Aaryn Belfer, a CityBeat columnist, avid photographer and returning photo-contest judge, absolutely hates cats. She can't stand them. Still, she was able to suspend her distaste for the whiskered beasts long enough to help propel “Tom Cat,” an image captured by Joseph Wolf of Oceanside, to a convincing first-place finish in our ninth annual photo contest.
The cat in Wolf's photo is not named Tom. Actually, that would be the name of a friend of Wolf who lives in Durham, N.C., where the picture was taken. (It just so happens that Tom's cat is called Felix.) We obviously loved the whimsical word play between “Tom” and “cat,” but we seven judges—Belfer; CityBeat staffers Kelly Davis, Kinsee Morlan, David Rolland and Adam Vieyra and freelance photographers Jeff Corrigan and Will Parson—liked the composition in equal measure.
Cruising easily to second place was Sam Gardner of Bay Park, who tells us his son said “Elephantoesis” after we asked if the black and white image of a man working on an elephant's foot had a title. Third place was tighter, but it was ultimately snagged by another black-and-white, an evocative, untitled photo by Sean Dejecacion, a longtime participant in our contest whose young subject has become familiar to our eyes.
Here, we present those three winners, along with nine runners-up that we thought were the best of the entries—one of which won our first-ever readers poll. We selected 50 photos from the submissions and displayed them on our website; “Non Stop” by a photographer who goes by the name The Atomic Jellyfish came out on top. His photo was also picked as a runner-up by the judges.
Like we did last year, we'll hold a viewing party to celebrate the contest—including a number of additional images—from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Mosaic Wine Bar (3422 30th St. in North Park). We hope you'll join us. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all the photographers who submitted their work.
Second Place: "Elephantoesis" by Sam Gardner
Third Place: "Untitled" by Sean Dejecacion of Normal Heights
Readers Poll Winner: "Non Stop" by The Atomic Jellyfish