The power of the image

The Rotarian’s 2014 photo contest

“There’s no more potent weapon on earth than a concerned eye behind a camera,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist David Hume Kennerly wrote in our December issue.

Our guest judge this year, Kennerly considered dozens of photos culled from the hundreds of submissions we received. The ones he chose take us from the Philippines to France, from Bhutan to Guatemala. “I believe in the power of the image to change attitudes, cast light into dark corners of the world, and enlighten others about things both good and bad.”

In addition to the winners and honorable mentions featured here, shots from the photo contest appear in our pages throughout the year. You can find them in our Up Front section, as the images in Dispatches and Where in the World. Often, the photos you submit inspire us to learn more about the Rotary projects they depict – or about the Rotarian photographers themselves. So start thinking now about the images you’ll enter for next year. Our 2015 contest opens 1 December.

First place

Photographer: Christopher John V. Imperial
Rotary Club of Diliman North, Philippines
Photo location: Tarlac City, Philippines

The faces of these people reaching out for help are compelling. This image tells a story, but still makes you want to know more about the circumstances behind it. This easily could have run in Time magazine.

Second place

Photographer: Nand Fiems
Rotary Club of Gistel, Belgium
Photo location: Lobesa Valley, Bhutan

Kennerly:To quote the photographer, “In Lobesa Valley, there was no drinkable water. This girl shows us that they now have a new source of life.” This photo sums that up, and that is why I chose it. Water is essential, and much of the world struggles to find it. This little girl drinking from the spigot is a captivating image about survival’s bottom line. “My dream is to make photos that get people thinking about opportunities to help others.” – Nand Fiems

Third place

Photographer: Lola Reid Allin
Rotary Club of Belleville, Ont., Canada
Location: Mwiko School, near the Virunga Massif, northwestern Rwanda

Kennerly: The eyes have it. Education is another of life’s essentials, and this photo made me happy knowing that these kids were in school and appearing to enjoy it. This is an area that has seen much turmoil, but the photo represents a return to normalcy. “Students challenged me with clever questions about my home country, after I challenged them to find it on the map.” – Lola Reid Allin.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Bev Hilton
Rotary Club of Nanaimo-Oceanside, B.C., Canada
Location: Cape Coast, Ghana

A picture of self-reliance. This photo of fishermen preparing for the afternoon run on the Cape Coast of Ghana is a palette of bright colors and resolve captured in a National Geographic-like instant.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Christophe Delaloi
Rotary Club of Charleville-Rimbaud, France
Location: Charleville-Mézières, France

A reflection of hope and happiness, this young man gives a thumbs-up when he learns that he will get a lifesaving operation.

“We participated in a huge group dance to help raise money for Adrien to travel to Spain for an operation. Today Adrien feels better. He hopes to walk normally soon.” – Christophe Delaloi

Honorable mention

Photographer: Frank Hawkins
Rotary Club of Upper Keys, Fla., USA
Location: Ubein Bridge, Amarapura, Myanmar

Kennerly:Life is better when people are connected. This image is a picturesque reminder of the importance of an ancient wooden bridge to the commerce and interaction between two villages. “Rotary and life are all about connections.” – Frank Hawkins.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Jeremy Lambert
Rotary Club of Chattanooga Breakfast, Tenn., USA
Location: Chevrine, Haiti

This poignant picture is about sharing, and by focusing on the spoon, it conveys the desire of a child to give some of what he has to another person.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Lola Reid Allin
Rotary Club of Belleville, Ont., Canada
Location: El Petén, Guatemala

Kennerly: A scene in a Guatemalan senior citizens’ facility shows a pregnant young woman with a frail elder. I was struck by this moment of a cat on the bed, a portrait of Jesus on the wall, and two generations who don’t appear to be interacting but who are together nonetheless.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Richard Wing
Rotary Club of Upper Arlington, Ohio, USA
Location: San Antonio Palopó, on the shore of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

The ray of sun illuminates a young child in the darkness of a mud-walled hut. This compelling image is a great use of light.

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