Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge 2018

The Boyd's Station Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge 

What started out as a friendly photo challenge among the Boyd's Station Reinke Grant for Visual Storytelling recipients Arden Barnes and Michael Swensen and visiting college friends Michael Johnson and Daniel Linhart seamlessly grew turned into the Boyd's Station Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge

Pretty amazing what can come together in a very short time frame with a little help from the amazing group of Boyd's Station supporters!

The idea of the Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge was for each student photographer to interpret in their own visual essay the words of the poem “ Where I’m From" by Kentucky poet laureate George Ella Lyon.

Michael Swensen

I believe

I believe in thirty minutes there and thirty minutes back.
I believe in windy roads.
I believe the water tells us which way to go.
I believe in the old white oaks who hide the stop-signs.

I believe in the fog to make your dreams vivid.
I believe in the devil’s backbone.
I believe in the long row to hoe.
I believe in the mimosa trees for a lick of paradise.

I believe in all of the good ol’ dogs.
I believe in the conflicted cat who makes a better dog.
I believe in the 89-year-old gardener.
I believe in finding the honey hole and never telling a soul.
— Michael Swensen
 
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Arden Barnes

Where I’m From

As a Kentuckian, I see this as a poem about home, as I assume was Lyon’s intention. 

My home is a small brick house across the street from a large white one.

I slept in the brick house, but the way the white house glows with golden light rings truer as a part of me than anything in the other. 
My love for photography was probably developed in that white house.

My Grandaddy is gone and where I thought we had nothing in common, we share two very important things— a love for my grandmother and for a camera. 
He has photography, but the rest of my being is shared with the 70-year-old soul that still resides in that white house. 
I share her dimples, love of books, passion for quotes.

I am from her love of printed photos,
Kentucky,
And the golden light that shines through her house.
— Arden Barnes
 

Michael Johnson

Daniel Linhart

 

 
 

The catch to this photo challenge was that none of the photographers knew the details until the night before the competition was scheduled to start. 

The photographers were presented with the rules for the competition on a Monday night along with the words of a poem written by George Ella Lyon and told they had between 6AM and 10PM the following day to interpret the poem in their own visual storytelling style.

Each final photo essay could be no more than 10 frames total.

All the images absolutely had to be taken from inside the borders of Harrison County, Kentucky.

Mrs. Bruce Florence, a close personal friend of George Ella Lyon during the Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge judging in Cynthiana.

Where I'm From

A poem by George Ella Lyon, Kentucky Poet Laureate 2015-2016

I am from clothespins, 
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride. 
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening, 
it tasted like beets.) 
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I'm from fudge and eyeglasses, 
          from Imogene and Alafair. 
I'm from the know-it-alls
          and the pass-it-ons, 
from Perk up! and Pipe down! 
I'm from He restoreth my soul
          with a cottonball lamb
          and ten verses I can say myself.

I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch, 
fried corn and strong coffee. 
From the finger my grandfather lost
          to the auger, 
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures, 
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams. 
I am from those moments--
snapped before I budded --
leaf-fall from the family tree.

Daniel Linhart, Michael Swensen, Arden Barnes and Michael Johnson following the Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge judging at Biancke's Restaurant in Cynthiana, Kentucky. Michael Swensen was named the overall winner taking home a ThinkTankPhoto ShapeShifter backpack courtesy of Robert's Camera.

  Gary Landers and Charles Bertram (along with Michael Keating not shown here due to his documentary instincts taking over in making this photograph) judge the photo essays submitted during the Boyd's Station Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge.

Gary Landers and Charles Bertram (along with Michael Keating not shown here due to his documentary instincts taking over in making this photograph) judge the photo essays submitted during the Boyd's Station Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge.

With a deadline of noon the following day, the real surprise for the student photographers was arriving at Biancke's Restaurant in Cynthiana, KY to learn their photo essay submissions were to be judged and critiqued by a visiting panel of photojournalism's best - Michael Keating and Gary Landers, both formerly of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Charles Bertram of the Lexington Herald-Leader along with Cynthiana's Dr. Neil Rush and Mrs. Bruce Florence, a close personal friend of George Ella Lyon, who spoke about the acclaimed Kentucky poet and her work.

Ohio University's Micheal Swensen wins the 2018 Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge taking home a ThinkTankPhoto ShapeShifter backpack thanks to Robert's Camera.

Michael Keating remarked, "We congratulate Mr. Swenson who emerged as the winner of The Boyd's Station Dawn to Dusk Photo Challenge. Fellow judges Gary Landers and Charles Bertram who viewed the quality work of the foursome observed that the high quality and respect for the subjects shown by the group left the future of visual storytelling in good hands going forward!"

"It was practically impossible to pick ONE winner." said judge Charles Bertram, the six-time Kentucky News Photographer of the Year winner, "All four were outstanding and the debate could have gone on for hours. I finally thought Michael's "moments" put him on top although as Gary Landers said, we could have easily been persuaded to pick one of the others."


Project 306.36 and the Reinke Grant for Visual Storytelling would not be possible without the generous support from Nikon, the official sponsor and supplier of professional photographic equipment to Boyd’s Station and Project 306.36, PhotoShelter, the official provider of the Boyd's Station Project 306.36 archive powered by Libris and the countless number of professional photojournalists who graciously donated their work in a true grassroots effort to successfully fund this visual documentary project along with support from the Northern Kentucky Clyde N. Day FoundationThe Troy Foundation & the Oskar and Charlotte Buschmann Fund along with generous donations from Charles Bell and Nancy Baird.