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2018 Photo Contest Gallery

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Honorable Mention
6:45 AM in the Madera Ranchos; a small community between Fresno and Madera. Two days of planning went into the photo. I had a distinct image for what I wanted. I came up with the idea in fairly straight forward manner. I closed my eyes and imagined what came to mind when I thought - "Investigation". I imagined a person standing in the dark beneath a streetlight wearing a trench coat and taking notes of their surroundings. Then I wanted a scene for the detective character to looking at. I decided to take fake blood and create a murder scene of sorts on the streetlight. The photo was taken at dawn. The violet-blue of the early morning sky contrasted well with the vibrancy of the blood. A mounted flash with a blue jell to create the light on one side. Initially I was just experimenting with the colored flashes. I liking how they added a bit of intrigue to the photo, resembling the light of the moon or maybe the flashing of police lights.
Honorable Mention
I chose this photo for the theme investigation because it is from an angle where she looks down from the balcony in the dark view which makes it look like mystery. It makes it look like she is investigating what is going on down there.
Honorable Mention
This is a very focused picture of Mary because she is a mystery of faith. This photo relates to investigation because its a mystery of faith. Each of us have our own path of faith that we are on. We will one day find each of our mysteries and see are long path of faith. I want the judges to know that I thought outside the box and took time to think about my photo.
Honorable Mention
I was at my house when I took this photo. I was zooming in as I took a variety of photos of things in my back yard. When I took this photo, I liked the design and color that showed in this photo.
Honorable Mention
I was walking by the field when I came upon a ladybug, I thought it was a beautiful sight to see.
Honorable Mention
This photo was taken when I was on a field trip. Although all you see is the nature in California, you may know why they’re there, why animals live in them, why it’s important for us. But there is no correct answer.
Even if we don't know the correct answer to why all we see is nature here in California or even around the world, we may all take time to go outside or search online and investigate about it.
Honorable Mention
When walking around in Old Town Pasadena one can’t help but notice the nature around them and how it contrasts to the rest of the city. In this picture a person is investigating this leaf and wondering how the environment impacts the world and those in it.
Honorable Mention
My photo portrays the aftermath of the wildfires that have been devastating California as of recently. The fires have destroyed a multitude of homes, acres of land, and the homes of many animals. I made my main focal point the growth of a new plant amongst all the burnt remains because I feel that it portrays that there’s hope of regrowth.
Honorable Mention
I took this photo because I wanted to investigate how the sun would look for the first time of the new year since the sun sets differently each day. Investigating this sunset made me realize that since it was the start of a new year that I need to better myself. This photograph is a crisp, clear image of a natural beauty.
Honorable Mention
The news media were investigating a rally to bring attention and support for labor workers in America. It was near the farmers market in San Francisco. They were investigating the truth from the people at the gathering. It is my first time seeing a protest. I like the quote on the woman shirt, "All that harms labor is treason to America," Abraham Lincoln.
Honorable Mention
I was outside by the lunch area in my school and I couldn’t help but notice that right in between my friends feet was a puddle. In that the puddle was the reflection of the lunch table. Together with her shoes, this just gave the photo so much more “character’’. In this image, I think I got a good angle for the picture.
Honorable Mention
This was my first time on a boat in the middle of the ocean. I was learning about the current, the weather, and how to operate a boat in the water. I was curious about the animals and wildlife in the ocean. I was able to see some dolphins, but only the top part of their bodies. They soon jumped out of the water. So, in a way, I was investigating about different things in the ocean. I was enjoying my first time on a boat and being completely by myself in the ocean. Although I was with my uncle, I still felt by myself, since I was only surrounded by water. It was like an investigation because I got to investigate by myself, how to use certain things on a boat, and where to look for animals.
Honorable Mention
During a day trip with my family, we had stopped to eat at a restaurant by the water. That's where we found this small pier, and where this photo was taken. The pier had overlooked a sandy beach full of colorful people enjoying the sunny cloudless day. My niece ran down the wood planks, leaned over and looked out over the railing. I saw her searching through the people and taking in the scene. As her eyes closed I imagined she could hear the noises of seagulls, people, and waves and feel the ocean breeze on her face. Farther down the pier stood my father looking out seeing the same thing through aged eyes. As they both looked out investigating different people and the activities on the beach, they were unknowingly using their own unique wisdom and experiences to analyze the beach down below. My niece who had never seen this place before looked on with an unbiased amazement, while for my father this place brought back memories of the years past. In this photo, I see Investigation in the way these people viewed the world in front of them.
Honorable Mention
You may have heard of the word “Investigation,” but do you actually know what it means? Investigation can be when a person studies someone or something. It’s kind of like doing research on a living thing. Sometimes you will see or hear of a cop or a detective investigating, but any type of person can look into a mystery. In my photo, this ordinary little girl is investigating a panda that she found hurt. She is using a magnifying lens to check the female panda for bruises and cuts. She wants to make sure the panda is safe and healthy. Investigating a wild animal in your backyard can be tough, but it is also exciting. Investigation is an important source for us humans. It is through investigation that we can learn about the things we find around us.
Honorable Mention
The photo captures the long trek forward into life, while investigating what lies ahead. The lights represent the uncertainty that the future holds, and how we have to continue forward even if we are afraid of the uncertainty that lies ahead. The color purple is associated with spirituality, the sacred, higher self, passion, third eye, fulfillment, and vitality. Purple helps align oneself with the whole of the universe. In this photo it demonstrates even though we do not have full control over our fates, and no matter how bad our situation is, everything will work out and conditions will improve.
Honorable Mention
This photo was taken in a Metro Subway Station underground. This photo relates to investigation because the picture is separated between light and darkness and the subway hole looks really menacing with its twists and turns which leads to people on the light side peering into the hole investigating. Also, the hole is black which gives off a mysterious and unknown vibe to it leading to the people on the light side to investigate it. This is how the photo relates to this year's contests theme which is investigation. Basically, this is related to investigation because the tunnel is giving off an eerie feeling and the people on the light side is investigating and peering into the tunnel to investigate the mysterious tunnel.
Honorable Mention
I took this picture in the balcony of my apartment which has a perfect view of the California sunsets with pink skies. Unfortunately the sky wasn’t pink the day I took this picture it was just only a bit orange. The magnifying glass symbolizes investigation. When you investigate you look at the world in a different way and I think that is represented well by the upside down image inside the magnifying glass.
Honorable Mention
Seeing things through a different lens.
If for only a moment, everyone in the world would a take a step back and investigate their surroundings differently than how they always do. Oh how different the world would be. We would be seeing things we never had seen before, just by investigating and exploring with a different mindset, vision, and perspective. Even looking through a pair of sunglasses differently can completely change your view and perspective on what you were investigating.
Honorable Mention
When I think of the word "Investigation", the first few words I think of are "mystery", "enigma", and "unusual". The word "Investigations" reminds of the famous T.V. show "Scooby-Doo" and the famous movie "Ghost Busters". The photo was taken in a dark room, which provides an eerie atmosphere. On top of that, the multiple layers of the cube give a ghost effect on the cube. It's like the only source of light in the dark room is this phantom or ghost in the room. Investigation is also also piecing each piece of the puzzle together. In this photo, the people's eyes will start at the middle cube, and follow along the outside layers as the cube becomes less and less tangible.
Honorable Mention
This picture was about investigating life at another point of view. It shows how insects and other small life forms see the world. Everything looks so much bigger when your looking through a smaller point of view. At a smaller point of view you can see the smallest things like plants and tiny rocks. This opened my eyes to see the world in another way.
Honorable Mention
When it came time to decide what I was going to photograph, I went to a collection of figures in my living room. Searching for the perfect one, I found a small man that sat upon a stool pondering of what’s to come. He looks upward looking for the answer. Thinking and investigating everything that was around him.
Honorable Mention
Investigating low tide on the beach was like walking through the primordial soup that started life. I live in the mountains and did not realize how interactive and delicate life was in the ocean. For me this was a surprise experience that had me on my hands and knees investigating every crack and crevice.
Honorable Mention
I saw this raindrop and then saw the reflection. Looking closer I saw many reflections. Some reflections were bright and beautiful but some were dark, just like people. Each drop was unique.
Honorable Mention
I'm investigating the changing light as much as I'm investigating any specific subject. The way the photo feels is more important than what it is. Photography and Investigation are synonymous.
Honorable Mention
This picture was inspired by the Smurfs movies. The little mushroom-like house stands for the unusual and lovable smurfs. In the movie, there are two types of people who interact with the Smurfs. People like Gargamel and people like Grace and Patrick. Gargamel tries to destroy the Smurfs’ civilization and use their kind for spells for his own benefit. While, Patrick and Grace want to help save the Smurfs from Gargamel and get home. When you look at this picture, there is a boy inspecting the little house. What will he find? How will he react? Will he be kind like Grace or evil like Gargamel? How would you react?
Contest Winner
I was curious about how plastic bottles were recycled. The process of how the bottles went from place to place seemed very confusing. Then my mom and I watched a video to investigate the process of recycling. Watching the video, I learned how the plastic was forged and formed after once being washed, heated and reshaped. The video showed me the life cycle of the water bottle. New recycled water bottles are not the only thing made from recycled plastics, but they are one of the most important. Many other products are made from recycled plastics, such as sweaters, shirts, cushion filling, blankets, all the way to car parts. What the video didn’t show me was how creative you can be with recycled water bottles. I chose a recycled water bottle as the subject of my picture because many people don’t know how creative you can be with recycled water bottles.
Honorable Mention
This photo was taken at Zion National Park in Utah. This photo relates to this years contest theme "Investigation" because it shows those that are looking at something different. Some are looking up at the the top where the opening is. Some are looking down and they are all looking at different things. Something I would really like for you to focus on is the detail this picture has. Each person is kinda of telling there own story in what they are looking at.
Honorable Mention
Investigating Red Rock Canyon

This picture shows my sister and dad walking on a trail. There aren’t many green plants or flowers growing around this path. If you look closely the plants have some green on them, but are mostly dried up. Why would they want to investigate this area? These canyons have an interesting characteristic. The red rocks are so amazing to see around this desert area near Las Vegas. It’s hard to ignore, and so many people want to see this up close.
Honorable Mention
There are moments where the world around us seems surreal and like a dream. No matter how fake our world may seem, if we take a moment to really look around us and take everything in, we can see past all the negativity in the world today and recognize the natural beauty. I created the reflection because of the idea that while investigating ourselves, we discover what we think about the world and those feelings reflect into our perception of how we actually see the world. For instance, if we recognize that the world is truly beautiful, we will see beauty in everything. This is how my photo represents investigation. I took the foreground photo while I was in Utah and added my photo of Downtown Los Angeles as the background using Photoshop. I also painted the galaxy with Photoshop as well. I would like to let you know that while the photo is clearly heavily Photoshopped, that is the point, as I am trying to emphasize how sometimes our world’s beauty feels fake at times and through investigation of the world around us, we can finally accept its true beauty.
Honorable Mention
I took this photograph in my home during the holiday season. Taking this photograph, I investigated how families celebrate a fellow family member's first rite of passage. For example, in this photograph it was the baby's first Christmas This is a monumental moment because the baby is celebrating the joy of a family gathering together to celebrate a religious holiday for the first time. Overall anyone's first rite of passages for anything are important milestones because it is the person experiencing something for the first time that can influence their life.  
Honorable Mention
This photo was taken on a cloudy and foggy day in 2017. The sky was very dull and had almost no color. I thought the background was very interesting, since we usually only get sunny weather in California. I started taking photos of everything I saw. But, when I came across a lamp post, I was puzzled because I didn’t know how to photograph it to make it interesting. So, I started investigating the different angles that could make the lamp post look cool and mysterious. I wanted to make it look like something more than just what it was. I decided to get my camera really close to the lamp post and take a few photos, which is how I ended up with the photo that I have.
Honorable Mention
This is a picture of me investigating what stuffed animals do at night. I chose this picture because I always wonder if they can come to life when I am sleeping. In this picture, Rudolph is looking for a friend to play with and sees something on the door!
Honorable Mention
All of the photographs were taken at school, during school hours.
I was inspired by mystery and murder shows and anime that I have watched throughout the years, inspired by anime such as "Detective Conan" AKA "Case Closed" and Psycho-Pass. I was also inspired by Sherlock Holmes, cliché yes, but brilliant. All influencing me to create this piece.
This Photograph(s) relate to the theme "Investigation", as you can see that the male is looking for something as well as the eye who could be looking for something within time. I wanted people to be curious about what he was looking for or the crime that was committed, but clearly wanting to show that time was limited. I wanted people to come up with their own story for the investigation; What crime was committed? What is he looking for? Why is there a clock? etc.

I want the judges to know, if they didn't already, to use their imagination and think of an alternate world where this could be happening. I would like the judges to see how many different ways it could be viewed. I would also like to know, if I can, the story(s) they came up with if they did. Thank you and have a nice day.
Honorable Mention
I took this photo because I like the vibes it gave me. It made me feel like I was a diver exploring the natural wonders of the sea. To me, it felt like I could analyze all the little organisms, such as the fish, plants, and micro organisms I can’t see. It also overwhelmed me with a feel of being adventurous and open to new things I have yet to experience.
Honorable Mention
I was having a school field trip where I got lost in the wonders of marine life. This photo relates to the theme because I was investigating the astounding beauty of aquatic life as I tried to understand the animals more. I think it's important to investigate the ocean and their residents because the ocean covers 71% of the world. Therefore, I find it essential that we understand our fellow marine neighbors so we could live in harmony. In addition, it would help us find new ways to live so we do not create any more harm to the ecosystem that can affect them negatively. Which led me to take a picture of a sea turtle as they are an endangered species which should be more wildly known so we can work together to find a solution to this increasing problem. I was with really close friends enjoying the few remaining moments we would be able to enjoy a amusement park together before we got busy and branched out in different directions searching for our meaning in life. I used photoshop camera raw filter to bring up the vibrance of the picture to highlight the turtle swimming in the water.
Honorable Mention
This photo was taken of a real friend of mine at the beach. I think it relates to the theme because this friend would always go to the ocean when she needed to reflect on herself while she was growing up. The ocean is such a place of investigation, not only self, but also nature.
Contest Winner
I took this image while my friend and I were wandering down the hallway of a sewer system near our school. We had walked by this sewer hundreds of times, but had never stopped to truly explore it. Our decision to take a deeper look was inspired by the theme of this contest; we wanted to see and investigate what we could find in this tunnel. As soon as we took our first steps down the hallway, we were immediately assaulted by the humid damp air and the foreboding stretch of tunnel ahead. We wanted to find out what lay on the other side of this stretch of concrete, but the further we traveled the darker it got. Eventually the only light we could see was the light from our flashlights. Nevertheless, we kept walking, hoping that we would find something in the darkness. Eventually, we saw a glimmer of light coming from the other side of the tunnel and we raced towards it until we were confronted with gold rays of sun and the wind against our faces.

I believe this piece symbolically shows what happens when people have the fortitude to push past perceived obstacles and continue down the path in which the outcome is unclear. We wanted to leave and we didn't know what was around us, nevertheless we endured and we were rewarded with the beauty that laid hidden on the other side. Through this photo, I was able to capture a moment in time depicting what exploration and investigation means to me.
Honorable Mention
I investigate nature and I investigate light. The light may be from the sun or from somewhere else. I love the way the mixed light looks. I often shoot the same subject with a variety of light. I'll look at all the different attempts later and decide which I like best.

The photo was not manipulated but was cropped slightly.
Honorable Mention
The following is a poem that describes how I feel about this particular photograph and the themes associated with it.

Shades of Color:

The Shades of Color— The Shades of Existence
They press a question of immediate insistence

But I shall forever ponder with answers irresolute
For I know not who grants me the feeling of pain so acute

Pain granted by unknown assistance
Perhaps by a great bearded man of holy consistence—

Yet still I know not how to address this pain
Of life which holds as entropically as skein

But it is not life which causes the agony
Rather its unknown who plays my antagony

For my place in the cosmos is perchance naught
And such a notion produces frivolous thought—-

Of absence of feeling and reason
Of no tomorrow for no particular encheason

Of eternal darkness and loss of life
Of even this somber feeling being nevermore rife

Of many things but not I
Of many things wearing to nonentity and no I—

And here I am consumed by purpose
Whose details presented are wordless

And here I stand by the stars
Who care not about my bleak memoirs

And here I am in awe with their hues
Who probe me with their dim pretty blues—

So I begin to forget about petty anguish
Of fevers and crisis that made me languish

Instead I focus on the unwavering colors
They who fill me with emotion and no unwarranted troubles

Who provide me unconditional comfort
And simplicity devoid of complexities encumbered—

Perhaps a part of me shall be endlessly stoic
As I stare at colors from sources dichroic

For I know not the meaning of life
An endeavour nevermore my strife

Due to the beautiful colors that’ve left me uncumbered
Because of their many shades of charm unnumbered—

Thus maybe I have solved the arduous investigation
Whose answer is plain yet causes elation

Care not about what is there when you are not
Care only for the time which you have to allot

Forget about ceaseless darkness and death


Only focus on the Shades of Color.

Honorable Mention
This picture was taken right after the bottle shattered. This piece of art relates to "Investigation" because the people in the background are investigating why the bottle broke, but won't really care enough to actually pick the pieces up.

Caption: Stared down by civilians with no intentions of cleaning it. ‘If no one else is picking it up, why would I?’
Honorable Mention
A man is in the store looking at a shelf, and is curious about everything he is looking at. My photo relates to the theme investigation because the man in the photo is analyzing the shelf. He is curious about what is on the shelf.
Honorable Mention
After a long day of perusing the streets and looking for wall murals to pose in front of, my friends and I retire to the beach. My friend investigates the beach through her camera lens, taking pictures of the people lounging on the beach and of the vast expanse of sand. She seeks to capture only the best pictures, scanning the beach for the perfect shot.
Honorable Mention
She is shyly looking over her feather fan investigating me. I am also shyly investigating her and her culture. I took the photo because we are investigating each other and I loved the sparkle in her eyes showing her curiosity. I felt connected to her because of our shared shyness and interest in knowing more about each others worlds.
Honorable Mention
I took this picture at my house when it was snowing. I was investigating the snow that was on the wood by the house. I also wanted to know how cold the snow was. I like looking at pictures and I like the snow.
Honorable Mention
Take a closer look at this photo. It may seem just like white random fluff in the blue background, but it is much more than that. This picture is a photo that I had taken in the air while on my flight to Asia. The clouds are very intricate, taking different shapes that can be depicted in different ways. Looking at it from far away, some people can investigate and say it is snow, but you must investigate it much closer to actually find something that had been embedded in the clouds. After I had taken the photo, I investigated and had found from what it looked like, two faces that were floating in the air. You should investigate the clouds, in the photo, and find the many mysteries that have been formed in the photo that was taken.
Honorable Mention
I was investigating nature and had been watching this eagle that hunts on the river. I see the same eagle every day and I thought it was amazing. I took this picture because I thought everyone would like to see it too.
Honorable Mention
This photo relates to the theme of "investigation" because when I took it, I didn't know I had caught the man in it in the photograph and I was simply just taking a photo of the train. I think this shows investigation because it shows a man's face in a crowd of people and shares the message that if you would only look around, there are so many stories people tell with their faces and you just need to observe and investigate to find them
Honorable Mention
This photo was taken in relation to the topic of the CaliforniaSteaming. My inspiration was the step investigators take in a crime scene when they use each piece of evidence where it as at the time of the scene. It sets the vibe of the dark feeling at the scene. This photo was taken outside of one of the buildings on our school campus.
Honorable Mention
I was home alone and I hadn’t written a song in a long time, so I thought it might be nice to. I write better when I’m happy and when no one else is around. I would write down music and test out chords, I was investigating what I could still do, and what notes would work together for this song. All the while, I was checking the clock because I wouldn’t want to be writing and singing when my family came home. This is because it would be impossible to continue with all the distractions and noise.
Honorable Mention
Sometimes my mind wanders to science, and the many possibilities it holds. A scientific investigation can be revealing and enlightening. Science doesn’t have to be an advanced experiment. Science can be something as simple as making a connection between two things in life you didn’t think about before. I often find myself enthralled with science and the many wonders involved. I thought that this plasma globe which I’ve had since I was young is the perfect representation of science and imagination.
Honorable Mention
As I was hiking, I came across a cactus. I started to look at it and all its parts, and I realized it had smaller limbs coming out of it. I decided to take this picture because the camera caught detail that I couldn’t see with just my eye. This piece of the cactus was very small, and I could barely see the spines on it. Only after I took the picture did I notice how much detail and texture the cactus had. I feel that this photo best represents investigation because of the detail captured by the camera.
Honorable Mention
It was taken in the Bradbury Hotel. It relates to investigation because the slight blur of the puller and then the stairs going up to what, we don’t know. Something that could lead to whatever, but since this is a building with a lot of history it could’ve been used for who knows what. It was taken with an apple product that gave the picture the slight blur.
Honorable Mention
No matter who you are or what defines you, what you choose to wear and who you want to be with, everyone should stand together for justice. We can unite against vandalism, thievery, racism, and other topics as such.
Honorable Mention
This picture was taken in my backyard when my family had our telescope out. My brother and I both enjoy space, and investigating all of the things beyond our planet. We often observe the moon or even clusters of stars during our investigations. By doing so, we deepen our knowledge and love for outer space.
Honorable Mention
For this assignment, I thought of using my dog, Stella, as the subject of this photo. Investigating through her eyes is pretty amazing. She investigates everyone and everything. She watches, listens and learns so intently and with so much purpose.  She is always waiting for me at the fence when I get home. She shows me by wagging her tail. She also tells me by jumping in the air that she missed me and is happy that I am home. She sees every movement I make and she is so ready to follow me wherever I go.

She loves me in many different ways. She is up and investigating every sound she hears because that is how she keeps me safe. Right now, while I type this she is investigating me; she is watching me while sitting right by my side so she doesn't miss anything. She has that cute little tilt to her head as if she is examining the situation very carefully. As I was clicking pictures of her at my house in my living room, she was so curious and became so interested in the camera because she didn't know what the camera was and why it was making so many noises.

She also creates investigative thinking within my own mind. She always makes me wonder if she sees me in monochrome or in color. Also, I wonder if she knows it's me every time she sees me or based on a certain smell? Have you ever wondered about any of these things too? Does this make you want to investigate more about your dog? Do they feel emotions, do they remember happy moments or exciting moments? Just thinking about this makes me want to investigate a little more about how dogs investigate life. I want to learn more about my dog Stella. I love her and I know she loves me. I can see it in the way she watches me with her beautiful eyes. The way she investigates life so whole-heartedly should be the way we as humans investigate others as well. I think we would be much more understanding and loving if we saw the world they way dogs do.