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Winners of The Rotarian photo contest

From more than 1,100 entries, our 2018 photo contest winners rise to the top

Reviewing this year’s submissions, we saw photos that capture big scenes of celebration and small moments of connection. We saw images of Rotarians as people of action, working together to make our world better. And we saw breathtaking views of nature. Our judge, Stephanie Sinclair, reviewed the images without any identifying information, with the unexpected result that two people each have two photographs on the following pages. In addition to the winners and honorable mentions in this issue, you’ll see more photos from the contest in The Rotarian throughout the coming year.


First place

Photographer: Anthony Riggio
Rotary Club of Westport, Connecticut
Location: Rabat, Morocco

Sinclair: I am drawn to this photo’s beautiful repetitive geometric shapes and vibrant colors. The eye moves from the door frame throughout the many textures to the subject, the markings on his hat, and the background of the image. The muted tones echo the subtlety of the many layers in the image.

Second place

Photographer: Santosh Kale
Rotary Club of Shirol, India
Location: Pandharpur, India

Sinclair: This image offers a compassionate and relatable view of women in India. Their varied expressions of joy and amusement emphasize their shared humanity. The black and white works to focus the viewer on their expressions rather than the environment in which the women live.  

Third place

Photographer: Maureen McGettigan
Rotary Club of Valley of the Moon (Santa Rosa), California
Location: Bagan, Myanmar

Sinclair: This elegant, classically shot photograph is reminiscent of National Geographic images that focus on magical light and landscapes. The painterly quality of the light makes the image seem timeless, and the combination of the temple in the background, the trees in the foreground, and the person working a plow gives the image a spiritual quality.  

Honorable mentions

Photographer: Salvatore Alibrio
Rotary Club of Palazzolo Acreide Valle dell’Anapo, Italy
Location: Palazzolo Acreide, Italy

Sinclair: The distance from the color explosion works perfectly within the frame. Most photographers would have tried to be as close as possible, but the distance provides a needed perspective while communicatingto the viewer more information about the event with the surrounding architecture and crowd.  

Photographer: Jose Antonio Valdes
Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur, Guatemala
Location: Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

Sinclair: This is a very classically framed portrait, given a slight twist on the expected by the elder’s very relaxed body position. The boy’s expression also makes the image distinctive and fascinating.    

Photographer: Carlo Antonio Romero
Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Sinclair: Beautiful landscape with technicolor light. The wide-angle perspective, not normally my favorite in landscapes, makes the viewer feel transported into the experience of being there.  

Photographer: Jose Antonio Valdes
Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur, Guatemala
Location: Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala

Sinclair: The use of black and white transforms the harsh light into highlights and shadows that emphasize the composition. The cowboy hats in the foreground make a perfect frame for the race.  

Photographer: Hipolito Busgano
Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
Location: Bali, Indonesia

Sinclair: This joyful image could have placed in the top three had the person on the far left not been looking at the camera. That said, it evokes a lot of emotion and deserves an honorable mention.

Photographer: Thomas Bundschuh
Rotary Club of Wien, Austria
Location: Sermathang, Nepal

Sinclair: The soft light on this image makes it seem more like a painting than a photograph. While I wish there were more separation between the two female subjects, the painterly quality echoed by the girl’s serene expression still works.  

Photographer: Santosh Kale
Rotary Club of Shirol, India
Location: Pattan Kodoli, India

Sinclair: This is a powerful image in that it makes the viewer ask more questions about the event being photographed. The goal of a great photograph isn’t always to answer every question, but to entice the viewer to learn more.  

Get ready for your close-up

This year, The Rotarian’s photo contest will open on 1 October 2018 and close on 15 December 2018.

Meet our judge

Stephanie Sinclair’s photography is just one of the ways she advocates for the rights of girls. Read story.