First place. Steve Baroch, Rotary Club of Castle Rock High Noon, Colorado, USA. "The writing on the wall has everything to do with what makes this photo. And each of the kids has a different emotion going on. A lot of the kids in this school are orphans, and some came from an orphanage that was burned to the ground in the postelection violence in 2008. Our club is supporting the school with books through a nonprofit called Transafrika Cultural Institutes." Giboux: "I like the composition, the way the children are in it. 'Peace wanted alive' is very dramatic, yet the picture is very peaceful."
C omposition and emotion are the essential elements of photography, says Jean-Marc Giboux, whose work has been featured at the Smithsonian as well as in the pages of The Rotarian . His exhibit on the largest pilgrimage in the world, the Kumbh Mela in India, is on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. In April, Giboux visited One Rotary Center to judge our fourth annual photo contest.
What do you look for when you’re about to take a shot?
First, composition. This is often improvised in the viewfinder. Of course, there are rules, such as the rule of thirds (which says that important elements should be situated along the imaginary lines dividing an image into thirds horizontally and vertically), but rules are made to be broken. Then, emotions. That’s why I have a lot of people in my pictures. I want my pictures to move people.
What do you look for in other people’s photos?
The first impression. Do I feel something beyond simply, it’s a nice picture? It can be a beautiful sunset, but I look for something more. Aesthetics are important, but is it saying something? Do I want to know more? Is it intriguing?
Do you have advice for Rotarians taking photos in the field?
Try to get some pictures without posing them. Try to capture the moment. Sometimes it’s difficult when you arrive with 20 people on a project – that disrupts what’s going on, it changes it. Sometimes it’s nice to go away from the main action. You can find nice things happening on the side.
In pursuit of the prize of an Olympus E-520 digital SLR camera, Rotarians, Interactors, Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars, Rotary World Peace Fellows, and others submitted more than 400 photos illustrating the spirit of Rotary. They were taken in locations ranging from Novosibirsk, Russia, to Nakempt, Ethiopia; from Carmel, Ind., USA, to Cusco, Peru; and from Suzhou, China, to Santorini, Greece. Photographers hailed from Skive, Denmark; Kano, Nigeria; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Kamloops, B.C., Canada.