‘Sunset Explosion,’ by Nikolas George, 14. Winner of the Animals & Nature and Community Favourite categories. (Nikolas George)

Cloverdale Library, newspaper announce winners for 2018 Teen Photo-Caption Contest

Teens showcase witty and whimsical, classic and clever talent

Surrey Libraries and the Cloverdale Reporter present the winners in the 2018 Teen Photo-Caption Contest.

Witty and whimsical, classic and clever, beautiful and bodacious — and sometimes just quirky! — the entries in the 2018 Teen Photo-Caption Contest swept the spectrum.

Challenged to capture their Surrey experiences in captioned photos, teens caught or created moments to celebrate and share. Entries were posted on Surrey Libraries Facebook page for the public to enjoy and vote for their favourites.

One of the categories was “Community Favourite,” and the winner was determined solely by the number of Facebook “likes” it received. Nikolas George, age 14, was the winner in that category, with his entry “Sunset Explosion” receiving 79 “likes” by the judging deadline. (See winning entries below.)

There were two other categories, judged by staff members from the Cloverdale Reporter and Cloverdale Library: “Animals & Nature” and “People & Places.”

The “Animals & Nature” category was won by Nikolas George’s “Sunset Explosion” as well. The photo was taken at Crescent Beach. Nikolas explains that he was introduced to photography by his elementary school teacher in grade 6 . “After that I asked my parents if I could get a camera for my birthday and since then I take my camera everywhere,” he said. (Incidentally, Nikolas was last year’s winner in this contest too.)

The “People & Places” category was won by Joshua Lee, age 16, for “Wanderers.”

“I especially enjoy the eerie and isolated atmosphere of this photo, as if these people were on some distant planet being engulfed by the low roaming clouds, just wandering,” he said.

The judges deliberated and debated, and the decisions were difficult. A “Runner Up” position was created to help reach a consensus – awarded to Tessa McDermid, age 16, for her entry “Life of an Ant.” Tessa said she was lying down in the grass and looking to the other side of the street, and saw a creative shot.

“To caption it, I considered what perspective would naturally see the world at that angle, and an ant came to mind,” she explained.

Three honourable mentions rounded out the decisions: “Find your quiet place” also by Joshua Lee; “When the Cheetos look better than you,” by Cynthia Wang, age 14; and “Chilly water calls for cuddles,” by Joshua Aune, age 15.

Of his honourable mention shot, Joshua Lee said, “To me, ‘Find your quiet place’ evokes a feeling of escape from any struggles the person in the photo is facing. It is a reminder that although life can be busy, rushed, and disorganized in many ways, there will always be something to look forward to in the end.”

Cynthia entry is just one example of her approach to capturing “little moments.”

“I truly enjoy taking photos because photography allows me to see beauty everywhere around me. Photography is beyond taking photos, it is recording the present and capturing the little moments in people’ s life,” she said.

Joshua Aune’s photo was the result of an experiment. “I had just gotten my new camera, and took it to the local park, Alderwood, to experiment with what it could do,” he said. “I saw a group of ducks which I took several good shots of.”

Surrey Libraries and the Cloverdale Reporter thank all the teens who shared their creativity and expertise in this contest.

—Carmen Merrells, Youth Services Librarian


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‘Wanderers,’ by Joshua Lee, 16. Winner of the People & Places category. (Joshua Lee)

‘Life of an Ant,’ by Tessa McDermid, 16. Runner-up in the Animals & Nature category. (Tessa McDermid)

‘Find your quiet place,’ by Joshua Lee, 16. Honourable mention. (Joshua Lee)

‘When the Cheetos look better than you,’ by Cynthia Wang, 14. Honourable mention. (Cynthia Wang)

‘Chilly water calls for cuddles,’ by Joshua Aune, 15. Honourable mention. (Joshua Aune)

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