The Woodward News

Local News

September 4, 2013

Photo contest winners selected

Woodward, Okla. — They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  For artist Patrick Riley a good photograph is worth a whole story.

Riley, a retired art instructor and current artist in residence with the Oklahoma Arts Council, was the judge for the 2013 Photo Contest at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.

In making his selections for the award winners from the over 340 photographs entered in this year's contest, Riley said he judged each image on a variety of factors.

But "first I like to look for something that impacts the viewer," Riley said.  "I look for something of interest; what kind of story does it tell?"

He said he also looks at the "quality of the design."

"Does it follow the principals of good design such as contrast or repetition?" he said.

But he said he doesn't focus too much on the technical aspects, preferring instead the creative aspects of the artwork.

"I'm an artist so I don't get too scientific about a photograph, I look at the aesthetics," he said.

When it came to selecting the Best of Show winner for this year's photography contest, Riley said the portrait of a boy titled "Q" by Skip Braun had everything he was looking for.

"It just meets all my criteria of a superb photograph," Riley said.

"First, it's a very clear photograph.  You notice how specific it is as you see all the freckles on his face," he said.  "But then his chin is cut off (out of the frame) and so is the top of his head, which gives it a creative feel.  Then the background is blurred out, but it's yellow and green which provides a nice contrast to the brown of his hair."

All of this gives the photograph a high quality of design, he said.

But it was the subject's blue eyes that really captured him.

"These eyes speak to me as a force of energy with this photograph," Riley said.  "There's a story in this photograph; I would love to write a story about this boy."

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