In a day and age when technology has pushed the boundaries of photography into realms undiscovered a couple of decades ago, we've all become a bit jaded.
Once, photographs were miraculous things. They brought first glimpses of exotic people and places. They chronicled personal history in a way never before available.
But they've become ubiquitous and taken for granted. We're so used to seeing images exploding with vibrant color, capturing every facet of life, that we've become a bit numb to their power and impact.
That's part of the reason Boise Weekly's annual black and white photography contest is so refreshing.
For weeks, the BW office has been deluged with bold and intriguing images that harken back to an earlier, simpler time. Whether they are shot in digital or on film, each photo reminds us of the power of a well-composed image without all the bells and whistles.
This year's crop of 155 entries also reminded us just how many talented photographers make their homes in the Boise area. We were treated to an array of images from all corners of the world and from right around the corner.
It was one of the strongest batches of entries our judges had seen in many years, and it made for a tough job. In addition to a few staff members, we rounded up a few professionals to lend their expert opinions.
Craig Clark is an old hat when it comes to judging photographs. Clark has been working as a professional photographer for more than 19 years and is the owner of CC Photography and Digital Design. He's graced BW with his expertise for years on end, giving the judging panel some clout.
New to the group this year is Francis Delapena, whose own images grace the pages of BW almost every week.
Photographs were judged within categories—people, places and things—and prize money was divvied up based on the number of entries. Images were judged on composition, creativity, execution and subject matter. The names of the photographers were not known until after the competition.
It wasn't an easy task, but the judges tried to keep the name-calling, threats of violence and arm-wrestling challenges down to a minimum when fighting for their personal favorites.
This year, the whole batch of entries will get the recognition they're due. While only the top three places in each category get cash, all the submitted photographs will be on display at the Muse Building, 1317 W. Jefferson St., June 23 through July 7.
Photographers can reclaim their work beginning Monday, July 14, at Boise Weekly's office. It is the responsibility of the photographers to pick up the images no later than Friday, Aug. 1.