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2017 Photo Contest Gallery

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Contest Winner
Through imagination, our brains allow us to explore a world of make-believe. This image was shot in the California desert, at Anzo Borrego. An artist by the name of Richardo Bercera has created these giant metal sculptures and they appear throughout the desert. My creative partner and myself traveled to this particular sculpture and brought the necessary props to create an illusion of a pirate fighting a fire breathing dragon. We were challenged to explore our creativity and stimulate the imagination of our viewers.
Contest Winner
My camera gives me freedom and an excuse to explore the world. This photo was taken on my first visit to San Francisco, Chinatown for the 2017 Chinese New Years celebration. I went to San Francisco to create images of several different cultures that make up parts of the city. This was a great adventure for me, as I am a Hispanic high school student from an small isolated rural town. The people, food and customs were wonderful to experience and capture in images. My dream is to travel the world as a professional photographer. I am working on a photography portfolio about California that is an exploration and celebration of the cultures that make up our state.
Contest Winner
This photo was taken in downtown Bakersfield. I was skateboarding around and I was searching for things to skate. As a skateboarder you have to explore your city and search for skate spots. Going downtown is the best place to skate because there are so many skate spots. I came across the Padre Hotel and I had to take this photo. The Padre Hotel is one of the most historical landmarks we have in Bakersfield.
Contest Winner
When I took this photo, I was on a family trip to Mt. Baldy a couple weeks ago. We stopped half way up the mountain to take a family picture, when I saw the cracked road and how it had a suspense to it. I had first asked my mom if she can watch for cars while I laid on the floor of the road and took the shot. I took many pictures until I found the one I wanted. My photo relates to this year’s theme, "Exploration", because it makes you feel like you want to know how far it goes. Where it will take you. Does it have an ending? You want to explore. It is just a natural thing that comes to us that makes us curious about things. I laid on the floor to show how little small steps in life, can lead to problems, twists and turns, good things, but always remember that no matter what happens, by the end of the day, the road keeps getting longer with more adventures to explore.
Contest Winner
Casper, my Pekingese dog, is my exploring companion. Whenever I show him his leash, he starts jumping up with excitement because he knows he’s about to unleash his curiosity starting with a car ride. My dog, Casper, teaches me that it is important to go out every once in a while and change our daily boring routine. With him, I have tried new things, visited new locations, and met interesting people. I don’t get scared of exploring when Casper is around because he makes me feel special and comfortable. We enjoy the time we spend together, but Casper also enjoys all the extra pampering and attention that he gets.
Contest Winner
This photo was taken in Minden, Nevada. When I took this picture I was looking for something that said exploration of reflections. Looking at this picture made me look at all the other pictures and see that everything is different. Everything is unique in its own way. Every day is different. Every adventure is different. No matter how many times you do it, you do it differently.
Contest Winner
I took this photo at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park. I went to Death Valley to escape my comfort zone in city life and see what the unexplored world is like. However, much to my dismay, Death Valley was crowded with tourists and cars all day in each location I went to. I couldn't find the escape from humanity I was looking for during the day, so I decided to go out at sunset. I walked out into Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, to take sunset pictures. However, I had not anticipated how fast the sun would set and my dad and I were soon lost in complete, moonless darkness with only 1 flashlight, miles out into the featureless, flat basin. I had been looking to explore but had gotten more than I had hoped for. However, in the darkness, I discovered something far more interesting than the flat basin: the stars. Living in the city, I had never seen more than a few stars, but now I could see the milky way for the first time. Amazed as I was, I was more focused on returning to safety in the parking lot than taking photos. When we finally got back to the car, completely by chance finding the walkway again, I realized I had found the perfect photo to represent my ordeal and discovery. Leaning against the car, which I used to symbolize my comfort zone and safety, I pointed the flashlight that I used to wander out into the basin at the sky, and the milky way I discovered in the darkness. I put my camera on a tripod, composed the scene, and fired the remote trigger.
Contest Winner
This picture was taken on the primary playground at school.

When I took this picture,
I crawled under the spiral,
I laid there on my back
Then took my camera
And clicked it with a snap!
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