Results of First Annual CMOS Photo Contest - 2006

And the prizes go to . . .

First place ($100) - Rainbows by Ed Hudson.  Second place ($50) - Garden City Nocturne by Dave Sills.  Third place ($25) - Pink and Grey Sunrise over White Point by Bill Danielson


First place winner, Ed Hudson, is an Environment Canada meteorologist with 38 years of service primarily as a shift forecaster. Thirty-three of his 38 years have been dedicated to arctic forecasting. His history includes tours of duty ranging from 9 seasons forecasting in support of offshore drilling and island construction from the Beaufort Weather Office in Tuktoyaktuk to 4 partial seasons as a fire weather meteorologist for the Government of the Northwest Territories and 3 weeks on a US icebreaker. Since 1994, Ed has been the MSC science lead for the International Arctic Buoy Programme. He is presently the lead marine forecaster for Prairie and Northern Region and a program manager / forecaster with the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre.

In September 2005 Ed participated in the European Polar Low Working Group meeting hosted in Tromso by the Forecasting Division of Northern Norway, Norwegian Meteorological Institute. One of the Tromso forecasters invited meeting attendees to visit her summer place at Sommeroya on the outer coast of Norway. Once there, an invitation was extended to climb the nearby hill. From the top they saw rain showers racing by, followed by bursts of sunshine which provided the meteorology (physics) to give the brilliant primary and secondary rainbows over Sommeroya. Ed uses a CANON G-3 and advises that he lets "auto" do the camera settings.

Garden City Nocturne

Second place winner, Dave Sills, is a severe weather scientist with Environment Canada in Toronto. He has a life-long interest in storms and enjoys creative photography. He has been chasing storms in Ontario and on the US Great Plains and capturing them on film for about 15 years.

Garden City Nocturne was taken late on May 11, 2005, on the second-to-last day of a two week storm chasing trip. Night had fallen as they approached Garden City but a few storms were still very active. A tornado-warned storm had developed to the south-west of Garden City and was headed right through town. Their chase caravan stopped at a highway gas bar at a safe distance north and west of the storm. Despite a throng of chasers in the area, including a team with a mobile Doppler radar, the storm failed to do much damage at all.

The photo was taken facing east with the lights from the gas bar illuminating the grass near the road. He was using a Nikon EM with a 28 mm lens on a tripod and Kodak Ultra 400 film. The aperture was opened all the way and the exposure time was probably about 10 seconds or so.

The title was inspired by an evocative James Whistler painting called Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket. The painting has a gold foreground, and a background of black and emerald green. The word 'nocturne' refers to a work of art dealing with evening or night.

Pink and Grey Sunrise over White Point

Third place winner, Bill Danielson, says that weather has fascinated him all his life. At Harvard he majored in Astronomy (no meteorology courses there), and he received an M. Sc. from McGill in 1969. He did a hitch as a forecaster in the U. S. Air Force, then spent his career teaching meteorology at the Talcott Mountain Science Center, Hartford College for Women and the University of Hartford, all in Connecticut. He co-authored an earth science textbook (MacMillan) and a meteorology text (McGraw-Hill), and he is looking forward to the launch of "Cape Breton Weather Watching" (Cape Breton U. Press) in October. His pink and grey sunrise photo appears in that book. Since retirement in 1998 he and his wife divide their time between Cape Breton, where they built a house designed for weather watching, and Cape Cod.

He took the photo from the deck of his house in Smelt Brook, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, at 5:15 a. m., ADT, on 27 June 2003, about 6 minutes after sunrise. The water body is Aspy Bay; the land jutting in from the right is White Point. He used a tripod-mounted Nikon D-100 digital camera with a 300-mm zoom lens. Exposure was 1/100 sec at f/5.6 with equivalent ISO at 200. All other settings (white balance, tone and exposure compensations, etc.) were at default values. The weather was cool (13?C), damp and overcast, with southwest winds. The sun's sliced-and-diced appearance probably is due to anomalous refraction through a low level temperature inversion.

As it happens, the photo appears in his Cape Breton weather book, which was launched in late October 2006. The book's title is "Cape Breton Weather Watching, for the Naturally Curious." It's published by Cape Breton University Press.

About the contest

Twelve very talented photographers submitted 31 pictures. Thanks are extended to Bill Danielson, Frank Dempsey, Ed Hudson, Bob Jones, Romain Lanos, Stephen Mayne, Bill Pugsley, George Robertson, Uri Schwarz, Igor Shkvorets, Dave Sills, and Richard Verret for their delightful submissions.

Voting took place at the CMOS Booth at the Toronto Congress, May 28 to June 1, 2006. Photos were displayed on a laptop computer and 4" by 6" prints were also available. Ballots were provided in both French and English. Voting was anonymous, that is, people voted for the picture without knowing the photographer's name.

Many thanks go to those people who assisted in the CMOS Booth and particularly to Dorothy Neale who actively encouraged people to sit down and vote.

Keep your cameras at the ready. Plans are set for the Second Annual Photo Contest to celebrate the artistic and creative talents of CMOS members.  Instructions for the Second Annual Photo Contest have been posted.

Susan Woodbury Past President
August 2006

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