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Al Baker, Semi-professional
Al Baker, Semi-professional

Artistic & Abstract, 2nd Place

9th Annual Focus on Nevada Photo Contest

Desert Companion

Wow. if we’ve learned one thing over the past year, it’s that a virulent global pandemic can’t even touch the resilient mojo of avid photographers. The honorees in this year’s Focus on Nevada photo contest seem to have taken the assorted bummers of COVID as an artistic challenge, sublimating them into images that pop with raw, longing beauty -— but just as often hum with the tensions and subtle dramas of domestic life that we got to know all too well. Congratulations to our winners and honorable mentions -— and thanks as always for inspiring us to look at Nevada with a truly fresh perspective.

Judges

Scott Dickensheets, Writer

Joe Dumic, B&C Camera

Brent Holmes, Artist

Andrew Kiraly, Desert Companion

Robert John Kley, Photographer

Heidi Kyser, Desert Companion

Chase McCurdy, Artist and photographer

Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña, Poet

Christopher Smith, Desert Companion

Lance L. Smith, Artist

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Honorable Mention,  Norm Craft Amateur/student
Norm Craft, Amateur/student

Artistic & Abstract

Honorable Mention

“I've been passing by this building in Boulder City my entire life, always fascinated by its purpose and the message painted on its windows. The building has been there on the hill overlooking the lake for 90 years and first served as the maintenance shop for the trains that ran supplies and equipment out to the dam construction site. Glad I finally took the time to stop and shoot it.”

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Honorable Mention, Jay Piper, Amateur/student
Jay Piper, Amateur/student

Artistic & Abstract

Honorable Mention

“Summer wind in oleanders, the flowers swayed in waves of color while small birds sheltered in the hedge.”

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Honorable Mention Santi-Jose Acosta Semiprofessional
Santi-Jose Acosta, Semiprofessional

Artistic & Abstract

Honorable Mention

“The Shops at Crystals creates an art installation of light, color, and form with its interior walls, while consumers shop.”

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WFV Chips
John Rohling, Professional

Artistic & Abstract

Honorable Mention

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Shane Savanapridi, Professional
Shane Savanapridi, Professional

Artistic & Abstract

Honorable Mention

“While I was interviewing the locksmiths that work for the Department of Public Safety, they showed me their key board. It was almost disorienting to see just how many keys they are in charge of. I loved the symmetry and pattern of all the hanging keys and the overload of
information.”

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Al Baker, Semi-Professional
Al Baker, Semi-Professional

Artistic & Abstract

2nd Place

“This photo was actually taken on my kitchen counter! I created the scene based on Pride Month last year. I wanted to focus on local art as well, and thought that Seven Magic Mountains was a good place. I used ordinary rocks from my backyard, painted them individually, and glued them in the exact order of the real thing. The foreground is made up of a cardboard base, dirt, and little grass bunches from outside to look like bushes. The background was made with a doormat (as tall grass), wrapping paper (as mountains) and the sky was made by holding a sheet up behind the scene.”

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John Rohling, Professional
John Rohling, Professional

Artistic & Abstract

1st Place

“Since the late 1990s, I’ve been working on a series of images I call Wet Floor Vegas. With the iconic lights of Las Vegas as the subject, enhanced by rare desert rain, WFV reflects the ever-changing landscapes that have illuminated Las Vegas and made it so much fun. Simply put, when it rains at night, I’m down on the Strip or Downtown shooting reflections in pools of water, having a great time doing it.”

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Rudy Plaza, Professional
Rudy Plaza, Professional

City Scenes

Honorable Mention

“This was taken on the tram at McCarran airport. I had a 4 a.m. flight to Seattle, and in my exhausted state and with how empty the airport was, I just felt it looked absolutely beautiful, especially in a wide lens. It felt like an underappreciated and unnoticed piece of Las Vegas.”

 

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Shane Savanapridi, Professional
Shane Savanapridi, Professional

City Scenes

Honorable Mention

“We have the best sunsets here in Southern Nevada. I was waiting for my wife to come out of Target when I noticed the black car next to me was reflecting the amazing light. I grabbed the camera at hand (an iPhone).”

 

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Dean Catlett, Amateur/Student
Dean Catlett, Amateur/Student

City Scenes

Honorable Mention

“Shot the day it snowed from the Rio parking garage to the backside of the Bellagio. I love the low- hanging clouds and steam elements. Not something you see very often on the Strip.”

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Diane Bush, Semiprofessional
Diane Bush, Semiprofessional

City Scenes

Honorable Mention

“Courtyard, cropped.”

 

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Stanislav Sabev, Amateur/Student
Stanislav Sabev, Amateur/Student

City Scenes

2nd Place

“Epic view of Las Vegas with the snowy mountains for natural backdrop.”

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Nathan Van Arsdale, Semiprofessional
Nathan Van Arsdale, Semiprofessional

City Scenes

1st Place

“An electric view of Las Vegas from Sunrise Mountain during an isolated thunderstorm.”

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Brian Clopp ,Semiprofessional
Brian Clopp ,Semiprofessional

Storyteller

Honorable Mention

“A photographer wanders deeper into the Mesquite Flat dunes  in Death Valley while another photographer sets up a shot (while this photographer took a photo of both). The wind blasted us with sand at over 40 mph, causing my nose to bleed, but gave us the dunes to ourselves.”

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Kyle Oster. Semiprofessional
Kyle Oster. Semiprofessional

Storyteller

Honorable Mention

“Micro burst hits the open desert behind Seven Magic Mountains, appearing and disappearing within a matter of minutes.”

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RuBen Permel, Semiprofessional
RuBen Permel, Semiprofessional

Storyteller

“I was invited into homes and yards to document children who had been in isolation for many months. It was my quest to capture their resilience, while most adults were not as adaptable. Here, Luka creates his own new world by connecting blocks in his own family bubble.”

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Alex Isom, Semiprofessional
Alex Isom, Semiprofessional

Storyteller

Honorable Mention

“As soon as the streets became empty, some people took advantage to turn the backdrop into a sweet photo opportunity for their classic car.”

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Jessica Milian, Amateur/Student
Jessica Milian, Amateur/Student

Storyteller

Honorable Mention

“Taken in Circus Circus. Before this photo, I hadn't visited the
casino for over 10 years. In this photo is a family playing what seems to be a game like Skee-Ball.”

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Julia Anthony, Semiprofessional
Julia Anthony, Semiprofessional

Storyteller

2nd Place

“Part of a series named ‘My Pandemic Family Life,’ this is what quarantine looks like every day. This series follows one woman’s struggle with being abandoned by the father of her children and what life is like when you are left alone to take care of them.”

 

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Jeff Scheid, Professional
Jeff Scheid, Professional

Storyteller

1st Place

“What are you holding?”

“These are nuts.”

Taken in Nye County.

 

 

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Carlos Manzo, Amateur/student
Carlos Manzo, Amateur/student

The Rurals

Honorable Mention

The Alamo Inn in Alamo

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Jeff Scheid, Professional
Jeff Scheid, Professional

The Rurals

Honorable Mention

“Victor, a Peruvian sheepherder, drives a flock near the Toiyabe Range east of Austin.”

 

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Nathan Van Arsdale, Semiprofessional
Nathan Van Arsdale, Semiprofessional

The Rurals

Honorable Mention

“Lights hovering somewhere near Rachel.”

 

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David Sadleir, Professional
David Sadleir, Professional

The Rurals

Honorable Mention

“Aerial panoramic shot of Blue Diamond, from my drone.”

 

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Chris Pflum, Amateur/student
Chris Pflum, Amateur/student

The Rurals

2nd Place

Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Corn Creek Station

“I thought I might try some astrophotography at a secluded wildlife refuge where the sky would not be polluted by the Las Vegas lights. Around 11 p.m., clouds moved in and obscured the stars, so I decided to leave. While packing my gear, I noticed that the clouds were gathering above an abandoned cabin. To give the cabin a more occupied and cozy appearance, I put a flashlight inside and aimed it at the window. During the time exposure, I light-painted the cabin exterior with another flashlight whose color temperature was considerably cooler than the inside light. I was surprised and lucky to get this photo.”

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Hugh Byrne, Amateur/student
Hugh Byrne, Amateur/student

The Rurals

1st Place

“Stone water tower in Cathedral Gorge State Park, Pioche, shot at 2 a.m.”

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Patricia Venezio, Amateur/Student
Patricia Venezio, Amateur/Student

Wild Nevada

Honorable Mention

“Amargosa Big Dune”

 

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Mark Silverstein, Amateur/Student
Mark Silverstein, Amateur/Student

Wild Nevada

Honorable Mention

“Four Tracks on Roach Lake”

 

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Trevor Vellinga, Amateur/Student
Trevor Vellinga, Amateur/Student

Wild Nevada

Honorable Mention

“This photo was taken in Gold Butte National Monument, a hidden gem in Nevada and a photographer's playground. I planned out this shot so that the Milky Way rises over a unique sandstone fin sculpted by wind erosion.”

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Warren Lee, Semiprofessional
Warren Lee, Semiprofessional

Wild Nevada

Honorable Mention

“Early morning light and ripples on the water highlight this Egret at Cornerstone Park. He seems to be expressing the frustrations we have all faced with the pandemic. Cornerstone (the old quarry turned wetlands) continues to provide an excellent place to work through those challenges.”

 

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Louis Atwood, Amateur/Student
Louis Atwood, Amateur/Student

Wild Nevada

Honorable Mention

“The Ruby Mountains outside of Elko house some of the most dramatic landscape scenes in Nevada.  Thomas Canyon sits at the base of majestic Mount Fitzgerald and provides a magical stream for those who choose to wander up its trail. The first portion of the trail passes thundering waterfalls in deep alpine forest.  As you gain in elevation, the larger trees dissipate and Mount Fitzgerald comes into view. Just past the end of the trail, time for bushwhacking, you will encounter this stunning view -— and if you time it right, you will be blessed with a sunset that only Nevada can provide.”

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Jose Davalos, Semiprofessional
Jose Davalos, Semiprofessional

Wild Nevada

Honorable Mention

“Sunset while California fires were burning and sending smoke to the Las Vegas Valley.”

 

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Alex Isom, Semiprofessional
Alex Isom, Semiprofessional

Wild Nevada

2nd Place

“Escaping the city lights to the higher rural ground near Pioche, a once-in-my-lifetime view of the Comet Neowise, streaking silently across the sky. A solemn visitor in our solar system, much like the aluminum sojourner Argosy in the foreground, a relic of the past. An ion tail stretching many millions of miles reminds us all, the distance that light may travel to our eyes, all to inspire.”

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Warren Lee, Semiprofessional
Warren Lee, Semiprofessional

Wild Nevada

1st Place

“Small ‘Bites’: this Anna’s hummingbird is pleased to supplement nectar with a little bit of something as she ‘lunches’ in the backyard. We are fortunate to have several species of hummingbirds throughout the year in our valley. Much of the country has a brief hummingbird ‘season.’”

 

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Victor Rainier Gonzales, Amateur/student
Victor Rainier Gonzales, Amateur/student

Light & Shadow

Honorable Mention

“This is how it feels to travel alone during the pandemic.”

 

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RuBen Permel, Amateur/student
RuBen Permel, Amateur/student

Light & Shadow

Honorable Mention

“There is light and shade, joy and pain, and even comedy and tragedy in the closing of live performances in Las Vegas. This interactive and rhythmic group, Molodi, had to face what they thought was just a short stop in their plans to perform throughout Nevada. I shot these images hoping to promote their work, but all was put on hold because of the pandemic.”

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Stephen Chandler, Professional
Stephen Chandler, Professional

Light & Shadow

Honorable Mention

“Nevada's Black Rock Desert playa surface never remains the same for very long. Constantly changing shapes and textures are because of many varying conditions, natural and human-caused. This image was made during a period of ‘transient dune’ formations which lasted only a few months in pristine form.”

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RuBen Permel, Amateur/student
RuBen Permel, Amateur/student

Light & Shadow

2nd Place

“The Majestic Repertory Theatre in the Arts District had to cancel half their run of The Garden Party. It took place outdoors and was an immersive experience with audience participation. The then-unknown virus halted this party. Here I captured actress Fred Daisy as she waited for the few brave guests who showed up for their final performance before the shutdown.”

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Julia Anthony, Semiprofessional
Julia Anthony, Semiprofessional

Light & Shadow

1st Place

“‘Where’s Forky’ is part of my series, ‘My Pandemic Family Life.’ It follows the life of my three-generation family living together during the pandemic. Atlas is in the garbage looking for his toy, Forky.”

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Helen Montez-Carr, Amateur/student
Helen Montez-Carr, Amateur/student

Grand Prize

“A tiny spider, no bigger than a quarter of an inch, found hanging out in the flower bed. Add a little bit of light and a macro lens, and he looks six feet tall.”

 

 

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