Results of Second Annual CMOS Photo Contest - 2007

And the prizes go to . . .

First place ($100) - Dave Sills, "Prairie Stormscape"

Tie for Second place ($50) - Steve Knott, "Snow Ghost Family"

Tie for Second place ($50) - Pat McCarthy, "Sunset Shower"

First place winner, Dave Sills, is a severe weather scientist with Environment Canada in Toronto. He has a life-long interest in storms and weather and enjoys creative photography. He has been photographing storms with an artistic eye in parts of Canada, the United States and even Australia over the past two decades. Dave was the second place winner in last year's photo contest.

Prairie Stormscape was taken on July 18, 2006, during a storm chasing trip with the University of Manitoba on the Canadian Prairies. A cluster of storms had erupted to east of our location near Churchbridge, Saskatchewan, and gradually merged so that one giant cirrus anvil was formed. The photograph was taken facing roughly northeast using a weather-beaten Nikon EM with a 28 mm lens and Kodak Ultra 400 film.

Prairie Stormscape

Why a particular photograph seems to 'work' always interests Dave. He thinks this one succeeds because of its simple colour scheme, shapes and lines, the cumulus in the middle-ground adding interest and depth, and finally because it evokes the open spaces and big skies of the Canadian Prairies.

Second place winner (tied), Steve Knott, is currently working as a severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada in Edmonton. His career has taken him primarily to the Canadian Prairies having worked stints in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton. Steve also worked as a meteorologist course instructor in Toronto from 1987 to 1993 which was overall an enjoyable experience as it allowed him to meet and get to know many excellent people within the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC). Steve also enjoys sports and being outdoors, especially hiking, camping or snowboarding in the mountains.

Snow Ghost Family

Snow Ghost Family was taken Sunday afternoon, February 5, 2006 at Big White ski resort in B.C. Big White is situated on the edge of the Monashee Mountains, 56 km from Kelowna. The previous day provided a blustery day of skiing in blizzard-like conditions. By Sunday the snow had stopped, providing some excellent powder conditions. By afternoon the sun had come out illuminating a surreal mountain landscape of snow ghosts as far as the eye could see. This picture was taken just prior to the camera batteries dying.

Second place winner (tied), Pat McCarthy, is a meteorologist and severe weather program supervisor with the Meteorological Service of Canada. He works at the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre in Winnipeg. Pat has been an avid weather photographer for over 25 years. Originally from Edmonton, he has spent most of his life living in the Canadian Prairies. The big skies and diverse weather have given him many opportunities to capture the majesty of our atmosphere.

Sunset Shower was taken while on vacation at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton. Another beautiful prairie sunset was expected and Pat set up his camera on the shore of one of the park's picturesque lakes. The calm winds left a mirror-like surface on the water. After taking a number of pictures, a developing thundershower began to form across the lake. The sun was close to setting and reddish glow began to highlight the falling rain beneath the cloud-base. About a dozen other campers raced up beside him with cameras in hand to capture the scene. As if on cue, a flock of geese swan across the scene before them. This picture captures that breath-taking moment.

Sunset Shower

Pat took the photo with his new Pentax *ist 6.1 MP digital SLR using an old 28-80 mm lens. Pat took about 50 photos using various settings while capturing the changing light during the sunset. Because it gives you instant feedback, digital is the way to go as far as Pat's concerned.

About the contest

Entrants to our second photo contest included 11 very talented photographers who submitted 27 pictures. Thanks are extended to Richard Asselin, Dov Bensimon, Eric Danielson, Steve Knott, Pat McCarthy, Jason Noble, Brad Power, Xin Qiu, George Robertson, Dave Sills and Andrew Weaver for their delightful submissions.

For this year's contest, voting took place both on-line and at the CMOS booth at the St. John's Congress, May 28 to June 1, 2007.  On line voting was available for a month between mid May and mid June.  Photos were displayed on the CMOS web site and 5" by 7" prints were also available at the booth. Ballots were provided in both French and English.  Voting was anonymous, that is, people voted for the picture without knowing the photographer's name.  The point system we used to count the ballots unexpectedly produced an exact tie for second place, so it was decided to give two second place prizes.  The above placement is simply alphabetical.

Many thanks go to those people who assisted with this year's contest.  In particular, Susan Woodbury and Dorothy Neale who actively encouraged people to sit down and vote at the booth.

Keep your cameras at the ready.  Plans are under way for the 3rd Annual Photo Contest to celebrate the artistic and creative talents of CMOS members.

Bob Jones CMOS Webmaster
August 2007

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