Autumn 2016
“Take Your Best Shot!” 2016 Photo Contest Winners

Dozens of superb entries from around the world, few easy decisions for the judges

Composite of the three winning photos for the 2016 Photo Contest

Somehow our panel of judges whittled down dozens of superb entries from around the world to 12 finalists and decided on these four winners, who each received $500. Runners-up received a U of T gift. “People’s Choice” winners were selected in online voting. Thanks to all who entered!


For the Places/Things category, photographers were asked to submit an image of anything from a still life to a landscape.

Winner: Fishing at Li River” by Theodore Lo (PhD 1973)

While travelling in Yangshuo, China, in 2013, Ted Lo and his wife rented a bamboo raft to take pictures of the sunrise over the Li River. On their way back to Xingping Ancient Town, the couple came across a fisherman casting his net into the water – making for a picturesque scene against the backdrop of karst mountains.

Places/Things Winner: “Fishing at Li River” by Theodore Lo

Winner – Places/Things: “Fishing at Li River” by Theodore Lo

Runner-up: “Misty Fjord by Maria Clauss (BSc 1989 UC)

Places/Things Runner-up: “Misty Fjord” by Maria Clauss

Runner-up – Places/Things: “Misty Fjord” by Maria Clauss

People’s Choice: “Balloon Sunrise by Alexandre Marchand-Austin (BSc 2006 UTSC, MSc 2015)

Places/Things People's Choice: “Balloon Sunrise” by Alexandre Marchand-Austin

People’s Choice – Places/Things: “Balloon Sunrise” by Alexandre Marchand-Austin


For the People category, photographers were asked to submit an image that focused on a person or a group of people.

Winner and People’s Choice: “Milk Cartons on Side of Train” by Arjun Yadav (BA 2016 UTM)

A National Geographic feature on Indian railways inspired Arjun Yadav to take this photo when he came across a scene of milk cartons being loaded and unloaded at the Charbagh Railway Station in Lucknow, India, last January. The scene is a familiar one for local denizens: with little room inside the carriage, dairy farmers resort to hanging large metal containers on window grilles lining the outside of the train to transport milk to nearby towns.

People Winner: “Milk Cartons on Side of Train” by Arjun Yadav

Winner – People: “Milk Cartons on Side of Train” by Arjun Yadav

Runner-up: “Curiosity by Ahmed Alkoka, a fourth-year student in biology and psychology at U of T Mississauga

People Runner-up: “Curiosity” by Ahmed Alkoka

Runner-up – People: “Curiosity” by Ahmed Alkoka


For the Boundless category, photographers were asked to try to capture the sense of the word in an image. Learn more about the University of Toronto’s Boundless campaign at

Winner and People’s Choice: “Novice Sunrise” by Dean Hay (BSc 1995 UTSC)

As the head coach of Nipissing University’s rowing team, Dean Hay has witnessed many a dawn from the vantage of a cold, tin boat, while out on the water training his rowers every morning between late August and October. At times, he finds visual magic in the interplay of the sun striking the water and the strong, majestic line cut by the rowers – in this case last fall’s novice women’s eight on Trout Lake, North Bay. “Mother Nature provided the ingredients, and I merely took advantage,” he says.

Boundless Winner: “Novice Sunrise” by Dean Hay

Winner – Boundless: “Novice Sunrise” by Dean Hay

Runner-up: “Nighttime Fun” by Laura Mison (BSc 2015 UTM)

Boundless Runner-up: “Nighttime Fun” by Laura Mison

Runner-up – Boundless: “Nighttime Fun” by Laura Mison


For our new Instagram category, photographers were asked to submit their Instagram photos by tagging us @uoftmagazine or using #uoftmagazine.

Winner: Untitled by Joyce Crago (LLB 1993)

This portrait is one of a series Joyce Crago took of children in 2015. Crago, who is an aspiring photographer, says the series is meant to “confront the persistent myth that childhood is happy and carefree.” She notes that children experience the same negative and difficult emotions as adults – but with little to no perspective or experience to be able to process them or put them into context. See more of her work at

Instagram Winner: Untitled by Joyce Crago

Winner – Instagram: Untitled by Joyce Crago

Runner-up: “Bestival Toronto at Dusk by Denise Ing (BA 2000 UC)

Instagram Runner-up: “Bestival Toronto at Dusk” by Denise Ing

Runner-up – Instagram: “Bestival Toronto at Dusk” by Denise Ing

The Judges

Scott Baker is a graphic designer for the Division of University Advancement at the University of Toronto. He studied design at OCAD University and is an amateur photographer.

Johnny Guatto is a videographer and photographer working in University of Toronto Communications. He is currently planning his next photo project in Cuba and is in pre-production for his second short film, titled Xibalba.

Gilbert Li is principal of The Office of Gilbert Li, a graphic design studio he founded in 2004. The studio’s much-lauded work covers all forms of print and editorial projects for a clientele of leading public institutions, cultural groups and non-profit organizations. He is U of T Magazine’s art director.

Reader Comments

# 1
Posted by Carol Shetler BA%201981 on September 15th, 2016 @ 9:49 am

Splendid composition marks every one of these winning and runner-up photos. The viewer’s eye is drawn into the heart of each photo – grabbed intensely by each image. Well done!

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