Rod Jones of Abbotsford has been named the Next Generation Amateur Photographer of the Year in B.C.
The contest generated more than 2,000 entries, from which 60 finalists were selected, representing 35 B.C. communities, from North Vancouver to Vernon.
The finalists were provided VIP tickets to the annual airshow and asked to submit photos in three categories, best air photo, best static photo and best crowd shot. In addition, the public had the opportunity to vote for their favourite for the people’s choice award.
Winners of the individual categories were:
Best air photo: Su Wolfe of Mission, who earned a $1,000 gift certificate, compliments of London Drugs.
Best static photo: Rod Jones of Abbotsford, who received a $500 London Drugs gift certificate. The award winning static picture taken by Jones is featured below.
Best crowd photo: Vincent Montefrio of Surrey ($200 London Drugs gift certificate)
The People’s Choice Award went to Christina Dutkowski of Mission, who won tickets to Cirque Musica.
A panel of judges reviewed all the winning entries and on Thursday night, Jones was awarded the title of photographer of the year.
Jones said he was shocked when his name was called out.
“It absolutely just blew me away it was like wow,” he said.
He knew there was some stiff competition for the title.
“I looked at everything and thought wow, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to judge all that stuff because there was so much good stuff,” he said.
Jones first started dabbling in photography in 2005. His wife was a volunteer at the radical raptors show at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. He thought it would be fun to take pictures as she played with the birds.
“That’s what got me started.”
He called the contest a great event.
“The whole experience was just fantastic. Black Press and London Drugs just treated us fantastically,” he said.
Jones plans to use his prize to purchase “a piece” for his camera.
Participating in the awards presentation was assistant store manager Anne Neuman, and assistant camera department manager William Ness.
“The pictures were fantastic all of them … you would not think amateur by any sense of the imagination,” said Neuman.
“Those pictures looked phenomenal and you could tell by the looks on the people’s faces when they were seeing their photos that they really got a great deal of pleasure out of being acknowledged and were proud of what they’d done.”
She said it was great to host the event on Thursday night.
“It was a nice idea and event for the community. It was nice to be a part of it,” she added.
Abbotsford Airshow operations manager Kate Witoszkin was also present.
It was the largest contest ever completed at The News/Black Press, generating more than 36,000 votes for the People’s Choice award in a three-week period. More photos of this contest at Facebook.com/myabbynews.