see our world’s overwhelming beauty– in places and, most importantly, people.
It’s time again for our annual Photoremedy Photo of the Year poll. As with last year, we are ‘focusing’ on making this a lot of fun. This means we will again strictly adhere to our Chicago-style approach to voting; we encourage everyone to ‘vote early and vote often.’ If you love a photo, follow the poll progress results and don’t be afraid to come back to photoremedy.me to register a couple of extra votes for good measure.
2011 Photo of the Year – Verde Canyon RR
To get us to the final dozen pictures, we listened to comments via Facebook and on Photoremedy. We also took in email input, and sought a few “expert’s” opinions. The final list features a little of wine country, quite a bit of Kansas, a lot of Ireland, and even our favorite grandson shot. All of the pics were taken while pursuing photoremedy. If you still don’t know what photoremedy is, click on the ‘Background and Initial Post’ tab above.
So, let’s get to it. Check out the options below, and then select the photograph that you feel is worthy of being crowned ‘Photoremedy Photo of the Year.’ The polling mechanism is offered at the bottom of this post. Here are the finalists, obviously in no particular order.
1. Bunratty Living History The famous Bunratty Castle is a beloved Limerick-area attraction. The historic site also features a first-class living history museum. This picture was taken while enjoying a sunset tour of the property, prior to participating in a most enjoyable dinner at the castle.
2. Dingle Harbor Ireland’s breathtaking Dingle Peninsula was reportedly once cited by National Geographic as being “the most beautiful place on earth” and has been voted among the top 100 destinations in the world by Trip Advisor. The Dingle Harbor is a must see stop on the peninsula.
3. Dingle Town Our tour of the peninsula also allowed for us to spend a bit of time sampling Dingle Town. Okay, our motor coach tour stopped here, and Mary and I had a couple of beers. But, first, I was able to take several memorable photographs. To me, it looked like the bird in this photo was the only one trying to get somewhere in a hurry.
4. Fields of Kerry Our tours of both the Dingle Peninsula and the famous Ring of Kerry departed from Killarney. If you plan a similar journey, make sure you allow time to take in the countryside. Rural County Kerry is both peaceful and breathtaking.
5. Journey Home Mary and I spent a lot of time back in our home state of Kansas this year. Mary’s beloved mother passed away in January; so, we had a funeral trip and, later, a trip for the estate sale. Fortunately, I was able to get in a bit of photoremedy during both visits. This photograph, from the Catholic cemetery in tiny St. Joseph, helped put things in perspective for me. God is the Alpha and the Omega. When we are born, we come from our Creator. And, when we pass, we pray that the road will lead us back.
6. Lance’s Cross One of my dearest friends lost his brother this past year at the tender age of 40. Because of their Scottish and Irish heritage, the Celtic Cross means a lot to the family. I took this photo (near Lisdoonvarna, Ireland) for them as a reminder that, no matter our age, the hope is that we will leave our broken down bodies and go to the light.
7. Passing the Baton In track and field’s four-person relay races, a common strategy is to have each runner pass the baton to an even faster runner. In a four-person relay race, the fastest runner is the one who receives the baton last (or most recently). When it comes to the best parents, I believe each one hopes that happiness and/or success will come much more quickly for their children than it did for them. I felt like this picture of my oldest son, and my first grandchild, illustrated the “passing the baton” life parenting concept far more eloquently than my mere words could express.
8. Past Meets Present During an early January morning photoremedy drive, I came across this wonderful illustration of how our nation’s past and present are exploding into one on the plains of Kansas.
9. Country Store The past and the present may be coming together, but I’m always thankful for those times when I come across simple treasures that leave me slowly shaking my head and saying aloud, “That is so cool! I’m so glad that hasn’t gone away.”
10. Nothing Could be Finer The good news is wine is timeless. It has been a part of my past, I am committed to making it a part of my future! One of my favorite destinations for wine-related touring and photoremedy is Temecula, California. The red wines produced here are often excellent, and, as this photo suggests, the curb appeal often far exceeds that of much better known areas.
11. Torc Waterfall When Mary and I decided to visit Ireland this year, I knew I had to include a trip to see the famous Torc Waterfall. Why? It is, perhaps, the best known attraction in Killarney National Park. And, as detailed in our Being Amanda in Europe book, it is where our daughter Amanda displayed typical Gilstrap coordination by slipping and falling into the water up to her chest. LOL!
12. Anthem Veterans Memorial The community park where we live in Anthem, Arizona is always filled with photoremedy opportunities. On a warm 2012 summer’s evening, I could see we were in for a special for a special sunset as storm clouds were rolling in from the high country just to the north of us. I grabbed my camera, and this was the first shot I captured that evening. I like to think perpetual light and eternal peace are in store for those brave Americans who have given their all – for all of us.
Veterans Memorial – Anthem, Arizona
Please take advantage of the opportunity–in the poll below–to rank our Best of 2012. This was a lot of fun last year, as votes kept coming in right up to the deadline. Please invite others to join in on this clearly un-scientific poll. We hope you had a great 2012, and pray that you are looking forward to an even better 2013. Our poll will be open until noon on December 31, 2012. I hope to post results by New Year’s Day. Of course, that depends on how much Temecula wine I sample on New Year’s Eve.
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