Digital cameras are becoming widely available, which I think explains the large number of entries taken with a high level of technical skill. The quality on display is the very reason why I think there is still room to aim to take photos on a whole other level; like capturing a once-in-a-lifetime moment. This year's prize-winning images are all highly original pieces that portray the fascination, beauty, and delight felt by the photographer at the moment they were captured.
This aim of this contest is to create a calendar that showcases the seasonal scenery of Japan. Each image will be seen for an entire month, so it was essential for us to consider how well the natural beauty, atmosphere, and mood of each scene is expressed. Also, since the submitted photos were categorized by month, there were cases where many excellent photos had been submitted for the same month. This means that some remarkable photographs were ultimately not chosen for the calendar.
Even if the photograph you are taking is to be submitted into a contest, it is good to not think about that too much, and instead to simply enjoy the process of capturing a moment in a way you want to share with others.
"Collecting Seaweed and Shellfish," the winner of the Gold Prize, portrays a scene famous among photographers. That being said, it is difficult to create this kind of composition. The photo was taken at exactly the right moment, from an exquisite distance. The original framing of the two tarai-bune (tub boats) on the water gives us the feeling of watching a story unfold. The work's ability to display a moment of everyday life while conveying a fantastical feel is another interesting element. This work beautifully captures the mysterious side of nature
"Moon Rises Above the Kengamine Peak," the winner of the Silver Prize, squarely captures the subject matter, giving a feel of the photographer's stoicism. Both the Kengamine Peak and the moon are popular subjects, but what sets this unique piece apart is the fact that we—the viewers—can feel the presence of the universe, showing through in the background. The serious and harsh tones match the atmosphere of the subject matter, creating an incredibly memorable piece of work.
Wall Calendar Dec.