Desert Companion

Made Us Look: Funny Focus Photos

The Desert Companion staff’s favorite part of the photo contest is culling photos for the judges. We turn out the office lights, gather around a large(ish) flat-screen TV, and Art Director Chris Smith digitally flips through the pictures in each category, one by one. We react to and discuss them, spontaneously at first, then with increasing discernment. And inevitably, some that elicit spontaneous Ooohs and Ahhhs don’t make the final cut.

Here are a few of this year’s that made us smile — in the best possible way — at a time when smiles were hard to come by. Thanks, photographers!

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Al Baker, Professional

Name: Santa Got Lost in a Slot Canyon
Category: Storyteller
Description: “Another image from my Christmas series. This is the search for children of adventure. Not the ones who stay up all night hoping to catch a glimpse of the fat man, but the ones who’d rather stay in a tent and wake up Christmas Day among all the trees, rather than just one tree.”


Celeste Chilton, amateur/student

Name: Elvira’s Smile
Category: Storyteller
Description: “She’s got a lot to get off her chest.”


Mark Gardberg, amateur/student

Name: Fly, Pigeon, Fly!
Category: City Scenes
Description: “This was a spur-of-the-moment smartphone photo taken at the Neon Boneyard. Imagine our surprise when that pigeon flew out of those jaws!”


Gina Geldbach-Hall, amateur/student

Name: Where are we going next, Grandma?
Category: Storyteller
Description: “My granddaughter was visiting and wanted to play with my magnifier. She was fascinated with it, and when she held it up to her face, it was like she saw a whole new world.”


Graeme Whifler, semiprofessional

Name: Harry & Meghan
Category: Storyteller
Description: “Ex-Royals shopping for Indian food.”


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