Nov 242010

–PDN Photobook

[  N Y C  ]

Applying to photo competitions

can feel like buying a lottery

ticket.  Its tough to believe that

out of thousands of images

yours will be selected, but it

can happen.

–NYC Winners Announced

Photography competitions are new to me.  To be honest, I am really bad at looking up competitions, so by the time the deadline rolls around I have about thirty seconds to apply.  In the case of the PDN Photobook NYC competition, I was lucky to have my father send me the link a few weeks in advance of the deadline.

Image was taken with a Hasselblad 500 c/m film camera and an 80mm Planar f 2.8 lens on Fuji Provia 100 slide film. Scan was done on an Imacon X5 scanner at 3200 DPI.  © Adam Marelli


The image that was selected was taken underneath the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.  The Parks Commission recently renovated the entire area, cleaning and restoring the lighting and tile work near the fountain.  I had been scoping out the photo for a few months, but there were two problems.  I wanted to make a picture that showed the inside and outside of the fountain without blowing out the ceiling or having a background that was pure black.  On top of that, Bethesda is one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire park.  How could I get a picture without any people?

The opportunity for the shot came on a morning with some heavy snow.  At 5:30 am, in the freezing cold, there were no people in the park.  Even the dedicated dog walkers were not out that morning, giving me the time to set up the shot.  In the background, the falling snow worked as a huge reflector, bouncing the street lights off the statue in the fountain.  This is what gives the background this bluish/green glow.  The image is 60% planning and 40% good fortune.  Check out the other winners at  There were 30 winners and 1 grand prize winner.  Give it a look, there are some great pictures.

–Adam Marelli

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