We asked for your best shot and that’s what we got – 450 of them, from around the globe. Our judges whittled these down to 16 finalists, and, after intense debate, these three winners, who each received $500. Runners-up and viewers’ choice winners received U of T prize packs. Thanks to all who entered!


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

Winner: “Idiosyncrasies” by Barbara Konecny (BA 2008 Trinity, MA 2011), Toronto

In March, Konecny travelled to Havana, Cuba. She was exploring the old town when she saw this graffiti, which to her captured something essential about Cubans – the ability to smile, despite a cloud of adversity. She says it was sheer luck that a young boy walked into the frame – and tossed a ball – just as she pointed her camera.

Photo by Barbara Konecny
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Runner-up: “Clowns Face Riot Police at the G20” by Sarah Gould (MA 2001, PhD 2012), Toronto

Gould was on her bicycle taking pictures during the G20 protests in downtown Toronto in June 2010, when she came across a surreal scene: a group of clowns in mock stand-off with riot police. The encounter provided “a few minutes of comic relief in the moments before the kettling turned ugly,” says Gould.

Photo by Sarah Gould
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Viewers’ Choice: The winning photo, as selected by viewers, is “Masai,” by Dr. Michael Blankstein (MD 2006), taken in Tanzania in 2009.

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

Winner: Untitled, by Stephen Sloan (BA 1977 UTM), Fredericton, New Brunswick

While driving to Florida in March 2010, Sloan and his wife stopped at Wormsloe Historic Site in Georgia. Inside the park, an avenue framed by old oak trees caught Sloan’s eye, and “just begged to be photographed.” He took the picture in colour but later converted it to back and white.

Photo by Stephen Sloan
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Runner-up: “Ngorngoro Wildebeest,” by Lisa V. Robles (BA 2000), Toronto

After climbing Mount Kilimanjaro last year, Robles joined a safari expedition in Tanzania’s Ngonorgoro crater, where she snapped this photo of a herd of wildebeest at just the right moment – “it was a lucky shot,” she says. She applied colour correction back home, giving the photo its painting-like quality.

Photo by Lisa V. Robles
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Viewers’ Choice: The winning photo, as selected by viewers, is untitled, by Eve Davies-Greenwald (BEd 2011), taken in January 2012, in Agra, India.

Photo by Eve Davies-Greenwald
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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 boundless.utoronto.ca.

Winner: “Boundless!” by Nigel Tan (MD 2011), Toronto

In June, Tan visited the Grand Canyon with friend Steven Wong (MD 2011) for a two-day hike. At the canyon’s north rim, Tan set up a tripod and captured Wong performing what looks like a death-defying leap. In reality, Wong was a few feet from the edge of the cliff – and a several-thousand-foot drop to the canyon floor. Tan took several shots of himself jumping from the same cliff, but liked this one best because, he says, Wong truly looks “boundless.”

Photo by Nigel Tan
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Runner-up: “Drummer,” by Grace Willan (donor), Toronto

This drummer was participating in the Lijiang Impression Show in Yunnan province China in 2011. The spectacle – produced by Zhang Yimou, one of China’s most famous filmmakers – featured more than 100 horses and 500 members of the local Naxi and Mosuo tribes. It took place in a large outdoor amphitheatre, with the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background.

Photo by Grace Willan
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Viewers’ Choice: The winning photo, as selected by viewers, is “Road into the Ocean,” by Farrah Hussein (BSc 2010), taken on Highway 1 in California last fall.

Photo by Farrah Hussein
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The Judges

Cindy Blazevic (BA 1999 TRIN) is a photo-based visual artist in Toronto. Her photography documents private narratives within the shifting landscapes of social and political spaces. Her work will be on view at the Art Gallery of Mississauga from Nov. 15, 2012 to Jan. 4, 2013.

Lorne Bridgman is a Toronto-based photographer and contributor to Monocle, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Dwell, enRoute, Maisonneuve and other publications. He lives in Parkdale with his wife Yasmin and dogs Neko and D’arcy.

Katherine Carney (BA 2008 NEW) is a graphic designer at U of T’s Division of University Advancement. She specializes in print, data visualization & ampersand appreciation

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.