Autumn 2014 / Feature
2014 Photo Contest Winners

Once again, there were hundreds of superb entries from around the world and very few easy decisions

Thank you to all who entered our 2014 Photo Contest! The judges say their lists of favourite photos changed every time they looked at the entries – but somehow, they whittled them down to 15 finalists, and settled on three winners, who each received $500. Runners-up received U of T prize packs.

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

Winner: “Hunan Hawker” by Theodore C. Lo (PhD 1973), London, Ontario

Having taken up photography after his retirement, Ted Lo and his wife travelled to pursue “his new vocation.” One day in 2013, they were walking up a hill in Hunan Province, China. It was a scenic area with terrace farming, and their attention was drawn away from the landscape by a woman coming up the hill behind them with a basket on her back. The shot was taken in colour and converted to black and white to bring up the contrast between light and shadow.

People Winner: “Hunan Hawker” by Theodore C. Lo

Winner – People: “Hunan Hawker” by Theodore C. Lo

Runner-up: “The Courage of Youth” by by Godofredo Baylon (DCE 2000), Toronto

Photo: Godofredo Baylon

Runner-up – People: “The Courage of Youth” by Godofredo Baylon

Honourable Mention: “On the Street” by David B. Williams (PhD 1981), a professor in the department of biochemistry

Photo: David B. WIlliams

Honorouable Mention – People: “On the Street” by David B. Williams

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

Winner: Local Resident, by Lance McMillan (MMus 2009), Toronto

In June 2011, McMillan and his travelling companion went to Machu Picchu, Peru. During the trip, they had taken a shine to the llamas in the Peruvian countryside and were actively looking for llamas to photograph as they ascended the mountain toward the famous ruin. But they didn’t see any until they got there – when this local resident boldly stepped up to volunteer as McMillan’s model.

Photo by Lance McMillan

Winner – Places/Things: “Local Resident” by Lance McMillan

Runner-up: “Barbershop” by by Sarah Gould (PhD 2014), Toronto

A 2012 Runner-up in the People category, Sarah Gould strikes silver again.

Photo: Sarah Gould

Runner-up – Places/Things: “Barbershop” by Sarah Gould

Honourable Mention“Toronto Downtown at Dusk” by Yuanyang Wei (MASc candidate in the department of chemical engineering).

Photo: Yuanyang Wei

Honourable Mention – Place/Things: “Downtown Toronto at Dusk” by Yuanyang Wei

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: “Boundless” by Anca Liliana Cismaru (BSc 2013 UC), Toronto
Cismaru took this photo of sculptor Nicolas Lavarenne’s “Guetteur pensif” (“thoughtful watcher”) in November 2013 while on a student day trip in Montreux, Switzerland. Here’s how the sculptor described his work in an interview with WIPO Magazine, “The poles lift the sculpture from the ground, making it lighter, almost virtual, unable to be touched. Bronze is very heavy and yet it flies.” The combination of ancient art form, nature and jet trails criss-crossing a vast sky makes this image truly “boundless”.

Photo by by Anca Liliana Cismaru

Winner – Boundless: “Boundless” by Anca Liliana Cismaru

Runner-up: “Milky Way over Pigeon Lake” by Godofredo Baylon (DCE 2000), Toronto
You’re not seeing double. Godofredo Baylon, who is a Coordinator, Research Information at U of T, was the runner-up in two categories.

Photo: Godofredo Baylon

Runner-up – Boundless: Milky Way over Pigeon Lake by Godofredo Baylon

Honourable Mention“Flying High” by by Theodore C. Lo (PhD 1973).

After finishing first in the people category, Ted Lo also got an Honourable mention in Boundless – showing us all why we should think about another career after retirement – although we don’t all have his boundless talent.

Photo: Theodore C. Lo

Honourable Mention – Boundless: “Flying High by Theodore C. Lo

The Judges

Jacklyn Atlas is a freelance photographer who has worked with diverse clientele from corporate, public and artistic sectors. A strong collaborator, she enjoys involving herself in all levels of a project. Both in studio and on location, Jacklyn embraces the creative possibilities in every project.

Amanda Keenan is a graphic designer in the department of University Advancement at University of Toronto. She also runs a letterpress studio specializing in bespoke paper goods such as wedding invitations and posters.

Gilbert Li is principal of the graphic design studio The Office of Gilbert Li, which 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 Byng Hum BCom81 on September 24th, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

Great photos. May I suggest a fourth category? HDR or Photoshop or other software-processed photos.

It does not seem fair that special processing wins or places in a category when equally good photos lack the software processing, but are technically better photos. If you add a category for the ‘processing’ wizards then the real photographers will have a better chance.

I am NOT saying that the wizards are not real photographers. Let’s make this competition fair, and we will all see better photos.

ps. I did not enter the photo competition. I am an expert with HDR, Photoshop and other software processes.

# 2
Posted by a.anderson on November 21st, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

I agree with the previous posting. Add a category for digital photo processing.

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