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Fall 2022 Daily Lobo photo contest winners

On Sept. 27, the Daily Lobo asked students at the University of New Mexico to submit their best photos for a chance to be featured on the cover of our Art and Photo issue, published this past Monday, Oct. 17. Here, the three winners provide a brief statement on their photographs and the stories behind them.

First Place: Jill Hankins

I was at the UNM Duck Pond on the afternoon of Sept. 7, 2022, to shoot images for ARTS 2420: Visualizing Ideas. The assignment was to capture body language. Being a beautiful sunny afternoon, I knew I’d be able to find students relaxing at the Duck Pond.

While walking around the area, I noticed most of the ducks decided to rest after swimming around the pond, but first, each one would preen themselves before finding a shady spot under a tree to relax. Although the ducks don’t mind people walking up to them, I didn’t want to disturb their ritual of swim-preen-rest, so I used my telephoto lens at 210 mm to capture this shot.

What makes this image so unique is the how the shallow depth of field causes the green pond water to resemble a painting, while the neutral tones of the mottled brown feathers and gravel juxtapose with the complementary colors of violet-blue wing flash and orange-red bill and feet. As an East Mountain resident, New Mexico’s flora and fauna are my favorite subjects to photograph, and UNM’s Duck Pond offered me with some new subjects to capture on camera.

Second Place: Veronica Mares

This photo displays a picturesque sunset at Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, N.M. Since moving to Albuquerque, I have fallen in love with the Sandia Mountains. As a native New Mexican, I wanted to capture one of these sunsets at the end of the summer season when the colors are most vibrant. This photo was taken at the beginning of September before the transition into fall. This time of year is stunning in Albuquerque when the skies display their orange and blue hues. 

Third Place: Mark Sanchez

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, there wasn’t much to do in our small town, but the streets were completely empty at night, and my friends and I were free to skate around wherever we wanted. During a very stressful time in the world, getting this freedom at night was incredibly helpful for us to maintain a peace of mind.

Last summer, a lot of us came home from college and decided to skate again, and it was still just as freeing. I decided to try to capture the freedom of it all in a picture, and I think that it worked out pretty well.

The subject of the photo is my friend Dimitri riding his longboard in the center of the street. He is right at the focal point of the picture, and all the lines of the road, the curbs and the buildings point directly to him. Except for the one car parked on the side, there are no other cars on the road, with the only light coming from a few streetlights. I took this picture while skating right behind him, capturing the freedom of the empty street with us at the center of it all.

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