DAF Announces 2022 Photo Contest Winners > Air Force > Article Display

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The Department of the Air Force announced the winners of the 2022 Air Force Photo Contest on November 7th.

Under the motto “Celebrating Traditions” for 2022, the program managers of the Air Force Service Center honored the Air Force 75th birthday and gave photographers an opportunity to share their family and cultural traditions to highlight the diversity of military families, said Susan Lear, AFSVC photo contest coordinator.

“Both art competition (in the spring) and photo contest allow our military families to experience different things by giving them the opportunity to learn something new or hone their craft or skills through creative expression,” Lear said.

“Art is an ongoing work that always strives for perfection,” she said, “but it’s the flaws that give it beauty. Creating something reminds us that we are also a work in progress, always learning new ways and accepting that some of our mistakes are perfection in the end.”

James Compton, head of AFSVC’s Community and Leisure Programs Branch, sees photography from a different perspective.

“Any time we can see the world through someone else’s eyes, it not only helps us understand it, it also gives us an opportunity to be a better, more rounded person,” Compton said. “I think photography is a great way to do just that. I’ve seen many photos that were absolutely beautiful, whether they were sad, moving, or just really beautiful.

“I have to admit, I doubt that at the moment the photo was taken I would not have recognized the beauty for what she was. By seeing someone else’s views of the world through photography, we can see things we might otherwise have missed,” Compton said.

Nearly 400 photographers submitted entries to this year’s photo competition, each of which was judged by three judges on impact, creativity and technical excellence before awarding first, second and third place in five categories.

“We had a wide range of artistic and technical abilities in participants, from experienced photographers to beginners, with photographers as young as 6,” said Lear.

Deciding on the winners wasn’t easy, added Kevin Watt, one of this year’s judges.

“The quality varied, but among the ones I judged to be the best in each category, I really had to look closely to distinguish the very best from the rest,” he said. “A lot of the photos were like, ‘Oh wow!’ When I saw them for the first time, these photos immediately went to the top of my bucket list.”

Here are this year’s winners:





















Adult Novice
First Place: Jackie Lundgren, US Air Force Academy, Colorado, with “Rose with a Bee”
Second place: tech. Sergeant Amanda Schaefer, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, with “The Golden Tradition of Flight and Military Aviation” Third Place: Carl Grimaud, Hill AFB, Utah, with “Water Lantern”





















adult done
First Place: Grace Hong, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, with “Chumash Chief”
Second place: Emmanuel Alba, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, with “Incirlik Base Honor Guard”
Third Place: Sarah Anne Luigi, Robins AFB, Georgia, with “Pilgrimage to Mezquita”





















Youth 6-8
First Place: Lydia Brown, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, with “Family History”
Second Place: Elijah Hipolito, Eglin AFB, Florida, with “Another Day the Sun Sets”
Third Place: Ellie Black, Minot AFB, North Dakota, with “Pink Flowers”





















Youth 9-12
First Place: Layne Knowles, Fairchild AFB with “The Hidden Boot Tree”
Second Place: Phoebe Rain Strong, Fairchild with “Fishing with my Dad”
Third Place: Isaac Clement, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, with “Heroes Remembered”





















Youth 13-17
First Place: Rylan Jack Mims, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, with “Sunshine in the Holy City”
Second Place: Brody Rector, Fairchild AFB, Washington, with “Lost but not Forgotten”
Third Place: Grace Elizabeth Greene, Eielson AFB, Alaska, with “The Strongest Bond”


With this year’s photo contest closed, AFSVC is planning the 2023 Air Force Art Contest, which will open in March.

To prepare for this competition and next year’s photography contest, Lear recommends visiting your installation’s arts and crafts center.

“See what classes are on offer and sign up,” she said. “Our centers offer wonderful instructional courses in fine arts, photography, ceramics, jewelry making, quilting, woodworking and more.”

Watt offered additional advice for next year’s photographers.

“Pay attention to the subject,” he said. “It’s important not just to take a great photo. Take a great photo that says the subject out loud without a long explanation.”



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