Portraits of Learning(4)

Scarecrows and starry nights, mermen and shadowy felines, power poles, snowy peaks, best friends, cityscapes, Katrina damage, and scarlet sunsets: This year’s 2,500-plus student digital photo entries truly reflected creativity, imagination, and artistic perspective. With such a broad range of masterpieces to review, judging the best of the best was tougher than ever before. We thank the Adobe Digital Kids Club for offering camera and software prizes and the more than 20 CMP Media art directors and editors who spent time evaluating the finalists.
And now on to the winners!

Contributing Sponsor: Adobe

Susan McLester is editor in chief of T&L magazine.

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Elementary School Winners

First Place

Emilio’s Bottles

Melina Vanni-Gonzalez, Grade 6
McGuffey Foundation School
Oxford, Ohio
Teacher: Janet Church

"These are bottles that were just washed drying on a rack. They will later be used for the homemade wine that my uncle, Emilio, makes in Spain." Judges were impressed with the photo's rich colors, abstract composition, and clear focus.

Second Place


Logan Runco, Grade 1
Ben Franklin Elementary
Bethel Park, Pa.
Teacher: Colleen Smith

"My favorite thing is my family, so my personal universe is my family. I took this picture because it has my hand, my dad’s hand, my mom's hand, and my sister's hand in it. My favorite part of the day is dinner, because that is when I get to talk about my day and hear about everyone else's—so I took this picture at the dinner table."


Jordan Miller, Grade 5
Lynwood Avenue Elementary
Farmingville, N.Y.
Teacher: Arthur Scheffer

"My life is like a playground. My life goes in many directions. My life is like this photo because I am involved in many things. Sometimes things can be upside down, but I always look at things right side up."

The Stairs of Reason

Chad Pyke, Grade 6
Woodward Academy/Busey
Riverdale, Ga.
Teacher: Nicole St. Amand

"I took this picture using perspective and then put it on a disk to digitally manipulate it. I used Adobe Photo Deluxe. I then made the picture into a negative and solarized it. I also highlighted the lines around the picture."

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Middle School Winners

First Place

Colorful Youth

Emily Zabetakis, Grade 8
Woodward Academy Middle School
Collage Park, Ga.
Teacher: Paul Vogt

"Technology provides an opportunity to advance to the top of the learning curve. I can integrate more color into the world through my eyes and my art. When I take a photograph, I realize I’ve made this piece of art, but to me it’s not enough. I want technology to make my photo more dynamic; I want to be known for my ambition for photography."

Emily used Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 to remove color and adjust lighting of shadows and highlights and brightness/contrast.

Second Place


Meg Rossetti, Grade 8
Woodward Academy Middle School
College Park, Ga.
Teacher: Paul Vogt

"Technology allows me to see photography in another way because it gives me so many options. I can alter a photo so that the meaning is completely different from what it was when the photo was unaltered. Technology also lets me manipulate an image to the extent that the emotion changes. With these advantages, there are endless possibilities."

My Dance

Elizabeth Muller, Grade 7
Woodward Academy
College Park, Ga.
Teacher: Janie Tutterow

"Without technology my picture would be just another picture on the wall. I am able to explore photography with technology and discover how to make an ordinary picture extraordinary. Technology is truly opening the doors of art to a new generation of photographers. I used Adobe Photo Deluxe in the photo lab at school. I changed color photos to black and white. Then I added a sepia tone. I used feathering to cut out the individual images of my body from three photographs and copied and pasted the images into one background."


Alli Kuhlman, Grade 8
Murdock, Neb.
Teacher: Lisa Schmidt

"I chose the church where my dad preaches for this contest. My family and I go every Sunday, and it is right next door to my house. It is a big part of my life because it is in my life every week. The software I used was Photoshop Elements. The picture of the stained glass window was my background. I used another picture of the church as a layer. I then used the effect “oil pastel†to give the effect that you where looking through the stained glass at the church."

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High School Winners

First Place

Lost in All Its Wonder

Rob Wright, Grade 12
Howell High School
Howell, Mich.
Teacher: Jason Lounds

"I used digital tools to help manipulate and 'fix' this photo to show how I saw it when I took it. The result is a clearer feeling portrayed."

Judges gave high marks to the interesting composition and use of reflection.

Second Place

Express Your Talents

Nicole Murtagh, Grade 12
Phoenixville Area HS
Phoenixville, Pa.
Teacher: John Zittel

"Since I recently bought a Digital Rebel, I’ve been head over heels with all the fancy buttons and things my camera could do, Auto Timer being one of them. This is my attempt at capturing a self-portrait of me and my guitar, while learning one of the many exciting parts of my camera. I used Adobe Photoshop CS to enhance the colors to give more of an unreal glow. I also overlayed a texture on the whole photo and gave some of the sections a blur."

Water Baby

Hannah Watkins, Grade 12
Southern Garrett High School
Oakland, Md.
Teacher: Maria Zumpano

My brother and his wife wanted to help children, so they decided to become foster parents. Their first foster child was Ethan, and we all fell in love with him immediately. After about a year, they found out that there was a good chance his birth mother would get him back. Later, my brother and his wife adopted Ethan. In this picture, Ethan is zoomed in close because I hold him close to my heart."


Daniel Ruiz, Grade 12
Bayonne High School
Bayonne, N.J.
Teacher: Charlann Meluso

"We use all types of technology in my computer graphics class. This photo was taken with a digital camera and uploaded to my computer. I have learned how to effectively use all the tools of my class and produce artwork of high quality. I depend on technology to help me produce great art. Hallway was manipulated in Adobe Photoshop CS on a Mac G5 computer. It was one of my assignments to do a patriotic photo. I used a variety of filters to produce the desired effect. I was very pleased with the outcome."

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