Special thanks to all who participated in our 2015 Photoremedy Image of the Year Poll. As always, we had a lot of fun with it and we recorded the second highest number of votes in the five year history of the contest. As the contest rolled on, two images jumped out to an early lead and frequently jockeyed for the lead.
2) Houmas House Plantation – Vacherie, LA
Fall City, WA – 2015 Image of the Year
In the end, the Fall City fall foliage image pulled away from Houmas House plantation and recorded the win. In a Facebook comment, one of my Arizona friends may have best explained why Fall City eventually recorded over 35-percent of the vote. Matt said, “These are both outstanding! The bottom one (Fall City) is prettier to me but the top one (Houmas) is more mysterious.”
Fall City, WA – 2015 Image of the Year
I’d like to give the incredibly humble photographer all of the credit for this image, but the truth of the matter is I happened to be in Fall City on the perfect fall day. I guess this proves, once again, how important timing and the recognition of beauty are in stimulating the process of taking (and making) great images.
Here’s to making 2016 the best year of our lives. May all of us recognize what is beautiful in our lives and may we make the most of what our good and gracious Lord provides. Cheers!
Photoremedy is primarily based on the role that photography has played in helping me combat ongoing chronic pain issues that stem from my degenerative cervical and lumbar spine challenges and severe psoriatic arthritis. It is designed to encourage others fighting chronic pain (and other illnesses) to consider pursuing the benefits associated with moving their minds from the pain in their lives to the beauty that surrounds them. It’s important to note that many of the photos I take and develop 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.
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.
Photos, digital art, and article by Greg W. Gilstrap. Our 2014 poll is closed, and we have a winner. The “Life is a Splash” image–featuring our oldest grandson’s amusing expression when he stepped onto a colorful splash pad at the Anthem, Arizona Community Park this past summer–ended up walking away with an impressive 41 percent of the vote. Two other photographs also distanced themselves by being the only other images that captured more than 15 percent of the vote. See our December 26, 2014 post to see how all the images fared.
Our annual contests have been, to date, essentially passion polls because we let visitors to photoremedy.me register as many votes as they like. The approach proved to be overwhelmingly effective, as our six-day voting period drew 3,024 submissions–virtually tripling the previous record (recorded last year) of 1,099. To all of you who participated in the poll, thank you for making this an unmitigated success and a lot of fun.
Seattle, Washington – Digital/Fine Art Photography
While the contest is designed primarily for entertainment, it is also aimed at encouraging others–particularly those suffering from chronic pain and other illnesses–to considering turning to photography to help them move their minds away from the pain they are experiencing. Art therapy works, and it is becoming increasingly accepted by respected academic and medical experts. I always encourage our readers to Google “art therapy” to discover all of the related information that is available. The thoughts and photos we post here are designed to demonstrate, “If art therapy can help this knucklehead, perhaps it could work for me as well.”
Pike’s Market Area: Seattle, Washington – Digital/Fine Art Photography
1) This is our 99th photoremedy post, so our next one will be a major milestone for photoremedy.me and those that help keep me blogging. Special credit for this help goes to my beautiful wife Mary, our two talented sons Andrew and William, always supportive daughter Amanda Bradner, friends who have traveled with me (or Mary and me), and my excellent team of doctors. Thank you all! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the baptism of our youngest grandson will be featured in the 100th post. By the way, little Daniel is a keeper!
St. Rose Parish – Anthem, Arizona
2) Our photoremedy.me blogs are gaining what we used to call “legs” in the marketing and branding business. Of our top five viewed posts in 2015, only two were actually posted in 2014.
3) Finally, WordPress.com reports indicate our message is “going global.” There is reason to believe that photoremedy.me will be read by individuals in more than 100 countries in 2015.
Our readers can help us spread the message by becoming email subscribers. Our home page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. Readers can then forward the photoremedy.me messages to those whom they think can benefit from the information or to those who might enjoy what we are producing.
All the best to all of you in 2015. Please join me in enjoying what promises to be the best year of our lives!
Photos and article by Greg W. Gilstrap –With time barrelling towards a new year, it’s once again time for our Photoremedy Photo of the Year contest. As with our previous two efforts, we are offering a Chicago-style approach to voting; that means you can ‘vote early and vote often.’ If you love a photo, follow the poll progress results and don’t be afraid to share it with your friends or to come back to register extra votes for good measure. Over 1,000 votes were registered last year.
Veterans Memorial – Anthem, Arizona (2012 Photo of the Year)
Our baker’s dozen 2013 list features South Carolina shots, a heart-wrenching procession, a black and white of one of America’s most famous farmers’ markets, and several pictures from a Seattle to Arizona summer tour. All of the pics were taken while pursuing photoremedy. Click on the ‘Background and Initial Post’ tab above for our working ‘photoremedy’ definition.
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. The contest closes at midnight MST, New Year’s Eve.
1. Man and the Birds My brother-in-law, Chris, spent time teaching me how to feed southern shore birds in early 2013. The only thing he forgot to teach me was how to do it without getting nailed by massive amounts of bird droppings (see May 2013 post). Since I’m the one that got nailed, this more aesthetically-pleasing photo is the shot that made our final list.
Man and the Birds
2. Charleston Boardwalk Charleston, SC’s Waterfront Park is one of the area’s most visited attractions. And, as I discovered in 2013, it offers spectacular sunrise and sunset photoremedy.
3. Honoring Our Heroes In July, thousands of Arizonans flocked to the streets, highways, and overpasses that lined the way home for the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Unit. The 19 perished when a wicked wind suddenly changed directions, and ferociously fanned the flames of a massive wildfire and left the Arizona heroes with no way out. The long line of white hearses begins in the top left hand corner of this photo.
Honoring Our Heroes
4. Frontage Road My hometown, Anthem, AZ, is a great place to experience the Old West meeting the New. This photo, taken just a couple of miles down a frontage road that leads to Anthem, demonstrates this entertaining phenomenon.
5. Cold Beer with a View My bike riding days may be in the past, but I enjoyed tagging along with my buddy Pete this summer when he made the ride up to the Snow Bowl ski area north of Flagstaff. It offered me a lot of photoremedy. I particularly enjoyed this shot as Pete savored a cold beer at the end of the trail while looking out at storms forming between Snow Bowl and the Grand Canyon.
Cold Beer with a View
6. Man Outstanding in His Field Another Anthem friend, Dave, helped me get desert wild flower shots by allowing me to ride shotgun in his very cool Polaris Razor Jagged X. This photo was taken west of Interstate 17, about 10 miles north of Anthem.
Man Outstanding in his Field
7. Purple Gazanias Yes, yes I enjoy photographing flowers. I didn’t have to go any further then my side yard to capture this photograph. A little known fact about this patch of flowers? They are planted, and thriving, in a couple of old toilets that I’ve converted into flower ‘pots.’ They are in the side yard because Mary wouldn’t allow me to put them anywhere else!
8. Cat Nap Our two cats occasionally get banished to the laundry room. It used to drive Stella nuts, but she has learned to cope if we leave the dryer door open.
9. Pike Place Market We have spent a bit of time in Seattle this year, as our youngest son–Will–is now there attending the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Every time I end up in Seattle, I manage to find a way to get to Pike Place Market. Not only is there great fresh produce and seafood featured, it is an awesome place to enjoy a heaping scoop of photoremedy. I felt like black and white photo development accentuates the fact that Pike Place Market is a timeless treasure.
Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA
10. Lake Union HDR Will lives just a few blocks from picturesque Lake Union. Not only is this another great Seattle attraction, I’ve found it to be an awesome place for capturing sunset photos for HDR imaging.
Lake Union HDR
11. Cannon Beach Mary and I took a very slow, leisurely drive from Seattle back to Arizona. Every time my back was killing me, we got out and stretched our legs. This provided a whole bunch of photoeremedy opportunities. What a blessing! The Oregon Coast proved to be perfect for this type of travel. I captured so many (of what I felt like were) memorable images. One of my favorites was this shot looking south over famous Cannon Beach.
12. A Walk in the (Ecola State) Park The above photo was taken at Ecola State Park, which is also where I captured the touching image below.
Ecola State Park
13. Truckee Wine Wall When we left Oregon, our trip took us through a bit of California and Nevada. We spent two nights in eclectic Truckee. The gloriously historic California destination features small town charm and this memorable wine wall.
Truckee Wine Wall
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