THE 2022 JOHN E. GRUBER Creative Photography Awards Program received 542 submissions from 208 photographers representing thirty-seven states and twelve countries. The judges were blown away from by this year’s extraordinary number of submissions for the contest’s theme: Weather Effects.
The rotating panel of judges worked hard to narrow down the selections to photographs that effectively and creatively represented the contest’s theme while also exhibited captivating compositional storytelling. As in past years, the judges felt the quantity of high-quality submissions warranted separate color and black-and-white categories for the winners.
Everyone at the CRP&A congratulates the winners and extends our thanks to all who entered the 2022 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program. Those who placed in this year’s program will have their photographs displayed at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden this fall and winter. The first-, second-, and third-prize winners in each category will receive cash prizes of $750, $500, and $250, respectively. Each photographer recognized in the “Judges Also Liked” category will receive a free one-year subscription to Railroad Heritage.
- First Place: Christopher J. May, West Chicago, Illinois
- Second Place: Chris Walters, Cherrybrook, Australia
- Third Place: Dennis A. Livesey, New York City, New York
- First Place: Ray Lewis, Litchfield Park, Arizona
- Second Place: Eric Williams, Millburn, New Jersey
- Third Place: Robert Arnold, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Judges’ comments: The judges really love the emotive power of this image, from its extraordinary tonal composition of light from black to white, and the layers of people, train and platform from both foregrounds to background and side to side. An image that transcends time and place, the viewer feels the heightened, momentary excitement of the arriving train appearing through a dense night fog, while the awaiting passengers form a ghostly foreground that dissolves into the mysterious abyss beyond.
Judges’ comments: The judges remarked on this image’s artful combination of snow and train in motion, beautifully capturing the drama of railroading in winter. A fantastic take on a tried-and-true elevational concept embracing this year’s theme.
Judges’ comments: The judges debated whether clouds were a “weather effect” but this image’s surreal composition left no doubt that it met the criteria. The combination of strong, sharp angular building lines set against the soft white, explosive thunderhead beyond, produces a powerful visual tension, yielding a discordant depiction of summer heat becoming a storm in the city.
Judges’ comments: One of the judge’s favorite images, where the convergence of natural beauty, spectacular light, color and the movement of snow combine to create a dramatic portrait of winter railroading. A powerful yet traditional image with a straight forward composition sets the stage for this year’s first prize winner. The overnight storm has subsided for the moment, and the railroad’s never-ending effort to clear the tracks has begun.
Judges’ comments: The judges were captivated by the story-telling and human side of railroading this image conveys. The subtlety of composition, a ballet of movement, where each person is pushing snow in a different direction and each are in a different part of the shoveling process adds to the sophistication of this image. Similarly, the judges admired the ambiguity of time—is it dusk going to night or the first light followed by dawn—gives the image strength and mystery.
Judges’ comments: The judges felt this close-up image is a superb, well-lit study in texture and form and is also a great interpretation of this year’s theme. Weather is fully evident in this strongly composed image: the icy surfaces of the spikes and bolts convey a strong image of winter’s kiss.
Judges Also Liked