Winners of the 2019 Rotarian magazine photo contest

Steinmetz: I love the energy of this picture. It documents the flow of humanity experiencing the Pandharpur Wari pilgrimage and shows the architecture of this Indian site, the vibrancy of its storefronts. I also like that the photographer had the prescience to wait for his subject and took an unconventional approach by shooting the action with a time exposure.

Second Place

Photographer: Chin Fung Hou

Spouse of Yeong Hsiou Chen, Rotary Club of Taipei Hwachung, Taiwan

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Steinmetz: The photographer made creative use of what many would consider a technical problem — raindrops on the lens front. Most people think great photos need good weather, but pros will tell you that bad weather is a photographer’s best friend. This picture of Taipei is very original and impressionistic.

Third Place

Photographer: Luca Venturi

Rotary Club of Siena Est, Italy

Location: Siena, Italy

Steinmetz: This photograph perfectly captures a public event at the Palio di Siena, a twice-annual horse race in the heart of the city. The rider’s expression and the faces in the foreground convey a lot of emotion, but then your eye travels around the image and you see the context of the town square. Framing on a tilt makes it feel like you are part of the scene, being jostled in the crowd. It’s a great way to capture the energy of the moment.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Yeong Hsiou Chen

Rotary Club of Taipei Hwachung, Taiwan

Location: Keelung, Taiwan

Steinmetz: This picture has a wonderful way of showing calm in the middle of an urbanized seaport. I like the subtle accents of color framed between a monochromatic sea and sky, and the surprising blurring of the boat in motion in the foreground.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Tono Valdes

Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur, Guatemala

Location: Guatemala City

Steinmetz: Sometimes you like a picture for what it doesn’t show. Here, you can’t see the ground or the background, just the emotions. What the smoke conceals creates mystery. In a way, it is like the mystery of religion itself. And this is a very sensuous photograph; you can almost smell it.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Roberta Kayne

Rotary Club of Dublin A.M., Ohio

Location: Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Steinmetz: We shouldn’t project human feelings onto animals, but you can read the child-parent relationship in the postures here. I think of times I have seen this sort of scene in the wild, with bears on the shore catching salmon.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Lee Won-Geol

Rotary Club of Daegu-Chungsan, Korea

Location: Andong, Korea

Steinmetz: The few bits of color make an otherwise monochromatic scene come alive. The snow adds beautiful texture to the traditional architecture, and the leaves and branches in the foreground create a nice frame. This is a landscape you want to explore.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Chris McDiven

Rotary Club of Sydney, Australia

Location: Niagara Falls, New York

Steinmetz: I’ve seen this kind of situation, a rainbow created by mist, many times in photographs, but this is one of the finest versions that I’ve come across. Sometimes simplicity is best. I love the placement of the boat at the end of the rainbow. It’s simple, powerful, and unexpected.

Honorable mention

Photographer: Roberta Kayne

Rotary Club of Dublin A.M., Ohio

Location: Westerville, Ohio

Steinmetz: Newspaper photographers are asked every year to photograph something that conveys the idea of patriotism for Memorial Day; this is an excellent version. The lines of flags create perspective and depth, which makes the person walking through stand out.

Get ready for your close-up

The next edition of The Rotarian’s photo contest will open on 1 October 2019 and close on 15 December 2019. For more information, go to on.rotary.org/photo2020.

Meet our judge

Our judge, George Steinmetz, brings to the task his decades of experience traveling and photographing the world. Read story.